There are people who can pack for a month in one tiny satchel and there are people who can't restrict themselves to two suitcases for a weekend away. Most of us function somewhere in between and do the best we can to travel light. But wherever you sit on the packing scale we're almost all looking to lighten our travel load. It's faster, it's easier, it's cheaper and it's much greener, so when it comes to packing light every tip is worth knowing.
1. Only take essential toiletries. Obviously essential means different things to different travelers but be firm with yourself: do you really need your full makeup bag or can you get by with just two basics? Try to restrict yourself to one small transparent toiletries bag (I like mesh zip bags), bring your own refillable travel sized shampoo and conditioner, some sunscreen, a comb and other must haves. If it fills more than one pocket, you might need to try again.
2. Pack for occasions, not days. Instead of thinking 'I'm going for 14 days' think 'i'm going for walking days, swimming days, dinner night and relaxation days. That way you don't need 14 outfits, you need something to wear for 4 occasions.
3. Take a sarong instead of a towel. Towels are really bulky. If I'm going somewhere I'll be swimming chances are a sarong is going to do the job of a towel and take up much less space.
4. Pack lightweight clothes that can be layered and matched easily. Instead of bringing a pair of jeans and a pair of winter pants, try bringing a pair of jeans and tights. You can wear them under jeans if it's colder or under a skirt if it gets cooler. Instead of a thick jumper bring a long sleeved shirts that you can wear by itself or under other shirts.
5. Limit yourself to two pairs of shoes. This might sound like a bit of a stretch for some people but it can be done. Canvas sneakers and thongs or sandals and heels. What you bring will depend on what you're doing, but if you're smart about it you can make it work and if you're sneaky you don't have to count the shoes you wear on the first day.
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(Image: Sarah Starkey)