Top 10 Travel Tips: Packing Light

Like most travel enthusiasts, I’m a big believer that packing light is a large proponent to an almost stress-free trip. As a classic “type-A” I like to ease my overbearing tendencies by controlling the only aspect of a trip I know I can be 90% successful in – the packing stage. Today, I’m going to be sharing my top tips for packing light. I hope you find it beneficial!


Tip 1: Pick your luggage. I have 3 luggage’s that I turn to while traveling. The luggage I pick depends on the duration of the stay and how active I’m going to be while on the move. Find what fits best for your personality, remember while traveling less is more.

  • The first is my Herschel Retreat backpack from here. [left] I love this backpack, since it fits a 15″ laptop and fits way more than you think. The interior is a fun striped red pattern on the inside and is a drawstring with magnetic closures. It’s great for camping weekends as you can sling it on your back or a great option for a carry-on.
  • The second is a carry-on suitcase [middle], while I’m not the biggest fan of the soft shell covering, I almost exclusively pack with a carry-on sized suitcase. I’m not a fan of paying at minimum $20 for a check-in bag and will go at almost any length to avoid it. Besides not having to pay any extra fees and worrying about an overweight suitcase, another great reason for packing a carry-on would be to avoid it being left behind… Been there, done that… It’s not pleasant.
  • My last pick is my Vera Bradley weekender which you can find here.[right] I love the fun pattern, the 2 handles as well as a shoulder strap. This duffel might be called a weekender, but don’t let it fool you! I’ve managed to fit at least 2 weeks of clothing in this baby. It’s my go to road-trip staple!


Tip 2: Use a toiletry bag. There is nothing worse than getting to your destination to find that your toothpaste, or hair products have exploded in your luggage. I’ve used a clear case in the past, but am currently  using the baggallini hanging toiletry bag. While I’m not a big fan of how much space it takes in my suitcase. I love that it has 3 compartments, and a hook where I can hang it in our Airbnb or Hotel. That way, it doesn’t take up any precious counter space and is easily accessible. If you have any any suggestions for me to try I’d love to hear it!

Tip 3: Make a list. I don’t know about you, but I love making a list.While it probably seems like a typical tip from a “type-A” but I truly find it beneficial. List making began in my days as a competitive dancer. Having something visual to go off of allowed me to not over pack and ensure I had cut down on any extras that always seem to find its way into your suitcase.

Tip 4: Lay out your clothes. I don’t do this for weekend trips, but for week longs? Absolutely! Laying out your clothes allows you to figure out how to mix and match in order to maximize your wear. Remember, the goal is to wear every item in your pack. My only exception is that I like to pack 1 more underwear set than I think I need. (Especially in case a bra breaks or you unexpectedly begin your cycle. Sorry for the TMI.)

Tip 5: Pack ahead. If list making isn’t really your thing, that’s okay. Try packing 1 week prior to your trip. Pack everything you need, and leave it alone for a few days. Then, go back to your suitcase. Oftentimes you’ll find that you probably don’t need half of what you’ve packed!

Tip 6: Roll your clothes. When I was 6, I went with an aunt, uncle and cousin to Disneyland for the first time. My dad had given  me $300 for spending money and obviously as a 6 year old, I went crazy buying souvenirs. With an overabundance to pack, my aunt taught me to roll my clothes, in the end everything fit and I even had space left over!

Tip 7: Wear your bulkiest items. If your traveling toward colder climates, going on a road trip, oftentimes its always best to wear your bulkiest items while in transit. A thick coat can keep you warm in cold airplanes, or rolled into a nice pillow if you’ve forgotten yours, and most importantly saves you space. You might look a little dorky, but remember chances are you won’t see these people again.

Tip 8: Accessorize. I try to pack neutral pieces that I’ll get a lot of wear out of. I then like to accessorize in order to incorporate color. I love to bring scarves with me as they are lightweight, stylish and best of all practical!

Tip 9: Be the “bag” person. While it sounds silly, several travel enthusiasts will agree on the practicality of keeping a few plastic bags and large ziploc bags in your suitcase. They are especially handy after a day at the beach/lake and you decide to change out of your clothing. You have something handy to plop your wet clothes in. If you aren’t the constant traveler, you may not want to invest in something like packing cubes. Ziplocs, will do in a pinch. They keep your clothing organized and saves you the time and hassle of digging through your suitcase.

Tip 10: Pack snacks & an empty water bottle. We can all agree that 1) airport food and drinks are expensive; 2) having water on a long flight is extremely important. If I don’t go the extra step of cooking and packing a lunch, I like to pick-up a sandwich and snacks that travel well. Things either high in protein like cashews or kale chips. Since TSA won’t allow you to bring full sized liquids, I always pack an empty water bottle and fill it up at a water fountain. It’s especially handy for the traveler on the go.

Well, there you go! These are my top 10 travel tips!


Tip Extra: Pack a sarong. A sarong is a large cloth garment that is light weight, packs well and is very versatile. It’s something that is fairly commonplace in HI, and areas like Southeast Asia. It can be used as a fashionable swimsuit cover, both a plane blanket or beach blanket, a beach towel, and if your in the wilderness: you can hang it up on a tree to give you some privacy to use the bathroom. (Again, sorry with the TMI) I’ve even once turned it into a large bag when I’ve been at the farmers market.

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