5 Expert Tips for Packing Light–Every Time!

Everyone who travels–whether near or far–wants to pack light. Veterans already have a system, but newbies would most likely just pack everything they THINK they need, and more. Even the kitchen sink.

If you are a seasoned traveler or someone who is just starting to explore the world, you’ll most likely appreciate some expert tips on how to pack light. After all, you can only get better.

Tip #1: Use the Pareto Principle or 80/20 Principle

The principle states that you should plan on bringing what you wear on an average day with the mindset that you can’t possibly bring clothes for every situation.

Applying the 80/20 rule means 80% of what you wear during the trip should only comprise 20% of what you pack. These items should be made up of the basic wardrobe you use over and over at home.

For the rest of your needs, you can buy (read: shopping!) or borrow. Think about all the extra items you’ve brought if the scenarios  that you thought of never happened. This way, you’ll even have more space for new items and souvenirs.


Tip #2: Go for Layers Over Bulk

The key to packing light for multiple weather is layering.  A cotton shirt perfect for warm weather can serve as a primary layer for colder areas in the globe. Thin layers will take up less space in your luggage as well as weight.

Keep the heavy layers to a minimum and just keep changing your base layer. Also, carry your jacket on the plane to save space in your suitcase.

Tip #3: Wear Your Heaviest Pair of Shoes

Thinking of what shoes to go with what outfit can sometimes be a dilemma, especially if you’re a woman. And the reason why many people can’t pack light. They’d need specific type of shoes for certain outfits.

If you’re having a hard time, then follow these simple rules for packing shoes.

  • Bring at the maximum, 2 pairs of shoes including the ones you’re wearing for the trip. Again, you can always buy new ones.
  • Wear the heavier, bulkier shoes (sneakers or boots) and pack the lighter pair (flats or sandals) in your luggage.
  • Make sure that your shoes go with any outfit in your suitcase.

Tip #4: Pack Versatile Clothes

Choose clothing items that can be used for either dressing up or down, such as comfortable loose plain slacks or neutral-colored flats. Another great item is a sarong, which can be used as a cover up on the beach, a hobo-style bag, or a blanket in cold weather countries.

Also, bring separates that can be used multiple times with other pieces of your wardrobe. This can be done by sticking to a simple color palette, so everything should easily match.


Tip #5: Bring Only a Week of Clothes

Most experts say that a week’s worth of clothes is all you need to pack even on long trips. The trick is to do laundry in between weeks. If you think about it, paying for laundry will be cheaper than paying for excess baggage.

Now, go pack that suitcase using our tips from the pros. It’s a challenge, but it’s going to be worth it when you find yourself breezing through security checkpoints or between transfers.