My family and friends know that when it comes to traveling I have had issues with the “traveling light” concept. I am always holding my breath when I have to put my suitcases on the scale at the airport check in, hoping that they will not exceed the 50 pound limit, and feel sorry for the attendant who has to drag my suitcases off the scale and onto the conveyer belt! There is one advantage to this, however -it has always been relatively easy for me to identify my suitcases at Baggage claim – I just have to look for the bold neon ”Heavy ” tags that were placed on them at check in!
Having said all that, I do have to say that on my recent trip home to Australia I was ruthless in the amount of, or rather lack of, clothing I took with me. It was more like a case of “I had to” since I had an entire suitcase already at the 50 pound max with items for family and friends.
So despite (or perhaps because of) my somewhat spotty record in this area, I do have some tips for the trip you might be taking this summer or for any trip in the future:
1. Place all clothing you anticipate needing on your bed, and then put half back! Yes that’s right – HALF. I actually really did this for my trip to Australia in April, and although I was a bit concerned that I would not have enough to wear, I found that there were still a couple of things that I never wore.
2. Select clothing pieces that can be mixed and matched – this way you will have more outfits.
3. Choose clothing that is lightweight and wrinkle resistent. Where possible, roll all clothing. They will not be wrinkled when you are ready to wear them.
4. Limit shoes to 3 pairs. Sounds harsh, I know, but shoes take up so much room and weight. Stuff shoes with socks, electronic chargers and the like and place them in ziploc bags around the perimeter of your suitcase. Wear the heaviest pair if you are traveling by plane.
5. Top your suitcase with the clothes you will need first – pajamas, swimsuit, etc.
6. Toiletry items can amount to a lot of weight, so pack travel sizes for all that you can – shampoo/conditioner/deodorant, etc.
I not only keep a checklist of what I have packed, but when I return I make comments to help me for my next trip (e.g., “Only wore once” equates to do not take next time!)
Hope this helps and enjoy your vacation wherever it takes you!