When traveling for business or pleasure, it’s best to pack light, even if it is for an extended stay. When you pack everything into a carry-on, not only do you not have to pay additional/overweight baggage feeds, but you won’t have to worry about lost luggage and the hassle of filling out baggage claim forms. You’ll also save time checking in, and upon arrival, you can sail out of the airport, while everyone else from your flight waits at the carousel.
- Choose lightweight luggage. Many airlines have maximum weight limits to carry on bags. The less your luggage weighs, the more you can pack in it.
- Pack clothing that is easy to care for and avoid wrinkling. Look for quick drying fabrics in case you do some sink laundry. Many companies make stylish, synthetic clothing options made especially for travelers. Avoid bringing silks and any items that are labeled ‘dry clean only.’
- Don’t fold your clothing, roll it. Rolling clothes saves space in your luggage, allowing you to bring more, and this method of packing helps to prevent wrinkles.
- Stick to neutral colors. Pack clothes that are white/cream, grey, black and or navy in color. Keeping a neutral palate will allow you to easily mix and match your tops and bottoms creating additional outfit options. Each piece should go with at least two other clothing items.
- Layer up on lightweight fabrics. Pack light pieces of clothing that can be layered or shed depending to keep you cool or warm. If you’re away for an extended stay, the weather can change pretty dramatically. An undershirt, shirt and lightweight cardigan worn together can take the place of (and provide the same amount of warmth) as one bulky sweater in your luggage.
- Bring minimal footwear. Shoes quickly add weight and bulk to suitcases. Travel light by picking basic shoes that will go with everything. One pair of casual shoes and one pair of dress shoes or heels will get you through most situations.
- Change up your looks with accessories. Jewelry can quickly jazz up the look of an outfit, taking you from day to night, and it takes up minimal space in your suitcase. For men, it’s as easy as bringing a few different ties, and pocket squares for your blazers.
- Skip the toiletries. If you’re away for an extended stay, chances are you’ll need more toothpaste and shampoo than what’s allowed in your carry on. Plan to stop by a pharmacy to buy what you need upon your arrival.
- Don’t pack ‘just in case’ items. If you find yourself trying to justify bringing something because you might use it just in case, keep it at home. Chances are you won’t need it, and in worst case scenarios, you can always buy what you need when the situation arises.
- Choose accommodations that have on site laundry. If you stay at a location that has laundry facilities, it can really extended the length of time you can live out of the clothes in your suitcase. To save money, avoid guest laundry services that charge per piece and instead look for self-service laundry options.
If you’re used to traveling with a lot of luggage, it may take a few trips to get used to packing light, but before too long you’ll be a convert!