Packing Light Tips
Tourists have suitcases, Travelers wear backpacks.
If you have read my “African Safari Packing Guide” then you won’t see many differences in my packing list here. The reason? I pack light no matter where I am going! As I said in that post, I used to be that person who packed the biggest suitcase possible with a change of clothes for every possible reason, season and excuse. However, once I realized the beauty of packing light, I will never go back.
*I will warn you though. This is not for the faint of heart. You have to be willing to ditch your suitcase of makeup and be not be afraid to wear clothes more than once (gasp).
Here are just a few benefits to packing light:
1) You will never have to worry about lost luggage again because it stays on you at all times.
2) You won’t have to be “that tourist” that loses the battle of Suitcase vs Curb. (The curb ALWAYS wins by tipping, just accept it!)
3) You don’t have to wait forever for your luggage to arrive on the carousal and try to figure out which black suitcase with bright ribbon is yours.
4) You can stick it to those airlines and not pay their stupid checked baggage fees.
5) You won’t stick out so much in your destination as a tourist, making you less of a target.
Every packing list may be different depending on where you are going (climate pending). If you are going somewhere cold, you probably don’t have to worry about packing tank-tops and can just back warm gear. Likewise if you are going to the beach, ditch the jeans and long pants. So, take each suggestion with a grain of salt and compare it to the climate of your destination. However, if you stick to the general guidelines, it won’t matter if you need bulky sweaters or itsy bitsy, teeny weenie polka-dot bikinis.
– Maximum of 3 tops
Essentially: aim for 1 of each kind of top: Tank, Long-sleeved and short sleeved. Climate pending, you can obviously do all of the same type.
– Maximum of 3 pants/shorts
Suggestion: 1 pair of shorts,1 pair of capris, 1 pair of convertible pants (mine zipped off from pants to capris= basically 2 more bottom halves)
– 1 pullover jacket that can go with anything (I love my fleece black jacket!)
– 1 comfortable outfit for plane rides (a comfy dress/leggings combo is comfy and compact when needing to be packed later)
– 5 days worth of undergarments (you can always do laundry in the sink/shower)
– 5 pairs of socks
– 1 Swimsuit (climate pending)
– Dress that can duo both as “going out” (aka: walking around, not partying) as well as a throw-over dress for the beach (climate pending)
– Maximum 2 pairs
Think, “walking” shoe (aka tennis shoe, sneaker, hiking shoe, etc) and 1 “other” shoe (maybe that is a pair of flats that can duo as a dress shoe, sandals if it is a beach vacay or heels if it is for business or weddings)
– Travel sized shampoo, conditioner, soap, etc
– Toothbrush/ Paste
– Hair brush and other hair supplies: pony tail holders, gel, hairspray, etc
– Medicines (ones you take daily as well as ibuprofen/tylenol and vacation specific ones. AKA: nausea meds, malaria, etc)
– Glasses/ Contacts (bring 1 extra set)
– Small bag of makeup (just the essentials: foundation, mascara and liner)…sorry makeup fiends.
– Invest in one necklace/earring combo that goes with almost everything + 1-2 other pairs to switch things up
– Passport (plus a paper copy)+ ID/wallet
– Any driving directions, addresses to hotels, etc
– Outlet converters/ mini transformer converter if traveling out of country
– Tablet, Ipad or computer
– Mp3 player
– Camera with backup memory cards
– Travel laundry soap (for sink laundry) + a string or traveling laundry line (If it is Rick approved, you know I love it! Here is the one we use)
– Credit Card + backup card (Call ahead to let them know you will be traveling)
* Why so few unmentionables, socks and clothes? You can always do sink/shower laundry every few days. Your hotel made may have to see your leopard undies, but who cares?
* While many fashionistas would probably roll their eyes at not only my traveling outfits but also my general wardrobe, I am not traveling to look like a runway model; I travel because I love traveling (and with that may come some goofy outfits). I usually tend to do solid coloring clothing making it easy to mix and match what I have for more outfit options or just choose pieces that can go with several options.
* We personally don’t do many souvenirs (takes up too much space and costs additional money). I love photography, so those usually serve as a physical reminder of our memories. However, if you know that you will be buying a few items, bring something like a reusable grocery sack that can start in your bag and then later be used as a carry-on with your goodies.
Not sure how to get all of this into one, small bag? Read 10 Tips on How to Pack Light
What did I miss that are essentials for your trips?
The Economical Excursionist
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