SALT LAKE CITY — Overpacking for trips causes a host of problems for earnest travelers, ranging from skyrocketing bag-check prices to massive inconveniences from trying to carry large, heavy bags. Here are some of KSL’s best tips for traveling light:
Roll your clothes or utilize packing cubes
Rolling clothes cuts down on bulk, but it can also wrinkle outfits. Conde Nast Traveler suggests using packing cubes to better maximize space and keep clothes from getting wrinkled in the packing process. Additionally, putting heavier items towards the wheels and lighter ones by the handles makes a big difference in how easy the suitcase is to transport.
Good things come in threes
Luckily for light-packing travelers, washers and dryers are commonplace around the globe. Bring fewer clothing items and plan on washing them as you go. Lonely Planet suggests bringing three pairs of socks, underwear, and shirts, respectively. They also propose only two pairs of pants, as they last longer. The key is to choose light, flowy, quick-dry fabrics which don’t wrinkle easily, and plan on washing them as needed throughout your travels.
Make a checklist and stick to it
Do some research as to what sort of weather and conditions you can expect at your destination and create a packing list accordingly. Huffington Post said, “After you've thoughtfully calculated what to bring, cross off each item as you lay it next to your bag, and ignore the urge to add any extra articles of clothing at the last minute.”
Pay attention to shoes
Shoes take up extensive space, and travelers often bring more than they need or bulkier footwear than necessary. Conde Nast Traveler believes flip-flops are by far the most useful shoes for travelers. They are perfect for the beach, shorts and dresses, or even just to have as shower or hotel shoes. Additionally, as they don’t often cause foot discomfort, they are great shoes for walking around and exploring new cities.
Consider also bringing a pair of flats in case a fancier dinner or event comes up. They are lighter and thinner than ordinary shoes, making them a quick and minute addition to a packed suitcase.
Lastly, bring one bulkier pair of shoes. These will likely be sneakers (for exercise or lengthy walks) or boots (if the weather is cold at your destination). Plan on these shoes taking up copious room in suitcases, so wear them during travel (airplanes or trains) and then leave them at the hotel once you’ve arrived at your destination.
Maximize your personal carry-on
In addition to an overhead carry-on bag, each traveler is able to make use of some space under the seat in front of them for an additional carry-on bag. Consider bringing a small backpack rather than a laptop bag or purse so you’ll be able to keep any excess items not fitting in your suitcase there instead.
Smarter Travel suggested that if a purse will be needed during your trip, keep it inside the backpack and take it out for use as needed.
Pare down toiletries and tech items
Toiletries and technology tend to take up a lot of bag space and are very inhibitory at security checkpoints. Try to pare down these sorts of items in order to maximize space and minimize time spent getting them inspected, Huffington Post suggests.
Utilize 2-in-1 shampoo bottles that are smaller than security requirements, or get a shampoo bar functioning as soap as well. Also consider getting small shampoo and conditioner bottles for use once you’ve arrived at your destination, as they are often around the same price and will be a lot more convenient than buying them in advance and then carting them through the airport. Keep toiletry bags at the top of your carry-on bag easy access if you’re stopped at security.
Reduce technology to the bare essentials, which will likely be a cellphone, headphones, camera, and potentially a laptop or iPad/tablet. Remember to remove these at security checkpoints as they require individual review.
Make liberal use of ziplock baggies
Conde Nast Traveler said ziplock bags provide an incredibly convenient and useful travel tool which takes up very little space in bags. Use them to compartmentalize toiletries, store food, keep wet toothbrushes, and even hold damp clothes or swimsuits while you’re on the go.
Most items go unused during vacations. Take some extra time and narrow down your packing list to what you need the most, and lose the rest. What are your tricks to packing light?