As fun as it can be to travel, hauling lots of luggage around can be a pain. There are a number of different reasons to pack lightly, including keeping your costs down and getting through airports more quickly. However, if you’re not used to traveling light, you may have trouble deciding how to go about it. Here are some tips to help you pack only what you need.
Use a Small Suitcase
One of the best ways to travel light is to get a smaller suitcase. You won’t be able to fit much into it, so you’ll have to be more selective about what you take. Resist the urge to get a slightly bigger case or you’ll probably just fill the extra space with items you don’t really need.
Take It Easy With the Clothes
Shoes take up the most room in your suitcase, so it’s best to limit yourself to no more than two pairs. A pair of nice shoes for a night on the town and a pair of sneakers for long walks would make sense for most tourists. Jeans are also bulky, but they’re advantageous in the sense that nobody looks at them very closely and you could probably get away with wearing the same pair for days. If you’re concerned about matching, consider that black jeans will go with just about everything.
Most of the exceptions to this rule involve the ladies since they’re likely to need items most men have no need for, such as makeup. Otherwise, there’s no reason to bring soaps and shampoos, if you’re going to be staying in a hotel. It’s better to take advantage of the toiletries they provide and save some space in your suitcase. Travel-sized toothpaste tubes and deodorants should suffice for most trips unless you’re planning an extended visit.
Carry a Tablet
In years past, it wasn’t unusual for a traveler to bring all sorts of items with them to pass the time. Books, magazines, music players, maps, and notepads were common on long journeys. While a laptop can easily replace all of these items, a tablet saves even more space. They’re also a great place to back-up important information you might need during your trip, such as confirmation emails and flight information. Consider purchasing a portable charger, if you plan to spend much time away from your hotel room. Chargers are getting smaller all the time, so they won’t take up much space.
Do Your Laundry
One of the best ways to cut back on the amount of clothes you bring along is to get them washed wherever you’re staying. While fancy hotels might charge quite a bit for this service, you can always find a nearby laundromat. If you’re a student with loans to pay off, you can save even more money just washing them in the hotel room sink, and find out more about consolidating student loans.
While packing light may take some getting used to at first, you’ll soon notice that it makes traveling seem a lot easier. Each of these tips can help you lighten those suitcases, but combining them makes an even greater difference. Once you get the hang of it, you’ll never dread packing again and you’ll learn better ways to improvise on the go.