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6 Foolproof Packing Hacks for Anyone Looking to Travel Light

6 Foolproof Packing Hacks for Anyone Looking to Travel Light

As airline baggage fees have continued to increase, more and more travelers have embraced a minimalist approach to packing. While some people have taken this to the extreme by advocating for not bringing a suitcase altogether, there is a happy medium to be found.

The solution? Pack what you need, but be strategic so that you can pack as light as possible. Here are some helpful hacks to help you out.

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1. Choose the right suitcase.

When people think about packing light, they often get so caught up in worrying about what goes in the suitcase that they forget to consider the suitcase itself. But choosing a lightweight suitcase is great for two reasons. One, it’s more portable, so you won’t throw your back out when you go to hoist it into the car or overhead bin. Two, it’ll help you avoid excess baggage fees, which can range from $100 to $450 depending on the airline. Bonus points if you constrain yourself to using nothing but a carry-on.

2. Make a list before you pack.

It seems so simple that it’s easy to dismiss, but listing out what you plan to bring can help you identify redundant or otherwise unnecessary items. When making your list, consider how many days you’ll be gone, whether you’ll be able to wash clothing during your trip, and whether you’ll need to be prepared for big changes in weather. Once you’ve made your list, stick to it—don’t toss in items at the last minute because you get caught up in worrying “what if.”

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3. Choose clothing wisely.

The best clothing for travel is lightweight, non-bulky, not easily wrinkled, and pairs well with the other clothing you plan to bring along. If a piece of clothing doesn’t meet these criteria, seriously consider whether it’s really worth hauling with you. If you’re traveling somewhere cold, pack lightweight (but warm) layers, such as thermal underwear and thin sweaters. Then, plan to wear your bulkiest layers (such as winter boots or a winter coat) on the plane in order save room in your suitcase.

4. Compress, compress, compress.

As you place each item into your bag, your goal should be to make it as small as physically possible. Fold and roll your clothes in order to shrink them down and save room in your suitcase. Ball up socks and underwear and shove them into shoes. You may even want to consider compression bags for your clothing if you really want to maximize space.

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5. Embrace multi-taskers.

Whenever possible, aim to pack items that can serve more than one purpose. For example, why pack a bottle of shampoo and a bottle of conditioner when you could pack a two-in-one shampoo/conditioner? Or take a sarong, which can be a skirt, a blanket, a sunshade, a towel, or even a bag if you wrap it up and tie off the ends. Think critically about every item you pack and consider whether you could accomplish the same end goals with less.

6. Use your smartphone to your advantage.

Speaking of multi-taskers, smartphones are probably one of the most powerful tools at your disposal. They contain a camera, communication device, travel guide, map, news and reading, and a place to take notes or jot down short journal entries all in one place. Download useful travel apps before you go and leave behind anything that has a function that can be carried out by your phone.

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Practice these strategies often enough and you’ll learn that you can make do with less and less. In fact, don’t be surprised if you find yourself packing for a multi-week vacation in a single carry-on suitcase. With the right strategies, it’s completely possible.

Featured photo credit: Jake Ingle via images.unsplash.com

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Kenny Kline

Entrepreneur

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Last Updated on March 13, 2019

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

Have you gotten into a rut before? Or are you in a rut right now?

You know you’re in a rut when you run out of ideas and inspiration. I personally see a rut as a productivity vacuum. It might very well be a reason why you aren’t getting results. Even as you spend more time on your work, you can’t seem to get anything constructive done. While I’m normally productive, I get into occasional ruts (especially when I’ve been working back-to-back without rest). During those times, I can spend an entire day in front of the computer and get nothing done. It can be quite frustrating.

Over time, I have tried and found several methods that are helpful to pull me out of a rut. If you experience ruts too, whether as a working professional, a writer, a blogger, a student or other work, you will find these useful. Here are 12 of my personal tips to get out of ruts:

1. Work on the small tasks.

When you are in a rut, tackle it by starting small. Clear away your smaller tasks which have been piling up. Reply to your emails, organize your documents, declutter your work space, and reply to private messages.

Whenever I finish doing that, I generate a positive momentum which I bring forward to my work.

2. Take a break from your work desk.

Get yourself away from your desk and go take a walk. Go to the washroom, walk around the office, go out and get a snack.

Your mind is too bogged down and needs some airing. Sometimes I get new ideas right after I walk away from my computer.

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3. Upgrade yourself

Take the down time to upgrade yourself. Go to a seminar. Read up on new materials (#7). Pick up a new language. Or any of the 42 ways here to improve yourself.

The modern computer uses different typefaces because Steve Jobs dropped in on a calligraphy class back in college. How’s that for inspiration?

4. Talk to a friend.

Talk to someone and get your mind off work for a while.

Talk about anything, from casual chatting to a deep conversation about something you really care about. You will be surprised at how the short encounter can be rejuvenating in its own way.

5. Forget about trying to be perfect.

If you are in a rut, the last thing you want to do is step on your own toes with perfectionist tendencies.

Just start small. Do what you can, at your own pace. Let yourself make mistakes.

Soon, a little trickle of inspiration will come. And then it’ll build up with more trickles. Before you know it, you have a whole stream of ideas.

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6. Paint a vision to work towards.

If you are continuously getting in a rut with your work, maybe there’s no vision inspiring you to move forward.

Think about why you are doing this, and what you are doing it for. What is the end vision in mind?

Make it as vivid as possible. Make sure it’s a vision that inspires you and use that to trigger you to action.

7. Read a book (or blog).

The things we read are like food to our brain. If you are out of ideas, it’s time to feed your brain with great materials.

Here’s a list of 40 books you can start off with. Stock your browser with only the feeds of high quality blogs, such as Lifehack.org, DumbLittleMan, Seth Godin’s Blog, Tim Ferris’ Blog, Zen Habits or The Personal Excellence Blog.

Check out the best selling books; those are generally packed with great wisdom.

8. Have a quick nap.

If you are at home, take a quick nap for about 20-30 minutes. This clears up your mind and gives you a quick boost. Nothing quite like starting off on a fresh start after catching up on sleep.

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9. Remember why you are doing this.

Sometimes we lose sight of why we do what we do, and after a while we become jaded. A quick refresher on why you even started on this project will help.

What were you thinking when you thought of doing this? Retrace your thoughts back to that moment. Recall why you are doing this. Then reconnect with your muse.

10. Find some competition.

Nothing quite like healthy competition to spur us forward. If you are out of ideas, then check up on what people are doing in your space.

Colleagues at work, competitors in the industry, competitors’ products and websites, networking conventions.. you get the drill.

11. Go exercise.

Since you are not making headway at work, might as well spend the time shaping yourself up.

Sometimes we work so much that we neglect our health and fitness. Go jog, swim, cycle, whichever exercise you prefer.

As you improve your physical health, your mental health will improve, too. The different facets of ourselves are all interlinked.

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Here’re 15 Tips to Restart the Exercise Habit (and How to Keep It).

12. Take a good break.

Ruts are usually signs that you have been working too long and too hard. It’s time to get a break.

Beyond the quick tips above, arrange for a 1-day or 2-days of break from your work. Don’t check your (work) emails or do anything work-related. Relax and do your favorite activities. You will return to your work recharged and ready to start.

Contrary to popular belief, the world will not end from taking a break from your work. In fact, you will be much more ready to make an impact after proper rest. My best ideas and inspiration always hit me whenever I’m away from my work.

Take a look at this to learn the importance of rest: The Importance of Scheduling Downtime

More Resources About Getting out of a Rut

Featured photo credit: Joshua Earle via unsplash.com

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