The absolute majority of flight passengers, especially those who don’t travel very often, experience one and the same problem: they tend to misjudge the amount of stuff they need and, what is more important, that can realistically fit into their luggage. As a result, many have to literally jump up and down on their suitcase to finally zip the thing. The problem is, of course, not with the size of the suitcase and not even with the airline regulations – the problem is with the way you think. So let’s try and find ways to change it.
1. Don’t Pack More Clothes than You Need
Clothes tend to constitute the most of travelers’ suitcases, and they should be the first candidates for removal. A good idea would be to keep track of everything you wear for a while (a week, for example) and judge how much you have to take by this. Don’t take things just in case or for occasions that are unlikely to happen. Be minimalistic.
2. Try Singling out the Things You Absolutely Cannot Do without
A very good way to both eliminate your suitcase-jumping problem and decreasing your dependence on things is to try and gradually eliminate everything except what you absolutely must have on your person. You may, for example, try and limit what you take along with you to only what fits into a single carry-on bag – it is a wonderfully disciplining experience and an effective way to show yourself how little you need to lead a comfortable life.
3. Don’t Stock up on Beauty Products
Most major chain hotels offer complimentary cosmetic products as a part of the deal – so why not take them up on their offer? Even if your skin and hair care routine has been perfected to the level of a science, you may loosen up a bit for the duration of a trip without letting yourself go too much – and you will be amazed how much space all these shampoos, creams, and conditioners can free when removed.
4. Don’t Pack Anything You Can Buy Where You Are Going
Sometimes you can buy things at home cheaper than they are going to be at your destination, so there cannot be any clear-cut rule along the lines of “take” or “don’t take.” You should consider some factors before making a decision on every item of this kind: luggage weight fees (will you save anything by taking it instead of buying on location?), how likely you are to actually need it, can you do without it altogether and so on.
5. Don’t Pack Valuables and Jewelry
They probably won’t take a lot of space when packed, but they can cause you so much trouble that an overstuffed suitcase can become the least of your problems. Tourists are always the prime targets for thieves and confidence tricksters all over the world, and luggage itself is often lost in transit.
6. Find out the Weather at Your Destination
Both what it normally is at this time of year and what is said by more current forecasts. This will help you single out the clothing and other things you are unlikely to need and the ones that are almost certain to come in handy.
7. Try to Keep a Packing List from Trip to Trip
The list of things you are likely to need in its essentials doesn’t change all that much from trip to trip. Once you’ve travelled there, compile a list of everything you took, make notes of things you needed but didn’t have and things you never once took out of the bag. Save this list somewhere you will remember about it later on, in your smartphone’s notes, for example, and use its updated version the next time you go for a trip.
People usually take much more than they need on the most trivial trips and end up wasting time, money and energy lugging suitcases around, paying customs and flight weight fees instead of enjoying their time. Learning how to travel light isn’t only financially beneficial – it teaches you how to do without excess and provides you greater freedom – so why not start learning how to do it now?