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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 December 2, 2019

10 Powerful Ways to Stop Worrying and Start Living Today

10 Powerful Ways to Stop Worrying and Start Living Today

Plato knew that the body and mind are intimately linked. And in the late 1800s, the Mayo brothers, famous physicians, estimated that over half of all hospital beds are filled with people suffering from frustration, anxiety, worry and despair. Causes of worry are everywhere, in our relationships and our jobs, so it’s key we find ways to take charge of the stress.

In his classic book How to Stop Worrying and Start Living, Dale Carnegie offers tools to ditch excessive worrying that help you make a worry-free environment for your private and professional life.

These are the top 10 tips to grab worry by the horns and wrestle it to the ground:

1. Make Your Decision and Never Look Back

Have you ever made a decision in life only to second-guess it afterwards? Of course you have! It’s hard not to wonder whether you’ve done the right thing and whether there might still be time to take another path.

But keep this in mind: you’ve already made your decision, so act decisively on it and dismiss all your anxiety about it.

Don’t stop to hesitate, to reconsider, or to retrace your steps. Once you’ve chosen a course of action, stick to it and never waver.

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2. Live for Today, Package Things up in “Day-Tight Compartments”

You know that feeling: tossing, turning and worrying over something that happened or something that might, well into the wee hours. To avoid this pointless worrying, you need “day-tight compartments”. Much as a ship has different watertight compartments, your own “day-tight” ones are a way to limit your attention to the present day.

The rule is simple: whatever happened in the past or might happen in the future must not intrude upon today. Everything else has to wait its turn for tomorrow’s box or stay stuck in the past.

3. Embrace the Worst-Case Scenario and Strategize to Offset It

If you’re worried about something, ask yourself: “What’s the worst thing that could happen?” Could you lose your job? Be jailed? Get killed?

Whatever the “worst” might be, it’s probably not so world-ending. You could probably even bounce back from it!

If, for example, you lose your job, you could always find another. Once you accept the worst-case scenario and get thinking about contingency plans, you’ll feel calmer.

4. Put a Lid on Your Worrying

Sometimes we stress endlessly about negative experiences when just walking away from them would serve us far better.

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To make squashing that worry easier, try this strategy, straight from stock traders: it’s called the “stop-loss” order, where shares are bought at a certain price, and then their price development is observed. If things go badly and the share price hits a certain point, they are sold off immediately. This stops the loss from increasing further.

In the same manner, you can put a stop-loss order on things that cause you stress and grief.

5. Fake It ‘Til You Make It – Happiness, That Is

We can’t directly influence how we feel, but we can nudge ourselves to change through how we think and act.

If you’re feeling sad or low, slap a big grin on your face and whistle a chipper tune. You’ll find it impossible to be blue when acting cheerful. But you don’t necessarily need to act outwardly happy; you can simply think happier thoughts instead.

Marcus Aurelius summed it up aptly:

“Our life is what our thoughts make it.”

6. Give for the Joy of Giving

When we perform acts of kindness, we often do so with the expectation of gratitude. But harboring such expectations will probably leave you disappointed.

One person well aware of this fact was the lawyer Samuel Leibowitz. Over the course of his career, Leibowitz saved 78 people from going to the electric chair. Guess how many thanked him? None.

So stop expecting gratitude when you’re kind to someone. Instead, take joy from the act yourself.

7. Dump Envy – Enjoy Being Uniquely You

Your genes are completely unique. Even if someone had the same parents as you, the likelihood of someone identical to you being born is just one in 300,000 billion.

Despite this amazing fact, many of us long to be someone else, thinking the grass is greener on the other side of the fence. But living your life this way is pointless. Embrace your uniqueness and get comfortable with who you really are: How to Be True to Yourself and Live the Life You Want

8. Haters Will Hate — It Just Means You’re Doing It Right

When you’re criticized, it often means you’re accomplishing something noteworthy. In fact, let’s take it a step further and consider this: the more you’re criticized, the more influential and important a person you likely are.

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So the next time somebody talks you down, don’t let it get to you. Take it as a compliment!

9. Chill Out! Learn to Rest Before You Get Tired

Scientists agree that emotions are the most common cause of fatigue. And it works the other way around, too: fatigue produces more worries and negative emotions.

It should be clear, therefore, that you’ve got to relax regularly before you feel tired. Otherwise, worries and fatigue will accumulate on top of each other.

It’s impossible to worry when you are relaxed, and regular rest helps you maintain your ability to work effectively.

10. Get Organized and Enjoy Your Work

There are few greater sources of misery in life than having to work, day in, day out, in a job you despise. It would make sense then that you shouldn’t pick a job you hate, or even just dislike doing.

But say you already have a job. How can you make it more enjoyable and worry-free? One way is to stay organized: a desk full of unanswered mails and memos is sure to breed worries.

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Better yet, rethink about the job you’re doing: What to Do When You Hate Your Job but Want a Successful Career

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Featured photo credit: Tyler Nix via unsplash.com

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