Travel Tips

Tips to Help You Pack Lighter

Traveling with less luggage gives you more freedom to move around. It allows you to easily navigate through congested areas, quickly retrieve your baggage, and make impromptu plans without the burden of carrying your luggage. This is particularly beneficial now that numerous airlines charge fees for bags that are over a certain weight or size limit. Therefore, packing light is a wise decision.

1. Pick a color palette.

When packing light, a great tip is to choose pieces that can be mixed and matched to create multiple outfits. It’s recommended to pick a color palette that you enjoy and can stick to, such as navy or black. Once you’ve selected a color, try to find pieces that complement it well. Look to your favorite outfit for inspiration and choose additional clothing items that can be paired with it. Remember the rule of 3: each piece you pack should be able to create at least 3 different outfits. Be mindful of what you pack and choose items that serve multiple purposes, weigh less, or take up less space.


This was my color palette:

2. Use a wardrobe planner

Plan every outfit for every day. Pick items that can go from day to night with a few accessories. I love to use the Stylebook app on my phone.
I can use it to plan outfits and create packing lists.

But a simple Packing List would work. I have created this one to help.

3. Make a List and check it twice.


Make a packing list of things you plan on taking. Lay out all of your planned clothes and gear before you go, and think carefully about each item. Pack only those things you are absolutely sure you will need. Try replacing two items for an item that serves multi-purposes.

4. Pick lightweight clothes for layering


Pick lightweight performance fabrics that breathe well, keep moisture away, wrinkle less, and dry faster. Lightweight layering is an efficient way to dress, especially for changes in temperature throughout a trip. Merino wool is a great option because it doesn’t retain an odor after multiple uses, breathes well, and is lightweight. Choice items like quick-drying socks or underwear. As a warm outer layer, pack a lightweight synthetic or down insulated jacket that packs up small and provides impressive warmth for its weight.

5. Plan to wash clothes.

Follow the rule of 3. This is more than wearing every piece you pack at least three times. Pack all items to wear each item in a variety of outfits that work in at least three different occasion types. But you should plan to wash your clothes on a longer trip. You can wash clothes in a sink using Solid Laundry Soap Sheets and hang them to dry. Packing lightweight performance fabrics help speed up drying. 

6. Take only three pairs of Shoes

Yes, three pairs are all you really need to pack. All pairs should match all the outfits in your wardrobe. One pair should be dressy, one that can be added to an outfit to wear to a restaurant, meeting, or any place you need to be a little more dressed up. The second pair should be a flat shoe that can be worn casually; I also use these as my travel shoes. The third pair should be a pair that fits the weather and planned activities; tennis shoes, boots, or sandals.

6. Pair down your Toiletries

Most people forget about their toiletries when packing light. Start by gathering everything you normally use, from shampoo to makeup wipes, moisturizer, toothpaste, etc., and decide what’s necessary for a particular trip. Just like your clothing items, you should try to see if you can purchase travel-size toiletries that serve more than one purpose. A shampoo bar can weigh less than a full bottle of shampoo, and you can half the bar or shave off pieces to put in a plastic sandwich bag for shorter trips. You can pair down your favorite liquids by putting them in refillable travel bottles. These are my favorites.

7. Invest in a luggage scale


One of the biggest reasons is the baggage fees you must pay at the airport when your luggage is too heavy to carry. And a luggage scale can ensure that your luggage is under the limited weight that most airports allow. They are simple to use and can be packed to weigh your luggage on your return trip; after you add your souvenirs.

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