2 Girls. 1 World. A Whole Lot to See


7 Pack Lighter Tips for Your Next Trip!

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Light Packing

We’re heading out for a couples weekend to Siesta Keys Florida and it’s time pack!

Notice how I said that all excited-like.

No really, I’m excited! Excited to get away. Excited to spend time with friends. Excited to visit a new place I’ve never been. Excited to travel kid-less. Just excited!

Before I get too excited though, I’ve gotta pack, and honestly, it’s something I’m pretty good at. Just ask Jen. She’s always awed by my backpack travel ways. I’m one of those people who are able to squish everything in one bag, normally a carry on or smaller size.

My motivation to pack light is to, well, travel light. I hate having bags to carry, worry about and transport. I’d much rather be lean and mean. Here are some of my strategies to help lighten up your next adventure.

Pick a Color any Color

Pick 1 color shoe.

No. You really don’t need both.

When I’m packing for a weekend, or even a week long trip, I decide right away black or brown. Once I pick, I grab that color’s corresponding shoes, and matching bag. Then I make all other wardrobes options based upon that color. This allows me to re-purpose items and guarantees everything will match without over-packing just for 1 or 2 outfits.

The Fold and Roll

I’ve become a master packer in the sense that I can get an awful lot in a small bag. The secret is in the roll. Basically fold your clothes the way you always do.

Fold the clothes

Then roll as tight as possible.

Then Roll the clothes

Works like a charm and actually helps prevent wrinkles.

Trim the Toiletries

When you’re packing seriously take a look at what you need in the bathroom department. First, there is no sense in packing shampoo or lotion, every hotel I’ve ever been been too supplies it. I’d even argue you don’t need shaving cream, soap, or perfume. And if you have a makeup bag, pluck out only your most used items.

Makeup Bag

There’s no need to bring 5 year old eye shadow that you haven’t worn in months.

Wear your Bulk

Depending on where you’re travel to this will vary, but even if I’m going someplace warm I’ll wear my jeans and sweatshirt on the plane instead of shorts and a tank. If you’re hot tie the sweatshirt around your waist. It’s better to wear it than taking up room in your bag. Oh! and bonus: you can use the sweatshirt as a blanket or pillow on the plane!

Visit a Local Laundromat

I asked twitter if they had any light packing ideas and @sherriges brought up a great point

“Only take carryon to Europe after 5-7 days sit outside laundromat & people watch, Its fun & easier to get around”

I never really thought of doing laundry on vacation because it doesn’t seem very vacation-like. However, people watching at a local laundromat while catching up on some reading or emails, does sound like fun!

Let You’re Bag Wear Your Sneaks

Depending on why you’re traveling you may need at least 3 pairs of shoes. Something casual, something formal and a good old fashioned pair of sneaks. As a runner, I rarely go anywhere without my running shoes but those things are backpack killer!

Instead of squishing them IN the bag tie them to the outside.

Sneakers tied to the outside of the bag.

This frees up lots of space allowing you to bring 3 pairs but only pack one. Wear the casual, pack the formal and tie the sneaks!

Make a List!

Take a few minutes before packing to make a list of what you REALLY need. Think about the number of days, what you’ll be doing, the weather of your destination, etc. This will make you focus on specific items instead of trying to recreate your closet at your destination.

Once you make the list, go back through and trim 1 or 2 things off. You’ll thank yourself while running through the terminal with you backpack. :)

Overall, just remember packing light is an art, not a science. The more you travel the more you’ll identify what you really need and what you’re bringing that you never use. Make a few mental notes on your next trip. Was there stuff you never wore? Bathroom items not used? If so, those items shouldn’t make the cut next trip!

Please share your light packing tips and tricks. I’d love to put a few more up my sleeve!

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There are 6 comments so far. Join in on the conversation.


    November 29, 2012

    http://www.rei.com/product/803307/osprey-porter-46-travel-pack My husband and I have spent a lot of time in Europe. This is our bag of choice. You can fit your running shoes, plus 8-12 days of clothes (depending on season). Europe has many more stairs, escalators, narrow walkways in trains/busses and rough cobblestone streets/sidewalks than in the US. Not having a rolling bag makes getting around easier. And a bonus, your vacation just got longer because you are not spending time waiting to pick up something you checked. Reply

    Janet Oberholtzer

    November 29, 2012

    Great tips! I also do the color scheme thing and have found that to be so helpful. I just returned from a west coast trip and packed lighter than I normally do and I loved it. Less stuff to carry and take care of. Reply


    November 29, 2012

    I bring old undies and socks and stuff (tattered pjs). Then, I throw them away on my last day in the hotel. Since I don't have to repack them, I have a little extra room on the way home for any purchases/souvenirs. Reply


    December 2, 2012

    If you're a reader, e-readers like Kindles or Nooks are GREAT for traveling and space and weight savers! Reply