Travelling light is liberating. Unencumbered by luggage, you’re free to be spontaneous. Riding on public transport becomes a joy. Hopping from place to place requires little effort. Checking into hotels is a cinch – no more waiting for the bellboy to arrive with the bag trolley hours after you did and no spending hours unpacking. Of course, you can invest in luggage transportation services and private butlers, but wouldn’t you rather spend that money on making memories? So how do you ensure you have everything you need when your possessions are pared down to fit in the smallest of holdalls? Here are our tips for travelling light.
Make your wardrobe work extra hard
When it comes to clothes, smart packing is crucial. Before you set out, think carefully about what you need and what’s superfluous to requirements. Lay everything out the day before you’re due to travel and then aim to put away around half of what you thought you’d take. Plan a capsule wardrobe where each piece not only coordinates in terms of colour, but is sufficiently versatile to work for different occasions. Before you pack it, ask yourself can it be dressed up and dressed down? Blend neutral colours with a few choice accessories that will make you feel like you’re wearing a whole new outfit – even when you’re not.
Plan to do laundry while you’re away
Unless you’re moving from place to place every single day, you should plan to do some washing. Though it will cost more, utilising the hotel’s laundry service is the most convenient. Where separate charges are made for pressing, ask housekeeping to bring an iron to your room. Alternatively, seek out a local launderette. Most will offer a service wash, meaning you won’t have to spend your precious vacation time waiting for the machine to finish. If you’re travelling with an airline which charges an additional fee for hold luggage, you could find that packing fewer clothes and paying to get them laundered actually works out less expensive.
Utilise packing techniques
Utilise space saving packing techniques and you’ll be astonished at how much more you can fit into your luggage. Opt for a bag with multiple compartments – or create your own using packing cubes. Roll sweaters and T-shirts to minimise creasing. Tuck small items such as socks into shoes. Make use of lightweight canvas bags to ensure that during your trip, dirty washing can be kept separate from clean. Don’t fill every inch of space on the outbound leg – you’ll find it harder to pack worn clothes as tightly.
Decant travel toiletries
Decanting your shampoo and shower gel into travel-size bottles makes a lot of sense. Not only will you save the space, you’ll save the weight as well. Consider whether you need to pack them at all – most hotels supply decent toiletries which you can use instead. Failing that, if you’re based in one place, you could simply buy them when you get there. It can be fun to shop in a new place. Don’t be tempted to leave behind essential medical items, however. It can be hard to find items such as specialist medicines, mosquito repellent and high factor sunscreen, so buy those at home and take them with you.
Don’t overdo it on the electrical items
There’s no need to pack a hairdryer or straighteners. Even if there’s not one in your room, most hotels will loan a hairdryer if you ask. Tie long hair up or opt for a wash and go cut before you leave. Similarly, make your gadgets multi-task. There’s no need for a Kindle if your tablet has the app, for instance, and your phone can double as your camera – and even as a sat nav if you plan to rent a car. One travel adaptor will suffice if you’re organised when it comes to charging your devices.