Going on a multi-day or even multi-week adventure could warrant a large suitcase or even multiple bags. Packing a bag, let alone a light one, can provoke feelings of stress. But packing an organized suitcase even for a long trip doesn’t have to be daunting. In fact, an organized suitcase with only the essentials can take a bit of the stress away from traveling.
There are many benefits to packing light, including less weight to carry if you are hiking or hauling gear on a backpacking trip, easy access to things in your bag, and less of a chance for extra baggage fees if you are checking a bag at the airport. Whether you will be taking your bag through an airport or out on a trail, you will want to carry a manageable and comfortable weight. This is important to remember during the packing process because if you can’t lift the bag comfortably, your bag is packed with too many items. In order to help you pack for your next adventure, here are 5 tips to help you pack light.
Make a list of everything you think you will need to bring in your luggage before actually packing it. Then, cross at least five things off that list. Chances are you will want to pack more than you actually need, so a list is a good start to prioritizing what to actually pack. Consider where you are going and if there are things that will be available at your destination. If there will be washer and dryer access, you can wash and re-wear everything instead of packing extra clean clothing. If you need a list for your next skiing or snowboarding adventure, check out Sun & Ski Sports’ Snow Sport Checklist.
2. Think Small
The simplest way to ensure that you don’t overpack is to use a smaller bag. When you’re choosing luggage for a long trip, it’s tempting to grab the largest bag or backpack in your closet. A larger bag, although useful sometimes, is not efficient for minimalist packing. Choosing a small bag such as a backpack or rolling suitcase will reduce the temptation of packing a lot of stuff because you have limited room. If you are traveling by plane, consider a carry-on sized bag to avoid the hassle of checking your bag and paying extra fees.
3. Stay Organized
The key to packing a light bag is to keep everything organized. Packing cubes and folders are the perfect way to keep things nice, neat, and wrinkle-free during travel. Packing folders come in different sizes and make clothes compact for traveling. These are great for eliminating bulk from items such as ski jackets or large sweaters. Choose a bag with organization features such as extra pockets, zippers, and expandable suitcases that allow for a bit more room.
4. Mix and Match
Are there some outfits you can repurpose throughout your trip? The same pants can be worn multiple times with different tops, and a dress can become a whole new outfit when its paired with a shawl the second time. This can help when packing for extended trips because even if you think you need an outfit for each day, outfits can easily be worn more than once. This rule applies to shoes too. Shoes are bulky and take up space, so only pack 1-3 pairs that you will wear throughout the trip. If you are bringing hiking boots or tennis shoes, wear them instead of packing them.
U.S. airlines require liquids that are 3 ounces or less in a carry-on bag, but even if you aren’t traveling by air, it is still good to downsize your items. Instead of taking large, full-sized hygiene products, buy them in a smaller travel size or put them in travel-size containers. You can get creative with this too. For example, a contact case can be used to hold moisturizers or creams and weekly pill containers can be used for storing jewelry.
Packing is an inevitable task when preparing to travel. Although it can be frustrating, packing less is not as difficult as it may seem and it will benefit you in the long run. Make lists, only pack the essentials, and use organization tactics to optimize space in your luggage. No matter the length of your trip or how you are getting to your destination, light, well-packed luggage will take some of the added stress out of traveling. Wherever your next adventure takes you, visit your local Sun & Ski Sports for a wide assortment of travel organization items. Or, read more on our blog for helpful tips for your next adventure, including how to properly layer and how to pick your first bike.