How to travel light

It can be tempting to pack twice as many things as you need when you're going on holiday. Just a few pairs of shoes can turn into one comfy pair, one party pair, a pair for the beach, a pair for a fancy night out and so on...

But it’s important to pack carefully when you're travelling, especially abroad. Besides airline regulations forcing you to keep to a set limit or face extra charges, it can also be a tiring start to your holiday if you have to haul heavy bags around.

girl carrying small suitcase

Image by josealbafotos via Pixabay

If you’re hoping for a stress-free holiday, set yourself on the right track by packing light. There is nothing worse than arriving at your hotel or accommodation feeling dishevelled and exhausted rather than relaxed and de-stressed!

Read on for some top tips on how to make sure you have what you need without overloading your bags, especially with items that you would never have even noticed you didn’t have with you!

1. Use a small case

One of the most basic tricks you can use to force yourself to pack light is to choose a backpack or a small suitcase - this way, you couldn't over-pack even if you wanted to. If you have a larger suitcase, it can be easy to pack more than you need simply because you have the space. But packing a few extra shoes or clothes here and there will soon add up, making your case heavy and adding extra strain to your trip.

Finding a bag with lots of dividers and compartments can be a lifesaver too as it means it’s easy for you to keep everything organised even in a small space and makes it much easier to travel with just one compact item. If you can really stick to this rule, you might even be able to fit all your things into the cabin luggage and avoid the havoc of waiting around for bags and the risk of things getting lost in the hold.

2. Minimise on toiletries

Large bottles filled with toiletries which you’ll barely use any of during your stay are unnecessarily bulky and heavy. The best solution, where you can, is to find products that can double up. For example, baby oil can be used as both a makeup remover and a moisturiser.

It can also pay to collect up some sample sachets that come free in magazines, such as shampoo and conditioner, as these will be much more compact and easier to transport. When it comes to essentials like shower gel or shampoo, also check out what will be available at your destination. If you are staying at a hotel, for example, lots of these things will be provided for you.

3. Be aware of the weather

To avoid packing for conditions you might not even see, make sure to check the weather of your destination during the time you will be there. If the place you are going to is supposed to stay warm, don’t waste space by packing jackets just in case or add extra weight by packing long trousers. Likewise, if you’re expecting chillier temperatures, you don’t want to fill up your bag with sandals or sundresses. Always check the forecast for your destination before you go so you know exactly what weather conditions to expect.

4. Pack layers

If you’re really unsure what the weather will be like or you’re heading somewhere with unpredictable or changeable weather, a great way to combat this while still packing light is to focus on layers.

Choosing versatile options that you can add to or remove items from will come in very handy if you think the weather is likely to change readily. This also means that you will have lots of outfit options available to you as you can swap and change your combinations. Make sure to check that your larger layers fit comfortably over the smaller ones before you leave though!

5. Pick neutral colours

If you want to avoid packing a lot, the best thing to do is to stay away from bright and garish colours that can’t be mixed with many other outfits. Stay with simple colours so that you can easily switch between tops and bottoms to create a variety of outfit combinations.

You might also want to consider packing just one or two pairs of dark bottoms as these will go largely unnoticed and can be worn with any top. Darker colours will also look clean for longer and can easily be dressed up to appear sophisticated or accessorised to have a more casual feel.

Making your holiday run smoothly

Once you’ve got your bag perfectly packed and you’re sure you’ve avoided any extra baggage charges, you might want to think about other ways to protect your money. Make sure you look into holiday insurance and medical travel insurance if you’re planning to go away.

It’s all too easy to get caught out without it and end up regretting your trip altogether. Whether it’s travel insurance with pre-existing medical conditions or travel insurance for over 70s, Total Travel Protection can help you to enjoy your travels without having to fret about things going wrong. Set your mind at ease by getting a quote from us today!