I’ve always been pretty much an overpacker. I’m not as bad as some people I know (yes, I know someone who once packed their own hangers and another who needed a whole bag just for her shoes), but I do tend to bring more than I need. I hate the thought of getting somewhere and not having what I need.
I’ve been trying to mend my ways, particularly after my last trip to California where I met up with all 200+ of my co-workers who are almost all experienced travelers, whereas I am not. One look at my suitcase + carry-on + computer bag combo was all it took for a few to shake their heads with pity and tell me that my packing habits would soon change.
A big part of my new job is the option to travel and many of my co-workers take advantage of that. I’ve traveled all around the US, but my only foreign travel has been to the Caribbean and cruise ship destinations to the Yucatán Peninsula and other central American ports of call. I suspect once I get a few longer trips under my belt, I’ll get the hang of it, but these people came to San Francisco for 8 days with just a carry-on. How could this be possible??
Determined to cut down on the size of my suitcase, eliminate a bag, and/or go 100% carry-on, I asked a lot of questions to find out how they were able to do this. It seems the secret really isn’t a big secret.
- Bring clothes for about 1/2 of your stay and wash them in the hotel sink.
- Bring nothing that the hotel will provide (hair dryer, shampoo, soap, etc.).
- Bring only two pairs of shoes: the ones you’re wearing and a spare.
- Wear as much as you comfortably can on the plane.
I’ve also done a little web research and have read up on capsule wardrobes as a means of packing light, as well as a variety of packing techniques, which I’ll be trying out on my next trip, which will be to…drum roll please…Thailand! Nothing like kicking off my first real overseas trip with a destination literally on the opposite side of the planet!
I also found this site, which offers a wealth of info and great tips on going places with less stuff. Thank you, Lady Light Travel!
So, here’s to traveling light – or at least lighter!
- Minimalist Traveling: How to Stay Free With Just A Carryon (lifehack.org)
- 10 cures for the chronic overpacker (usatoday.com)
- Travel Tips (aroundtheworldonstandby.com)