Most people look forward to quick getaways. It’s the packing that often leaves people frustrated long before any travel snafus unfurl. Whether you’re packing for a three-month global trek or weekend trip, you should always follow one golden rule: Think minimal.
Packing light and packing smart go hand-in-hand. While it’s true that the more you minimize, the less likely you are to have packing problems during your trip, that’s not to say you should ditch your essentials just to nix a couple extra pounds of baggage. If you need your hair straightener or sleep apnea mask, then by all means, bring them. But do you really need three pairs of pants for a two-day vacation? Probably not.
If you’re headed out the door this weekend to a wedding across the country or perhaps on an end-of-summer escape, pack light with these useful tips:
Shutterstock Make your packed items matter.
This is essential. Before you even place your items into your bag, make sure every article of clothing and toiletry has a definite use on your trip. Don’t pack for the worst case scenario, pack for the best. However, the one item you should play it safe with is prescribed medication. For instance, if you have serious allergy to peanuts, bring what you need in case of a life-threatening reaction.
Ask yourself, “Do I really need that?” If your weekend plans involve camping, you probably aren’t going to need your whole bag of makeup. Some people can even get away with cutting back on their hair-washing routine – you may not need to bring shampoo! And if it turns out you need it? Hotels supply basic toiletries to guests. Learn more about travel freebies you can nab on your vacation.
Multi-use items are key. This tip goes along with making your packed items matter. Ensure that the clothing options you bring can be used more ways than one or at least for more days than one. If your weekend trip is fairly casual, you probably only need to pack one pair of jeans.
Multi-use toiletries can also help you cut down on bulk. Items like Kiss My Face Pure Olive Oil Bar Soap can be used as face and body wash while shampoo can double as laundry soap for spot treatments.
One of the best multi-use items is your cell phone. Use it for your camera, watch, map, travel entertainment, city guide, etc.
Wear your heaviest, bulkiest clothes while traveling. Do you need to bring your sweatshirt and athletic shoes on your weekend trip? Instead of trying to shove them into your backpack, wear them while you travel. You can always shed the extra layers when you get to your destination
Think neutral. This is a great tip for short and long trips. Colors like black and navy and other neutrals can be dressed down and up when needed and can be used multiple times. Your black tank top could be accessorized and used as an evening top one night, a beach shirt the next day and as a piece in your comfy airplane outfit the last day.
Wear a scarf. Maybe scarves aren’t your thing, but they are definitely useful if you have one. Not only can your Pashmina break up your outfit, it can serve as a blanket on a cold plane, a pillow against the window or a shield against anything you wouldn’t want to lay your head on (e.g. plane headrest, bus chair, hotel pillow, etc).
Use the nooks and crannies. Real estate in your suitcase or bag is pretty important when you are trying to pack as minimally as possible. Using all the extra pockets and getting creative can save you space for other must-haves or even a souvenir or two. Tuck underwear, socks and other small items inside shoes before packing, use the outside zipper pockets for phone chargers and other easy-to-tangle electronics, and tie scarves and lightweight jackets and sweaters around the handles of your bag for more space inside.
And don’t forget…Your essential items. With all this planning and preparing to pack the least amount possible it may be easy to forget your most-needed items, including:
- Cell phone
- Phone Charger
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