Overpacked? 7 Ways to Pack Lighter

Are You a Chronic Overpacker?

Packing too much is a common mistake that many travelers make. It’s easy to keep adding things to your luggage as you keep telling yourself, “I might need this.”

However, taking a ridiculously overpacked suitcase with you everywhere is a real pain. It will be awkward and heavy to carry, the suitcase will be more likely to rip or break and you will make yourself miserable every time you have to wrestle with it when you are on the go.

Also, when your suitcase is overweight you might be shocked by how much you end up paying in fees at the airport. If your overpacked suitcase needs to lose some weight, here are a few things that you can do to master packing light.

1. Mix and Match

Take a look at all of the clothing that you are bringing with you. There should not be any items that can’t be worn with at least two or three other items. For example, if you bring a pair of pants they should match with at least two or three of the shirts you have brought. If not, leave them at home.

The more your items mix and match the more outfits you will be able to make out of fewer clothes and the more easily you can accomplish traveling light!

2. Figure Out What’s Already There

Most hotels will offer towels, soaps, shampoos and hair dryers, so there is no need to bring your own. Even some hostels will provide you with these items (but not always, so call ahead and check).

3. Don’t Take More Than One of Each Clothing Item

Make a list of things to pack but be sure to take only one pair of jeans, one hoodie, one jacket, etc. You can wash and re-wear them and you will lighten your load considerably. If the item rips, you can always buy a new pair of jeans or another hoodie at your destination.

4. Go for Lightweight Fabrics

Your travel clothes should be made of lightweight fabrics that are easy to wash and don’t require ironing or dry cleaning. Avoid bulky fabrics and go for thinner options that you can layer over each other to keep warm.

5. Pack a Tablet Rather Than a Computer

Unless you need to get work done on the road, a tablet can be a much more convenient, lightweight solution for your electronic needs. You can still surf the web, check your email, update your social media accounts and much more with a tablet.

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6. Ladies – Go with a Natural Look

If you bring along a hair dryer, straightener, curling iron and other beauty items with you on your trip you can really add a lot of weight to your bag. Instead, consider a few hairstyles that work with the natural texture of your hair. You just might discover a chic new look!

If you are really serious about traveling light, the same goes with makeup. You don’t need to bring five shades of eye shadow and six colors of lipstick. Choose one basic makeup look that you can wear in a variety of settings and then bring just one item that will glam things up for going out at night, such as eyeliner or lipstick.

7. Don’t Pack a Guidebook

Here’s a secret — you don’t need to bring that Lonely Planet or Frommer’s with you. A guide book is helpful when you are planning your trip, but it will take up a lot of room in your backpack and all of the information inside it can be found online.

Any travel info you need can be quickly looked up on your tablet or smartphone at an internet cafe or at your hotel or hostel. Or, simply ask locals or other travelers for info when you get there.

These are just a few tips on how to pack light. Carrying a huge backpack or suitcase while you travel is not only painful for your back, but it will also cause you a lot of hassle and cost you more in excess baggage fees.

When you can pack lighter you reduce your stress and enjoy your travels more — so why not see how much weight your backpack can lose?

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