5-Minute Crafts
5-Minute Crafts

How to Travel Light

When packing your suitcase for a vacation (or any other trip), it’s important to remember to pack light. At home, it might seem to you that you need to take more clothes because you’ll wear them all, however, in reality, heavy and huge baggage will more likely ruin your journey rather than make it brighter.

We at 5-Minute Crafts like to visit new places with light baggage and feel as comfortable as we can that’s why we surveyed experienced travelers and created instructions on how to travel light based on their responses.

Basic rules

  1. Check to see what weather is awaiting you.
  2. No matter what the climate of the country you are going to visit is, pack the warmest clothes for the season. If you are going to a warm country, pack one warm sweater and long pants — that should be enough if the weather unexpectedly worsens or if the evenings turn out to be chilly. If you are going to a country that requires voluminous warm outerwear, follow the same principle: put on all the necessary outerwear. Opt for the outerwear that will suit the weather and that you will be able to wear on any occasion, whether it’s a long hike or an elegant event.
  3. Pack everyday clothes at the rate of 1 set for 2-3 days.
  4. Don’t take a lot of footwear: 1 pair for a special event or an official meeting, 1 pair for sports, and 1 for visiting the beach. If you are not going to attend any special events that require wearing elegant clothes, you won’t need to take any formal shoes at all.
  5. For sleeping opt for clothes that take up the smallest amount of space. Don’t opt for voluminous pajamas. We also recommend that you not take gowns, even light ones.
  6. Calculate the amount of underwear you’ll need based on the number of days you’ll be on the trip.
  7. Put gadgets, chargers, documents, and money into your hand baggage.
  8. Don’t take an umbrella if the weather forecast promises clear days without precipitation.
  9. We don’t recommend that women take long and/or voluminous dresses and skirts because they take up a lot of space too.
  10. Don’t grab “just in case” clothes.
  11. Compare the content of your suitcase with the “universal list of things” which will help you to not forget anything.
  12. Wherever you are going, make sure to opt for a capsule wardrobe — clothing items that match each other.

A 7-day beach vacation

  • When packing for a resort vacation, keep in mind that you will need 2 types of clothes: those for the beach and those not for the beach (for walks, for going out to restaurants, and for excursions).
  • Take 2 swimsuits so that you can wear the second one while the first one is drying.
  • Check whether the place you are going to provides its visitors with special beach appliances: towels, deck chairs, and sun umbrellas. If yes, you can leave extra things at home.
  • Think ahead about what beach items you’ll be using. It can be sunscreen, swim goggles, fins, inflatable swimming items like rafts.
  • If your destination has a rocky seabed or if there are a lot of sea urchins around, consider whether you’ll need water shoes.
  • As for a non-beach wardrobe, try to not take extra things. For example, a summer midi dress combined with costume jewelry and a clutch bag can be a good evening outfit that will be suitable for a dinner out.
  • Don’t take clothes that easily crease.
  • If you are going on an excursion or for a walk around the city, or if you intend to jog or visit a gym, make sure to grab summer sneakers. They take up quite a lot of space that’s why it may be a good idea to put them on when starting a trip.
  • Don’t take too many accessories, but keep in mind that you’ll likely need headwear, a beach bag, and a clutch bag for dinners.

A 7-day city vacation trip

  • If you are going on a summer tourist trip that will take place far from the beach — in the city, packing up will be even easier because you can take fewer clothes.
  • Prepare 2 options for outerwear — a light blazer and a cardigan. They will come in handy in case of the rain or in the evening when the weather can become chilly.
  • Together with these, you can take one skirt and one pair of pants if you are used to wearing both of the options.
  • If you are not used to wearing skirts in your everyday life then this trip is definitely not the best time to change your habits. Opt for the clothes you feel most comfortable in.
  • If you choose the number of items of clothing at the rate of 1 set for 2-3 days, and mix and match these things between each other, you will be able to look different every day during your trip.
  • Universal things like white sneakers will make it unnecessary to take extra shoes.
  • Costume jewelry won’t take up too much space that’s why you can take 2-3 sets of these accessories and complement various looks with them. A headscarf or a head kerchief can be used for this function as well.

A 2-day tourist trip around the city

  • You definitely don’t need to take a suitcase for a 2-day trip. A backpack will suffice in any season.
  • Provided you put on all the outerwear on yourself (whether it’s a hoodie, a trench coat, or an ordinary coat), you’ll need to pack one set of clothes (like a dress or an extra T-shirt), one set of underwear, and the minimum of cosmetics and hygiene items.
  • By the way, it’s good if you clarify whether the hotel you are going to stay at provides shower accessories and a toothbrush. Usually, good hotels provide them.
  • Don’t forget about your phone, the charger, documents, money, a mask, and antiseptic, and you are ready to hit the road.
  • Opt for the footwear you’re sure you’ll be comfortable in. Don’t go on a trip wearing a new pair of sneakers that could cause your feet to be sore.
  • Take a backpack that will suit any occasion. A leather city backpack, for example, can be both functional and stylish.
  • If rains are expected during the trip, an umbrella can become a stylish addition to the overall look. By the way, in this case, make sure to go for waterproof shoes.

A 4-day winter business trip to another city

  • A business trip normally obliges a person to look more refined. But if the dress code doesn’t require things like suits, we recommend that you go for a business-casual style. It will allow you to combine your working and everyday wardrobe without any difficulties.
  • If it’s winter outside, make sure to grab a warm sweater which you’ll be able to wear under a blazer in case of very cold weather.
  • Opt for pants without a crease and made of dense fabric — they preserve their fresh look longer.
  • Complement the look with accessories like a tie, a bowtie, or a belt.
  • If the dress code allows it, don’t take a white shirt with you — you should opt for a not so easily soiled color or print.
  • Don’t forget to take something comfortable like a T-shirt, which can always be worn under a sweater or under a shirt if it’s too cold outside or which you’ll be able to wear to sleep in.
  • Make sure to take official shoes for meetings. Winter shoes can look unkempt because of the dirt outside. Moreover, wearing warm boots inside is not very comfortable.
  • Mix and match your clothes depending on the occasion.

A 2-week vacation

  • There’s a rule you can follow for a 2-week vacation: the 1-2-3-4-5-6 rule. You’ll need to pack 1 hat, 2 pairs of shoes, 3 bottoms, 4 tops, 5 pairs of socks, and lastly, 6 pairs of underwear (plus a bra for women).
  • Additionally, a poncho will also come in handy for rainy days, and it’ll even cover your backpack when needed.
  • Pack one sarong. It can be used as a towel, a picnic blanket, or even a skirt.
  • A bandana might also be useful to protect your head or your neck. If needed, it can become either a sleeping or smog mask.
  • It’s important to think of what use you can get out of your clothes. If one piece can work double duty, the fewer clothes you have to pack. In that case, you could, for example, pack a pair of shorts that you can either hike or swim in or even walk around town with.
  • Your boots should also serve a double purpose, like for hiking and sightseeing, for instance. If you need a lighter, cooler pair of shoes, you can always just wear a pair of sandals.

How to pack things and not forget anything

  • Do not forget about little things like tweezers, a razor, deodorant, a comb, and headphones.
  • Put underwear, clothes, sleepwear, a cosmetic bag with essentials: a toothbrush, toothpaste, and personal hygiene products in the suitcase that you will check as drop-off luggage. Also put shoes, sharp objects (like nail scissors), and chargers for gadgets in the carry-on suitcase.
  • The first aid kit should be put in the drop-off baggage as well. If you are traveling inside your country, don’t take any medicine just in case — you should only take the one that you take regularly or the medicine that will help with the exacerbation of chronic diseases. If needed, the medicine can always be bought.
  • If you are going abroad, you’d better take a more robust first aid kit because medicine in other countries can have different names and oftentimes you won’t be able to buy it without a prescription from a doctor.
  • Put gadgets (your telephone, notebook, e-book, headphones, and other things of this nature), documents, tickets, money, a small umbrella, a mask, and antiseptic into your carry-on luggage.
Please note: This article was updated in November 2021 to correct source material and factual inaccuracies.
5-Minute Crafts/Travel/How to Travel Light
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