Pack Smart & Travel Light

As my favorite travel guru, Rick Steves says “You’ll never meet a traveler who, after five trips, brags:  “Every year I pack heavier.  The measure of a good traveler is how light he or she travels.  You can’t travel heavy, happy, and cheap.  Pick two.”

For me, packing light and packing right is still a work in progress.  I haven’t honed the skill of mix and match as much as I’d like.  And shoes – walking shoes, sandals, something dressy, slippers.  I have yet to find footwear that manages to go from trail to fancy night on the town.  At least not for these tired old feet.  We walk a lot so comfortable footwear is number one.

With summer finally upon us, hubs and I are planning as much travel as we can and so I’ve been working of my packing skills and looking for tips to make the job easier.   I keep muttering under my breath …backpack and rollie…backpack and rollie…backpack and rollie. If it doesn’t fit, I don’t need it.

One bag, One carry-on.  And off we go!

Check out these fun travel and packing tips I found on the web ~

1.  Stick a dryer sheet or two in your suitcase with your clothes to keep them smelling fresh and cling free.

2.  Use a 7 day pill container to store your jewelry.  And, really, how much jewelry do your really need?  Try a fun scarf to dress up a top for the evening.

3.  Roll it.  As it turns out, rolling your clothes actually takes up less space – especially if you’re packing T-shirts, which can be rolled together a couple at a time.

4.  No matter how long your trip is, don’t pack more than a week’s worth of clothes.  You can wear most things more than once and then prepare to do laundry.  Bring a travel clothesline for hand wash or find a local laundry. (Hubs and I aired our dirty laundry through the streets of Santiago in search of the tiny lavanderia tucked in the back of a small grocery store.  Later that day we were clean, pressed and back in business)

5.  Store your loose cables and chargers in an old sunglasses case to keep everything in one place.

6.  Don’t forget your phone charger, but if you do, check the back of your hotel TV.  There’s usually a USB port.  (I didn’t know this!)

7.  Scan your passport, ID, and itinerary and email it to yourself so you have a digital copy in the event of theft or loss.

8.  Pack only garments that can be color-coordinated with everything else in your travel wardrobe.  If it doesn’t work with multiple outfits, leave it at home.

9.  Pack your suitcase only two-thirds full.  Leave room for the inevitable souvenirs and treasures you’ll pick up along the way.

10.  When in doubt, leave it out.  (my new favorite)

Happy travels.






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24 thoughts on “Pack Smart & Travel Light

  1. There is a store here in Palm Desert called “it’s in the bag” and they have a lot of great traveling hints on their site. Check it out

  2. Great tips! My daughter did #3 on her own … how did she know that at the ripe old age of 14?! Packing lightly definitely makes you think differently!

  3. Traveling light is so hard to learn! Thanks for the great tips! I have one more to add: “If you forget something, it is likely that you’ll be able to pick it up somewhere else on the road, so don’t sweat it.”

    • Exactly, Kirsten! Rick Steves also said something about being able to buy anything you needed and “if you couldn’t find what you were looking for you might ask yourself how 40 million Europeans managed without it.” Made me smile.

  4. I love reading and picking up new packing tips and yours were great. I also roll my clothes to save space and then I pack them in (my favorites!) travel compression bags. We each have three and use them in all sorts of different ways: 1)separating cold and warm weather clothes 2) clean and dirty laundry or picking out just what’s needed for a couple of nights to avoid digging through the whole suitcase. Love these!

    • Thanks for the comment about the compression bags. I keep reading about them but haven’t gone there yet. Seems like an especially good idea for puffier items like sweaters, down vests (cold weather wear).

    • I like your warm climates idea. That does make packing so much easier. When it’s cold I always try to wear the coat and bulkier things on the plane.

  5. Like you, I am still working on packing light and packing right. It is easier in the summer when clothing is light. I use many of the tips you’ve mentioned, but getting the right (i.e. not too many) combination of clothing that can be coordinated is a challenge.

    • Packing will be a work in progress for most of us Donna. Just keep traveling and figure it out as we go. Thanks for stopping by.

  6. Good tips. Didn’t know about the TV USB port either! I’ve gotten pretty good over the years at packing light, but I still dread packing. That’s why I always leave it until the last minute. I always have shoe issues! We’ve managed carry-on only for a wide variety of trips. It gets really tricky if you’ve got a variety of climates on your itinerary, but packing light is still doable.

    • Winter travel still stumps me as does changing climates. I’ll keep working at it. Thanks for leaving a comment.

  7. Great tips! I think it is much easier to pack for a summer trip. Clothes are smaller and more lightweight. I don’t bring much jewelry at all, just what I can wear on the plane. Shoes are always a challenge! Loved your post! Thanks!

    • Thank you Suzanne! We all need to learn to feel stylish with one comfortable pair of shoes. That’s the trick!

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