Tips for Packing Smart and Light for Your Vacation

Everyone hates packing for vacation because they worry they are taking too much or leaving something important at home. The truth is that most people over pack for vacations and can really do with far less. Most people only use a small percentage of the items that they pack for vacation.

If you learn to pack in one suitcase plus a carry-on, you can:

  • Save money on airline luggage fees
  • Carry your own bags which is quacking and less expensive than tipping porters
  • Move through airport security quicker and easier
  • Keep up with your bags easier if you need to change locations
  • Limit your purchases and save money because you will not have room to bring anything home with you

Learning to pack in only one suitcase plus a carry-on is a skill that you can learn if you are willing to spend a little more time considering what you need to take on vacation and how you can pack those things effectively. The first thing you must do is make a list of everything that you think you will need on your vacation. Spend a few days reviewing and revising the list before you actually pack your suitcase. When you are ready to pack, spread everything on your list out on your bed and then cut out what you do not need (yes, there will be thins on your list that you can do without).

Scrutinize every item and ask yourself if you will use that item or if you can do without that item while on vacation. For example, you may have four pair of shoes but if you look at the clothes that you are taking, you really only need two pairs of shoes.

Some other things you can do to cut down on what you pack for vacation include:

  • Pack only enough toiletries for the time you will be on vacation. Use travel size containers to carry lotion and other toiletries rather than packing the full size container.
  • Instead of packing your shampoo and conditioner, use the hotel’s complimentary shampoo and conditioner.
  • Avoid packing for the worst-case scenario. You can purchase items such as toiletries, Band-Aids and pain medicine only if you need them.
  • Pack your carry-on bag wisely. Pack toiletries, underwear, makeup and other small items in your carry-on to save room in your suitcase for larger items.
  • Using packing cubes or airless bags to compress clothing before putting it in your suitcase will increase the number of items that you can pack in one suitcase. Most packing cubes work with a standard hair dryer, which is available in most hotel rooms.
  • Choose clothing that can be mixed and matched to create several different outfits rather than packing a different outfit for each day. Choose shoes that go with everything.
  • If you are traveling with children, have them carry a small backpack with a few items to keep them entertained as well as their own personal items. Combine children’s clothing into one large suitcase rather than packing a separate suitcase for each child.

Packing in one suitcase has one other advantage – unpacking when you return home is much easier and faster!