Gone are the travel days when I stumbled around the airport with two large suitcases and a carry on in tow. I remember vividly the very last time I traveled heavy. It was an absolute nightmare. I went to New York then to Toronto to visit a friend. There was a little shopping (ok maybe more than a little) and I managed to stuff two overweight large suitcases and a carry on.
Being a solo traveler, I had to maneuver all these bags through the airport, alone. Customs wanted to see everything at every point and so I had to unzip and repack each bag. The carry on’s pulling handle broke, so I had to lift it and one of the checked bags burst open when the taxi driver took it from the car to my doorway. Suffice to say, I left these bags untouched for weeks as a result of my absolute trauma! Never again! Travel shouldn’t be so hard!
Since then, I have traveled with only a carry on. There’s no lost luggage, no waiting to collect, no excess searching at customs and most importantly, no load. We went to France for our honeymoon and we both traveled with only a carry on and a personal item each. These bags included a wedding dress, his suit, our wedding shoes, a bridal bouquet and everything else we needed four our 10 day trip. This was also in early spring, so we had clothes that had some body to them. Here’s how to do it.
- Be mindful of your airlines baggage regulations and stick to that. My carry on was a little bigger than usual so I got a lot of raised eyebrows and twisted mouths before they let me through.
- Use a bag that you are comfortable with. One of our bags was a duffel and even though lightweight, it was a task to lift and carry around everywhere. We vouch to use only wheeled bags from now on out.
- Make a list of everything you need. My lists are split into electronics, clothes and shoes, toiletries, miscellaneous items and important documents(passport, immunization cards etc).
- Plan outfits and not pieces. This was my main problem in the past. This time, I packed items that would match with each other. I’m a neutral kinda girl, so that was easy for me.
- Roll, don’t fold. This saves space and eases up on wrinkling. You can squeeze more items in if needed this way.
- Wear your bulky pieces on the flight. We had light jackets, jeans and heavier shoes, which we wore on the flight. These take up a lot of space and makes the bag heavier.
- Pack very little toiletries. We went with travel sized toothpaste and I transferred my skin lotion, hair products and skincare items to travel sized bottles. Only because I wasn’t sure I’d get them over there. Things like shampoo and body-wash, we either bought at our destination or we used the hotels’.
- Keep important documents and electronics in your personal item if you can. It always feel more secure and easier to access when on the plane.
- Whatever you don’t need, don’t bring. Bulky cameras, laptops, books, etc. I always make the mistake of walking with books because I’m sure I’m going to read. I never do. If you can, walk with your tablet or e-reader.
- Pack for one week, regardless of how long you’re staying. This may sound absurd but if you pack right, and your clothes match, you’d be fine. You can almost always find a laundry service. To be safe, walk with or purchase laundry detergent and you’d be fine.
Be a minimalist
- Carry multipurpose items (I used a scarf as a head-wrap and vice versa). Ease up on the accessories, the makeup and the ‘just in case’ items. You hardly ever need it and if you do, you can almost always get it (or something similar) where you’re going.
And there you have it. Less wait times, less worry and less expense. What better way to start and end your trip?
Are you a minimal packer? What tips do you have?
Thanks for stopping by!
Published: September 25, 2017 9:30 AM