A Short Guide to Traveling Light: 5 Rules to Help You Pack Less

published Aug 11, 2016
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(Image credit: Jacqueline Marque)

The best rehab for an overpacker is a strict set of rules. They’re a little tough and ruthless, don’t get me wrong, but I promise there’s an inverse relationship between how little you can pack and how much fun you’ll have.

One Top Per Day

Mix it up with tees, blouses and tanks, but limit yourself to packing only one per day of the trip. You can still switch it up between pieces from day to night, just give your things time to breathe in between.

Two Bottoms for Every 5 Days of Travel

Packing two bottoms gives you the flexibility to have a short option and a long option, if your destination requires (or double up if it’s set to be warm or cool). As long as they’re versatile—and don’t stand out too much—I promise your perfect pair will last the whole trip.

Go One-of-a-Kind with Outerwear

You’ve likely researched the weather at your destination to death, so you know what you need to pack in terms of jackets, cardigans and coats. But stick to this rule to keep it lean with bulky outerwear: Pack only one type of each layer.

Accessories fly solo

If they’re bigger than a credit card, the rule for accessories is simple: Only one. That means things like hats, scarves, sunglasses and purses should fly solo. Pick your favorite (or the one that goes with everything) and call it a day.

Two (Maybe 3) Pairs of Shoes

You can go anywhere with a sneaker and a sandal. Them’s the facts. Add a dressier closed toe shoe—to taste and only if you have the space.

Do you have any hardfast rules for packing light?

(Image credit: Lo & Sons)

Don’t want to pack less? Here are 5 bags that help you fit more:

Bottomless Pits for Over-Packers: 5 Great “Mary Poppins” Bags

Re-edited from a post originally published 8.11.2016 – TW