As states across the United States and countries across the world start to open up, people are salivating at the idea of getting back on a plane to their next destination.
These days, it costs a lot of money to check bags on a flight — even just one bag. Check two or more, and you can easily start racking up fees that are half the price of a plane ticket. Not sure what this will be like post pandemic, but I cannot imagine it will be much cheaper.
And if you are traveling internationally you will find that huge suitcase on wheels that rolls effortlessly through airport hallways suddenly becomes a major hassle and backache on uneven, narrow sidewalks, in tiny taxi cabs, or in utterly charming 17th-century hotels with no working elevators.
I know…..I know……sometimes it’s tough to break the over-packing habit but its possible. I have become the master at traveling with just a carry on regardless of the number of days I am traveling. My only challenge in this area has been when traveling to colder weather climates but I am working on it.
Recently I shared five ideas, ranging from easy-peasy to unconventional, that can save you money and help you travel lighter.
1. Always think “multi-use.”
In order to achieve this I pack with a color palette in mind. Yes, I know it seems a bit cheesy but it helps to keep me from packing one-offs or clothing I won't end up wearing. It’s tempting sometimes to just pack that one extra sweater because it’s so great. But are you going to wear that sweater more than once? Does it go with the pants you’ve packed, or the skirts? Does it work with the shoes you’re bringing? What inevitably happens is that you wind up packing other things to go with that one extra thing — and that’s how over-packing starts.
If you stay within a color scheme everything you wear now works with each other. Make a list. Find tops, bottoms, and shoes that are versatile and that you can easily mix, match, and layer. Accessorize with light, easy-to-pack things: scarves, neckties, fabric belts.
Here is an example of this approach from when Miguel and I went to Scotland! Everything I packed was green, pink, black or white. I was able to travel through Scotland with only a carry on making moving around the various cities and traveling on a puddle jumper much more manageable. And not to toot my own horn but I think I still looked cute ?
2. Ladies Always Consider Rompers
I am the queen of one-piece outfits and/or dresses. They are easy to pack, and I don’t have to think at all about what bottom or top I am going to wear together. Combine with some cute accessories and some comfortable sneakers, booties or sandals and voila......you are on your way to taking some amazing Instagram worthy pictures.
Check out one of my rompers and a dress I got on Amazon. Yes, Amazon!! I take them on almost every trip and receive compliments on it everywhere I go. It comes in a variety of colors and patterns.
Here I am wearing my romper in the desert of Peru! And the dress in Instanbul!
3. If you must bring bulky things, don’t pack them — wear them
While this can be an admittedly uncomfortable option if you’re traveling between two very different climates — it still is easier than over-packing for one outfit. The bulky jacket, the long sweater, men’s dress shoes, the knee-high boots, the shoes with chunky heels, the big purse, the hiking boots — these are great candidates for wearing rather than packing. They take up a lot of room in a suitcase, they’re unusually heavy, and they’re not worth the extra heft and money.
Another option to hefty coats are down feather jackets or vests that you can fold into itself, compress and pack into your suitcase or in your hand baggage. They literally take up no space. Now a days they are extremely fashionable, affordable and will keep you as warm as that chunky winter jacket. Looking for some options? Here are two jackets I own.
Men you may want to consider these options. Miguel’s own both os these and loves them.
4. Roll Your Clothing Or Use Compression Bags.
Perhaps, your go-to packing method involves haphazardly shoving clothes and shoes into your luggage and sitting on top of your suitcase to make it close? I know a few people who pack this way. It’s quite comical to watch.
I, my friends, am more of a roll your clothes type of person. I do believe it creates more space and allows me to pack just a tad bit more. This form of packing will also help reduce wrinkles.
However, some folks swear by compression bags. While I haven’t fallen head over heels in love with them, I can see their value. Packing cubes help organize your outfits, compress your clothes, and let you isolate dirty clothes from clean ones.
If you want to give the compression bags a try here are some I would recommend:
5. Use technology to your advantage.
You likely know that you can bring a library’s worth of books and magazines on an e-reader or iPad. But a tablet can also house handy travel apps that can make your trip more efficient and can store vital information. For example, you can scan copies of your driver’s license, passport, or credit cards and securely email those images to yourself, for easy access in case they are lost or stolen. There are apps for reservation and flight information, train schedules, best gas prices in your area, best food where you’ll be staying — all right at your fingertips, which can save you the weight and hassle of hard-copy documents and folders.
Finally, before you pack, you can check out a site like Clothes Forecast which allows you to check the forecast of your destination and can help you plan what to pack based on the temperature and conditions that might await you upon arrival.
So there you go!! I hope these five tips have been helpful and you are looking forward to the challenge of just flying with your carry-on during your next adventure.