10 Tips for Packing Light

September 10, 2018

There are a lot of perks when it comes to packing light. You avoid extra baggage fees, don’t have to worry about losing your luggage, and can get around easily.

Here are a few of the tips that will help you pack light for your next trip. Bonne chance et bon voyage!

1. Use a small suitcase. Less space means less stuff so starting out with a smaller luggage is an easy way to pack light. I usually take my Away carry-on suitcase, which is small enough to qualify as a carry-on for most airlines.

2. Make a list. Planning is half the fun when traveling so I start making a packing list on my phone about three weeks out. This also helps me figure out if there is anything that I may need to purchase or replace before the trip.

3. Get strategic. I use the 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 Packing Rule as a loose guideline to help me pack. It’s also a good idea to stick to a simple color palette in complimentary colors so it’s easier to put together outfits.

4. Maximize space with your personal bag. Pack your in-flight essentials and any overflow from your suitcase in a backpack or large tote bag. Lately I’ve been using this Re-Kånken backpack from Fjallraven, but I’ve had my eye on this Everlane tote for ages.

5. Use your phone for everything. This includes taking photos and videos, reading a book on the flight, watching movies and television shows, consulting a map (Google Maps FTW), or checking out a guide book (either download an e-book or take photos of the pages you’ll need most). Just don’t forget your charger!

6. Be smart about toiletries. Transfer your favorite items from big bottles to travel-size containers (my favorites are from Muji). You could also forego most of your toiletries and just pick them up when you arrive at your destination.

7. Fold your clothes like Marie Kondo. Everyone says you should roll your clothes, but it’s tough to pack the different sized logs together and the clothes often come out wrinkly. Instead opt for the KonMari Folding Method where you fold everything into similar-sized packets of clothing that you can line upright in your luggage.

8. Don’t forget a scarf. Bring one along in a neutral color and use it to as a way to ward off a windy chill, a chic wrap for a dressier outfit, a cover-up for a swimsuit, or a cozy blanket on the plane ride. Choose a light, cotton scarf for trips to warm locales and a cashmere one for colder trips.

9. Keep warm. If you are traveling to a colder destination, then pick up an Ultra Light Down jacket from Uniqlo. It’s super warm and packs down to a small pouch making it an easy addition to your bag.

10. Bulky is best. Wear your bulkiest clothing items on the plane—like your coat, boots, and jeans—so that you can have more room in your suitcase.

Bonus tip! While traveling, you may notice that you keep reaching for one specific item or forgot something important. Make note of these types of things in your phone and then you’ll pack even better for your next adventure!

P.S. How to pack for France in the winter and travel guides to some of my favorite places.