How to Travel Light

Overpacking is an extremely common problem that most individuals run into while trying to plan for an upcoming trip. Simply tossing in too many items into the suitcase not only makes it too heavy, but it also might end up costing you hundreds of dollars in overweight fines. To avoid these hefty fines, you need to know how to travel light. It really isn't that hard. You simply need to be a bit open and willing to leave a few things behind that you really do not need on your trip, no matter how bad you want those extra shoes or tops to come with you.

Trim it Down

The biggest threat to overpacking is simply bringing too many outfits and items than truly necessary. Are three swimming suits really required for a week-long trip? How about that second pair of heels when you are gone for the weekend, or the fourth hat shoved into your bag? There simply is no need for all of these items. To purge some of your packing, place all of your clothing on the bed, then reduce it by 25 percent or so. Bring only one of the larger items, such as high heels, and if you wear hats, just pack one per occasion. Wear the larger of the bunch to the airport and take the other hat that you can fold (such as the back of a ball cap) and place it into luggage.


Cosmetics and toiletries take up a good amount of space and often times there really isn't the need. For starters, your hotel is going to have the shampoo, soap, and other minor items that you need for showering. Unless you need special shampoo, you don't need to pack this. If you do bring your own shampoo, purchase a three ounce travel container from the local grocery store and fill this instead of bringing a large bottle. Also, with cosmetics, bring only what you need and not full kits. Cosmetic kits are extremely large and consume space, so streamline your makeup to only what is going to be necessary for the trip.

Does the Hotel Have It?

Before placing anything in your bag, ask yourself, "Does the hotel have it?" The hotel is going to have a blow dryer and an iron, so you don't need these items. You probably don't need a robe, and you don't need towels. As mentioned above you don't need many of the toiletries either. Just remember, all of the room you are taking up with items to bring with you is valuable space you could use to pack your souvenirs you are bringing back after the trip.


One of the best ways to pack light and tight is to roll your clothing. This takes up the least amount of space possible and opens your bag up. Some individuals place their clothing into air tight bags and remove the air. The problem with this, however, is once they arrive, there is no way of performing the same task again, unless your hotel room has a vacuum cleaner on hand.

Last Updated: April 04, 2024