Pack light

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You shouldn’t have to lose sleep over packing for a vacation.

You’ve booked yourself to an exotic destination and your mind is kept in sweet anticipation of the trip to come. You start counting down to the vacation and finally on the day before the trip, you’ve realised that you have forgotten to pack! This may seem like an extreme and horrible scenario but some of us have had experienced packing our luggage at the eleventh hour, and we have to agree that it is no fun. Last-minute packing has some undesirable consequences, one of which is under-packing; a few of us might have encountered missing out on packing some important items for our trips before. They could be crucial work documents or maybe medicine that we forgot to put in our suitcases and hence have suffered for it as a result.

Packing at the eleventh hour could contribute to over-packing too. It’s not easy lugging around a heavy suitcase with things you barely need especially at places without access to lifts or escalator. We shouldn’t have to struggle with luggage issues when we are on holiday. This should be the last thing on our mind. Packing light can help us stay mobile and is also easy on our shoulders and backs. How do we pack lighter for our next trip?

Check the item that goes into luggage

Keeping a checklist is the first step towards retaining your sanity when it comes to packing. There are just so many things to pack and if you don’t keep a list of what goes in and out of that suitcase, you can take a longer time to get the packing done. A checklist can be modified according to purpose, place, and climate. Draft up a list of the things you would require. Then look at the list again to cut items down to necessities. Preparation of checklist should be done way before the trip. There are many perks to having a checklist. For one, it makes you less anxious. Also, you’d be more confident with having packed more thoroughly for your holiday, enabling you to fully enjoy your trip in peace.

Start packing

Depending on the extent of your holiday, you may start parking a few days to a week before the trip. Open up your luggage and start to toss in things you’d require. Also start to place items that you recalled that are in the checklist you’ve made previously. When you’re ready, get your checklist printed out and start checking items off the paper as you pack. Packing early gives you time to organise your packing much better. Don’t leave the packing to hours before the trip.

Keep the colours muted

Neutral-hued clothing pieces are easy to match with one another. Besides, you can also easily get away with wearing the same blouse pattern during the entire trip without raising undue attention. A fiery red blouse will, on the other hand, raise attention, all the more if you wear them twice or thrice in a row. Not that nice if you’re travelling with many others in a group tour.

Launder clothes along the way

Aim to do some laundry at the hotel or apartment you’re staying to save on packing space. This can help you save more luggage space, allowing more space for souvenirs or purchases you’re planning to make. Bottle up detergent or get them at supermarkets at your holiday destination. Use and dispose them on the last day of your trip. You may consider getting disposable underwear too. They may not wear too well and cannot be compared to your cotton favourites but they are still hassle-free, worthy considerations.

Roll your way home

Roll up clothing to save on space. Fold clothing that is crinkle-heavy instead. You’d be surprised with the extra space that is saved. Have fragile items somehow? Layer them between rolls of clothing. That will help to shield them a bit from knocks and breakage.

Compress is the way

Get a couple of compressor bags to store your clothing, clean or unclean. These bags can be really handy especially when you’re crammed for space with the amount of shopping you’ve done.

Size down your toiletries

This is the time to carry smaller, disposable bottles of everything. You might consider ditching your shampoo or shower gel and use the ones at the hotel instead. Or purchase them when you arrive. And be sure to dispose them on your last day of trip. If you travel with a friend, share the load. Discuss beforehand who brings what to take the weight off your luggage.


Get products that have multi-functions for the trip. Take just one cream for the entire face to moisturise the eye area, neck, face; and that functions as a UV protector at the same time. Or pare down the amount of makeup you need. Just put on some loose powder and keep it minimal. Better still, stay make-up free for the entire trip. Okay, maybe pack a lippie at least, to stay sane.

Organise & organise

We probably don’t give much thought to organising our suitcase but packing things that belong together for example can ease our anxiety when we need to locate them. We can pack similar things together in reusable Ziploc bags. Similar items like contact lenses, eye drops, and eye masks can be packed together for the ease of locating them. You might like to get your hands on those multi-tasking organiser bags that house toiletries or little personal use items like nail clippers among others.

Substitute heavy items for lighter ones

Instead of a jacket which is heavier and bulkier, bring a shawl or pashmina instead. You can have many uses for the shawl; besides covering from the cold, you can also cover up with it when you sleep. And if you’re travelling to cold countries, consider getting jackets that pack lightly such as Uniqlo down jackets that are so versatile to dress as well as so easy to pack. You just need to roll the jacket into their fabric sleeves and you are off to go.

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