Traveling Light

Vacationing is fun – as it should be. Planning your vacation is an entirely different scenario. All in the midst of booking your flight and searching for the best accommodation, you have to pack.

Packing is done at its best when you have a plan. The best thing to do is to coordinate your efforts and execute according to your plan. The first thing you should do is keep in mind where you are going. Climate is the main determinant in the type of clothing you will be wearing. Also, what do you usually wear? What is the point in packing a suitcase full of clothes, which is the bulk of the load, that you are not sure you will even wear?

Pack what you are sure you will need; don’t pack for too many “what if” situations. When in doubt, leave it out. Carry pieces that can serve more than one purpose. Multifunctional items save space, time and money.

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As a general rule, you should travel with fabrics that do not need ironing, but if it is unavoidable, then keep the amount to a minimum. These items should be folded because that decreases the chances of wrinkling and creasing. Rolling every other piece of clothing allows you to fit more items in your suitcase. Synthetic materials are generally less prone to wrinkling and are more durable, so investing in a few versatile pieces will benefit you in the long run.

Keep small items, like socks and charger cables, in your shoes to maximize space. Section items by type; keep your undergarments together in a storage cube, keep your toiletries together, and your electronics together. Not only will this help you limit your items to what you really need, but it will also help you stay organised for your trip. Now that everything that you carry will have a place, you’ll be sure that you pack everything back in its place for your return trip.

It is easier to find items one they are organised, so keep your toiletries in a waterproof storage bag. Keep all toiletries travel size; it does not make much sense to carry a full-size bottle of shampoo for a week’s stay anywhere. In fact, many hotels carry basic toiletries, so do some research on their facilities before you pack. A hairdryer is another thing that is bulky and most hotels have one in their bathroom.

It is important to note that wearing is not carrying. Pack your lighter items and wear the bulkier things that you’ll need. That way, you will save space and have a lighter suitcase. Speaking of suitcases, try and use one that is lightweight. Plastic hard cases may be more durable, but make sure you find one that is lightweight. It might not seem like much, but every ounce counts when you are dragging your baggage around in transit. Sturdy cloth-like suitcases and generally cheaper and lighter, but they are prone to punctures and tearing over time.

Make use of your personal item on the plane. For this, use a reasonably-sized tote or backpack. Keep all your important documents in there and some small items that might be too bulky for your luggage. Your electronics should be kept in your personal bag so you won’t risk losing them, and you’ll have some things to occupy your time while you are in transit.