I’m notoriously a light packer.
My motto has always been, “If you forgot it, you can buy it.” (Although that’s not always true.)
I tend to fret over packing too many things. Am I bringing too many pairs of jeans? Do I really need three tank tops? Can I wear slippers with everything? I once went on a 10-day trip with only a backpack — and even then I thought I had brought too much stuff.
So I pack only what I need — sometimes a little less — and hope it lasts the duration of the trip. I’ll re-wear jeans and sweaters, match everything to either black or brown (not both), and I load up the Kindle Fire with a couple of books and several magazines. It’s all good.
I picked up tips from other light packers — like ditching toiletries and wearing the bulkiest stuff on the plane — but I’m always looking for more.
So this is a shout-out to all of you travelers out there: what’s your best packing advice? I’m starting a list!
I’m the opposite, I tend to over pack and bring everything. I have a very long list of things to pack on any trip and I just leave that list in my suit case. I don’t bring every item on the list but use the list as a guide. I roll up my clothes and put it in gallon zip lock bags. I always bring a roll of duct tape, it can fix almost anything that’s broken just to get by, and bring my Leatherman multi tool. I have a large duffel bag that I can roll up or fold up and I pack that in my suit case. I use the duffle bag for my dirtly laundry on the trip home and use my empty suit case for all the omiyage.
Hi Cat. Sorry, but I don’t think I have advice for packing. I too always bring too much stuff. I do have a tip for those who don’t have room in their luggage when they are ready to come home. On a trip to NYC, I didn’t have enough room for all my souvenirs. So I went to the main post office, which I think is open 24 hours, and mailed home all my dirty laundry. For my trip to Vegas, I like M, brought my Vera Bradley duffle bag and packed my dirty laundry in there. My suitcase, duffle bag, and carry on were all stuffed to the max after a 5 day trip to Vegas. That is pretty sad huh.
Back in the 80’s my father told us we were going to take a family trip to Korea, Hong Kong, China and Japan. Only rule was, we had to bring only 2-3 washable underwear (like nylon that would dry over night), clothes that matched everything else in the bag, all in one carry-on. We made it through a whole month on that an were so happy we did. Think about all of the time we would have wasted waiting for bags to come out of the chute at the 10 or so airports we hit.
We bought so much junk along the way, our biggest fear wasn’t realized… we weren’t wearing the same thing in 90% of the pics.
Update to now. I save all my old bibbides and socks for trips now. The poor buggers don’t make the return flight!
You got a clone? Every woman I have ever traveled with took enough stuff for three months. And I had to carry all of it. Pissed me off. Seriously, one clone… not so greedy. But really truly seriously men usually travel way lighter than women. I did a five day business trip with a briefcase once. You can buy stuff if you need it.
I’m with M… I roll all my clothes into ziploc bags or cloth bags. I tend to wear shoes on the plane and pack my slippers. I still end up packing more than I need to, but it’s better than it was a few years ago 🙂
I let my husband do the packing, he will only pack the bare necessities.
I just got back from a month long trip to Italy and packing was a learning experience! I really loved the toiletries bag that folds up and you can hang on the door. I also used a lot of hotel toiletries, so no packing there (but you gotta stay at nicer hotels) I think the best advice for long traveling is just pack light and do laundry! Either find a cheap place or use Woolite and your bathroom sink. I also packed a lot of light weight, wrinkle free items like polyester and rayon, which were good for packing and also sink washing. I also like packing scarfs or pashminas that will dress up tank tops and pretty much any outfit to go from day to night. And yes, it’s always fun to buy stuff along the way.
OMG, I want your life! A month in Italy??? I’m so jealous!
I try to keep stuff to a minimum…less is better & you can buy most anything once you get to your destination.
I am going to spend 2 weeks in northern India soon, so the comments here interest me! Mahalo!
WHOA! What are you doing in Northern India??? That’s awesome!
Where in India? I’m in Southern India (Bangalore & Chennai)…how fun! 🙂
CAT: Ever since the expanded security checks I learned a few things to keep from totally disrobing at the TSA counter. I wear backless shoes to easily slip in and out…also my feet swell at altitude so it helps to kick them off easily. The shoes are dark so it can look dressy in the evenings or match dark trousers during the day. I do not wear a belt on the plane and pack it in the checked in luggage. I do not carry coins in my pockets. The only metal I have is my watch. I carry paper money and ID card in my pocket. I always have a sweater in hand carry because for long flights the cabin gets cold. Before a trip…at least 2 weeks prior, I load up on vitamin C, lots of juice and fruits.
My advice: don’t worry about forgetting something (other than your passport). Anything you’re likely to forget to bring can be easily purchased almost anywhere a tourist is likely to visit. Buying oddball items in foreign countries can even be fun. Find the stores the locals use, not just the tourist malls.
I love packing! As a gym traveler, I am usually going from the gym, to work, and then to another work out. I have to always keep 3-4 pairs of clothes with me at one time along with the essentials: shampoo, deodorant, body wash, face wash, and eye drops. when I pack for any trip – I always think – if I were stuck on a desert island what would I need to survive – which in case, I always pack water and a snack on the go, because you never know! 🙂 This is a good checklist for travel though! https://www.realsimple.com/work-life/travel/planning/vacation-packing-checklist-00000000000225/index.html
I just came back from 9 days in Chicago and packed way too much! I took extra outfits in case we went out on the town and some outfits in case the weather changed drastically. I then went crazy shopping at an outlet mall and collecting omiyage (especially books for my class), so I had to buy a duffel bag. Even with my extra bag, I went over the weight limit and gate checked my heavy duffel bag at a layover. I tend to be overly prepared and need to learn to pack like you!
I’m a notoriously light packer, and once was detained from boarding a connecting flight in Frankfurt coming back from a two-week trip to Italy with my family. They didn’t tell us why they weren’t letting us board until the police approached us at the last minute. They told us that they couldn’t match us with our checked baggage. I told them we never check any baggage anywhere. The police officer looked at our hand-carry luggage, a bag no bigger than a shoe box for each of us. He smiled a huge smile, complimented us for being unusually good packers, and sent us back to the airline check-in desk to allow us to board.
Put simply, wear one, bring ONE.