Ok, we know, it’s hard to pack light, especially when traveling as a family, but there are going to be times on your travels that you only want to take one bag per person. Is that even possible? You bet it is – and when that time comes, you’ll be glad you learned these helpful hints.
1. Pick the right bag
Choosing the right bag will make a big difference on your travels. Think about where you’re going – how much walking will you be doing? If you’re going to be trekking about at all, your best bet is a lightweight backpack. It’s going to save a lot of trouble to be able to carry everything on your back. You’ll be glad you’re not dragging a wheely suitcase down sidewalks and up stairs. But, if you plan to get off the plane and go direct to a hotel where you will be staying put for a while, then a wheely might be the best solution for you. Just think about where you’re going and the logistics of it before you make this decision.
2. Plan what you’re going to take
It’s hard to downsize your wardrobe, but it’s a must when trying to pack light. Why not take a minimalist approach to fashion – take one pair of pant or shorts and one skirt, which can both be paired with be a t-shirt, a tank top or a sweater – making a few different outfits. What is the weather going to be like? Is there anything specific you need to keep you cool or warm? Also think ahead – will you be visiting any holy sites? If so, it’s really important to bring appropriate dress for that. Bring enough underwear and socks to get you through a few days at least and most importantly – bring proper shoes. And again, if you plan ahead, you will know what types of places you’ll be going to so you can know how to dress.
3. Pack carefully
When you’re packing, try to put things inside of other items, sort of like those Russian nesting dolls. You can try rolling clothes into small neat rolls to reduce wrinkles and it actually takes up less space. The kids are often keen to get in on the rolling aspect too!
4. Pack smart
Keep things you need like water, sunglasses, chapstick, toothbrush, pen, notepad, makeup, snacks, hair brush/comb, a change of underwear, and any special medicines and necessary items you need in the top of your bag or in a separate hand bag, because you never know what’s going to happen and you want to be able to access these things easily. It’s a good idea to not carry all your valuables in this one bag (e.g., camera, computer, jewelry, etc.). If it gets stolen, heaven forbid, at least you won’t lose all your valuables at once.
5. Pack toiletries right
Pack your dry toiletries in the same bag, and your liquid and gel toiletries in another same bag – for obvious reasons. There’s nothing more frustrating than that pesky bottle of hand cream leaking all over the inside of your bag.
6. Security precautions
Keep your passport, ID, wallet, money and credit cards, all in a safe place. Keep some small currency in your pocket for purchases along the way, but try to avoid pulling out your wallet every time you need to buy something. It’s a good idea to carry photocopies of your passport and important cards and info – just in case. Remember, you can keep these copies on a USB thumb drive so no need to carry actual documents unless you’re more comfortable doing so.
Think about where you’re going and what things you may need. A lot of these things will be able to be purchased locally, so don’t weigh down your bag with un-necessary things, but take any kind of meds you take regularly, because you can’t be too sure and the last thing you want is to not be able to get something you need. Be sure to pack bug repellant and sunscreen though if heading out into nature or a beach.
Good luck with your packing! Have any ideas on how to pack light that you’d like to share with us?