6 Packing Tips for Traveling Lighter

I am a notorious over packer. The worst thing is, when I’m packing, I know that I will not use a lot of the things I’m packing. But, I like to be fully prepared for every situation that may come my way. It’s ridiculously easy for me to justify packing extra items, just in case I’ll need them on my trip. I’ve been known to pack a week’s work of clothes for a weekend away. At the start of this journey, I struggled to pack my life into 2 suitcases to move to France. I spent hours of packing as much I could into my bags, and then repacking when I weighed my bag and discovered that they were too heavy. And, after all of that, I had to do some last-minute rearranging in the airport to get my bag underweight…

Since moving to France and traveling around Europe, I’ve started to appreciate traveling light. While I still love to pack everything but the kitchen sink, lugging around heavy bags is not fun and very tiring. Between that and the small carry on limits and baggage fees that budget airlines have, I’ve started limiting what I pack. Over fall break, I spent a week traveling around the UK with just a small book bag–quite an accomplishment for someone who was used to packing more than that for a simple weekend away.

So, without further ado, here are my top 6 packing tips to help you travel lighter:

  1. Roll, don’t fold your clothes. This saves a lot of space in your suitcase so you can bring more clothes without need a bigger bag, a win-win.
  2. Pack clothes that do double duty. Clothes that can be easily washed, layered, and mixed and matched are perfect for traveling.
  3. Plan: Make a list and check it twice. Make a list of what you need to pack and then check it to make sure that you’re going to get more than one use out of everything you’re bringing. If you didn’t use the item on your last trip, changes are you won’t need it on this one. Don’t forget sure to stick to your list when packing!
  4. Pack travel sized toiletries. Packing smaller versions of everyday products (hair brush, tooth paste, face wash, makeup, deodorant…) will save you precious space in your bag.
  5. Take a smaller bag. By limiting the size of your luggage, you automatically limit what you can bring. Use your packing list to help you optimize the space you have available.
  6. Don’t forget to leave space for the souvenirs you’ll pick up along the way !

Let me know what packing tips you use to help you travel light!

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