A traveller’s guide to packing light (from someone who never could)

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I have longed to be one of those travellers. You know who I’m talking about, those people who get off the plane looking refreshed, relaxed, happy, ready to start their holiday, carrying a normal looking piece of hand luggage that isn’t bursting at the seams. Better still, as their suitcase comes off the carousel, it doesn’t sport the bright orange ‘HEAVY’ tag. Oh to be like that.

Admitedly in recent years I’ve got so much better. Why? I got bored with dragging so much stuff around with me, tired of paying excess baggage fines and got totally over stressing about my luggage. So I kind of went the other way. Now, I pack so light I sometimes get caught out. I have a little voice in my head saying ‘do you really need another pair of shoes’ to which the answer is almost always ‘no’.

I figure I can’t be the only person who finds this a struggle so here are my tips for packing light. FYI, I’m heading to Vigo on Wednesday, so in this case I’ve just followed my own advice and, wait for it, I’m only taking carry on luggage and there is actually space left in it. Win.

1. When it comes to toiletries, capitalise on the freebies. First of all, I check if my accommodation supplies toiletries. If they do, I skip on taking whatever they provide. Normally this is shampoo, body wash and lotion. I also keep all the little samples of moisturising cream, make-up remover, eye cream and the like that come free in magazines, especially for holidays as the sachets take up so little room. It might not be your usual skincare products but if it saves some room in your case, who cares, right?

2. Plan your clothing. I’m going to Vigo for three nights, so I’ve packed one day and one evening outfit for each day I’m there. I took the time to lay everything out, so I know when I get there these clothing combos will work. It’s always a good idea to throw in one extra outfit, just in case something happens, or if you’re anything like me, you spill coffee all over your dress at breakfast on day one. Sigh.

3. Roll, roll, roll. Don’t just take my word for it. The master tidier/organiser that is Marie Kondo advises we all roll our clothes at home. Apply her philosophy to your suitcase and you’ll be surprised home much neater and tidier your clothes will be, not to mention less creased.

4. Make a list. Writing down what you need to take for your trip is really helpful. It means you’re less likely to throw lots of random things in at the last minute, because you’re not sure if you’ve got everything. Plus, you can edit as you go. If you’re suddenly faced with a long list of items to take, chances are you’ll realise how much stuff you’re packing and start to take things out.

5. Your Kindle is your friend. That’s worth remembering. I love reading book after book when I’m on holiday but they do take up a lot of space. If you’ve got a Kindle, load up on holiday reads before you go, so you don’t miss out on any of those brilliant beach reads.

Now that I’m all packed, I’m off to Vigo with some friends for a few days. I’ll be posting the highlights from my trip on Instagram, so catch me there to see what I get up to in the Spanish sun. And if you have any tips on how you pack light, I’d love to hear them!


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  • http://adventitiousviolet.com/ Camila @ AdventitiousViolet

    I used to be so bad at packing light! But after a few trips around Europe I’ve learnt my lesson, definitely am not a fan of waiting for my luggage or paying for it with small (read: cheap) airlines!

  • sileas

    Lol I’ve never understood people who dragged huge suitcases around :P Traveling light literally makes things so much easier :D

  • http://atlifestylecrossroads.com Anna / At Lifestyle Crossroads

    Some really useful tips! I’m so not good at packing light … lol

    Have a great weekend!