Pack Light, Travel Smart

When some flights charge extra for suitcases it's useful knowing how to squeeze everything into a single carry-on bag. While this t...

Pack Light, Travel Smart

When some flights charge extra for suitcases it's useful knowing how to squeeze everything into a single carry-on bag. While this time around I'm not attempting to fit a week's worth of contents into hand luggage only, I am always trying my best to pack light and travel smarter by ditching unnecessary items. My new packing motto has become: "pack casual, simple, and light."

Lay everything you're considering taking with you onto the floor and pick each item up to consider them individually. Think about what you can do without; think in terms of "best case scenario."

- Don't take items that will be handy to have "just in case"
- Don't take multiples of unnecessary clothing and shoes
- Don't take items you can buy for cheap if you need them

Remember: pack casual, simple, and light.
Bring lighter items for layering rather than heavy/bulky coats and jumpers and pack your clothes tightly in a well organised manner. Use packing cubes, airless baggies, mesh bags, or a clothes compressor, and use folding boards for minimal wrinkling and tight packing.

Tops & Bottoms | you really don't need multiple outfits; read The Art of Packing for more specific advice
Underwear & Socks | don't scrimp; bring enough for every day you're away
Shoes | one sturdy pair and one extra pair of flats; make sure they're comfortable and well broken in
Jumpers/Cardigans | one or two max (per week you're away) and make sure you can layer them
Coat | bring one sturdy, waterproof coat with a hood (if possible)
Jacket | one jacket that works well with everything and can be dressed up or down
Scarf | if you have one, take a giant scarf that will double as a mini blanket
Accessories | don't bring specific "formal wear," use accessories to change outfits
Swimwear | always, always, always bring your swimsuit
Sleepwear/Loungewear | something comfortable to throw on as pajamas, for lounging in, and/or as a modest cover-up

Backpack | take a backpack not a handbag, they are far more useful
Toiletries | buy them there if you can, if not only bring the bare essentials
Skin Care | keep your skin care routine the same as much as possible to avoid break-outs
Make-Up | bare essentials, no multiple colours - stick to a palette that works well together
First-Aid Kit | plasters and a healing balm are essential, otherwise consider buying what you need if you need it
Towels | most hotels have them but with AirBnB you might need to bring one; pack a quick drying microfibre towel
Hairdryer | if you must take one, buy a cheap, compact hairdryer that is travel-friendly

Phone and charger, digital camera + extra battery and charger, eReader, headphones, plug adapters.
Try to bring only what you really need and share chargers, etc. if you can, to avoid doubling up.

Water Bottle | paying for water sucks, if you have a reusable bottle bring it
Canvas Tote Bag | these are always useful to have and don't take up much space so always pack one
eReader | avoid bringing physical books, an eReader is far more efficient
Guidebook/Map | store documents and save maps on your phone and write the most important info in a notebook
Notebook & Pen | always useful; bring a small one that can be tucked away and kept in hand luggage

This is based on a one-two week city break holiday in mild weather. I'm not someone who finds the idea of roughing it or trekking around rough terrain very appealing. The most strenuous time I experience on holiday is rushing from one side of the city to the other so I can squeeze in another visit to a museum before it closes; I have no clue how to pack for rough holiday adventures.

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