11 packing hacks to help you travel lighter

May 6 2019, 9:30 am

The world is your oyster. Adventure calls!

But if you load up on luggage like a pack mule, chances are you’ll be left behind by those who are travelling light.

There are so many benefits to being a minimalist when it comes to your luggage. Less luggage is less hassle. Lighter bags are easier to haul around. Having fewer options reduces time and stress spent choosing an outfit or packing up in the morning.

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Another big benefit to packing light is avoiding pesky airline baggage fees and hefty excess penalties.

Besides, today’s modern world caters to global travel. With a few rare exceptions, it’s easier than ever to pick up other things you need along the way.

Taking a few minutes to strategically minimize your luggage is the key to feeling more free and relaxed on the road. But what can you do to lighten your load? Here are some helpful packing hacks:

Lay things out

 

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This strategy allows you to step back and take a wider look that makes it easier to pare things down. Be discerning as you look things over. Remove double-ups and excess options (this means one jacket, one day bag, etc.)

Wear the bulkiest things

Choose what you plan to wear and set those items aside. Leaving those out of the packing equation can open up a lot of room for other items. Don’t forget to leave a little room so you’re not stuck wearing the same boots or jacket on each transit day.

Ditch “just in case” items

Unless you’re off to a remote or off-grid destination, pack essentials only. Remember that you can probably buy whatever else you need — whether more toothpaste, jewelry, or a fun sun hat — once you get there. Some “just in case” things are worth keeping on hand, like a few allergy pills in case of a reaction. However, bringing a snorkel set in case you can’t rent one is absolutely unnecessary.

Mix ‘n’ match

Maximize outfit combinations by selecting tops that match with all bottoms, and vice versa. For summertime travels, one-piece outfits like dresses and onesies also save space. With a little planning ahead, there’s no need to sacrifice style for minimalism.

Cut down on footwear

 

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When it comes to bulky items, shoes are often the biggest culprit. While the choice ultimately depends on you and your destination, try to make due with less. Do you really need heels or will flat-packing sandals work better in Southeast Asia? Are hiking boots necessary or will a pair of runners suffice? Go for dual-purpose pairs and save additional space by stuffing them with socks, accessories, or anything that could use a little extra protection in transit.

Opt for functional clothing

Choose layers that are light and functional, ie. a technical layer over a thick sweater. Avoid fabrics like linen that risk going unused once they wrinkle. Things that dry quickly and wick away sweat are also handy to have on the road.

Use packing cubes and vacuum bags

These will help you maximize space, keep your bag organized, and protect your clothes from unexpected tropical downpours. Travel vacuum bags can help shrink puffy layers down but don’t overdo it as this can quickly lead to overweight luggage.

Choose travel-sized things

 

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Choose a Pack Towl or sarong over an actual towel. Put products in small reusable bottles and top up with freebies later. Borrow a mini blow dryer or hair straightener.

Pare down your wallet

You probably won’t need your fat stack of grocery store or coffee shop loyalty cards, nor last week’s receipts. Stash those away for when you return. Also remember that certain destinations will require the use of cash and small change. Having a small coin purse that fits a few cards and your ID inside may come in handy. If it has a carabiner, ring, or clip, even better.

Leave a little room

You never know what might find along the way. It’s always best to leave space for souvenirs and new things. It’s also nice to have a little wiggle room for mornings when repacking doesn’t go as neatly.

Adopt a little Marie Kondo into your method

Packing doesn’t have to be a hassle or a headache. If you feel stuck, start with the items that spark the most joy and reduce by process of elimination. 

Now it’s time to get ruthless. Remember, you’ll thank yourself later!

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What’s your favourite packing hack? We’d love to know in the comments below!