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How to Travel Light

With ever-increasing baggage fees by airline companies, most travelers are trying to pack lighter Most airline companies now only allow one suitcase and if you’re traveling with a low-cost airline, you may get charged you for your first one too.

The first step in contributing to a lower weight is selecting the right luggage. I always travel with a backpack for various reasons. First, it weighs less than most luggage and can fit much more items in it. Secondly, it’s easy to lug around, whether I’m walking on cobble stone streets in Europe or hiking up a mountain in South America. If you prefer traveling with a regular luggage, that’s ok too. That means we’ll have to find other ways to maximize your space.


  1. Pack clothes you know you will absolutely need, not you think you may need. There’s no need to overpack just in case you may want to wear it. If you may need an item, you can always buy it when you’re there. And… you can always do laundry when traveling. So there is no need to bring extras.
  2. Pack old clothes so you won’t feel bad replacing them with new ones. Let’s face it, most of us will shop while traveling so why not give away your old clothes and use that extra space for some new items?
  3. Pack the right colors. Darker clothes don’t seem as dirty or wrinkly than lighter colors. That means you can wear them more often without worrying about it too much.
  4. Pack more tops than bottoms. You can easily wear bottoms multiple times without anyone noticing it if you have different top styles.
  5. Pack lightweight synthetic clothing and avoid cotton. Cotton clothing takes up more space and takes longer to dry. If you’re going to a colder climate, bring layers!


  1. Bring what you need, based on the type of trip you’re taking. If you’re visiting mainly cities, you can pack a pair of comfortable running shoes for walking and jogging and a pair of dressy shoes for going out.
  2. If you’re planning to hike, consider bringing hiking shoes instead of boots. It will take up less space in your luggage and you can wear them for walking too.

Other Items:

  1. If you plan on staying at a hotel, there is no need to bring an entire shampoo bottle. Most hotels do supply shampoo and soap. If you’re staying at a hostel, consider bringing enough to get you started. You can always buy whatever you need once you’re there.
  2. Unless you need to be connected to the world. avoid lugging electronic items. If you absolutely want to bring your laptop, consider packing a tablet instead. Or is a smart phone enough for your needs? Keep in mind that most hotels and hostels do have computers and internet connection.
  3. Pack an extra bag in your backpack for when you need extra space on your way back. You can use it as a carry on or personal item on the place.

Hope this helps you next time you’re struggling to pack! It’s important to pack wisely. It will save you money and give you an extra reason to shop!

About The Author

Tanya is an adventurous person who most enjoys the cultural aspect of traveling. She traveled to North, Central and South America, Europe, Africa and Europe. When she's not hiking mountains, she spends her time visiting local schools or families. It's a nice break from the 9-5 corporate life.

Number of Entries : 243

Comments (1)

  • betty

    Some good tips. Thx. I have a convertible pack/sack with both a shoulder strap and backpack straps, Osprey Porter 46. If something doesn’t fit, I don’t take it. Last trip was a month in Greece. Pack is small enough for carry on, and I use a Jansport messenger bag for small things. Problem with carryon: can’t carry my Swiss Army knife, so I check bag when it’s free.

    Only suggestion that I disagree with is to pack synthetic fabrics, unless they’re rayon. I have almost all cotton tops, but they’re almost sheer knit cotton, and gauze. I carry two pareos to wear, sleep on, use on the beach, as a towel; warm in winter, cool in summer.

    Pack ahead of time. When you’re ready to leave, toss half of it. Things I can’t travel without: Pareos, compass, portable shortwave, iPod Touch, Nokia smart phone, two small surf rider air mattresses [for sleeping in airports, beach, outdoor theater with stone seats], a few small items to trade, cards with my email address and photo. IMPORTANT : carry copies of passport, license; post credit card and ID info on secure site on Internet.

    Hope this helps. Been traveling light for over 30 years.


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