4 Tips to Pack Light

My four tips for packing light will change the way you travel. The following secrets were learned over decades of business and personal travel. And just for you, I’ll reveal my 4 tips to pack light now:

Open suitcase with sunglasses, shoes and clothing packed light
Tips for packing light | Photo by Arnel Hasanovic on Unsplash

How to Pack Light for your Next Trip

Last week I began my initial packing for my trip to London and Spain. The tricky business about this pack job is that after my London business trip a la ballroom gown and business attire, I will be hoisting my backpack and trekking across Northern Spain on El Camino de Santiago. What to do with the high heeled-shoes and strapless accouterments to the formal evening wear?

Boutique luggage handling companies

I checked prices with UPS, DHL, FedEx and a boutique luggage handling company for shipping the biz clothes home. FedEx offers the lowest estimated price, but the actual price will be determined by the weight of my returning bag. Therefore, I need to pack light as possible.

Photo by NordWood Themes on Unsplash

Here are a few tips I’ve learned over the years about how to pack light to travel well:

1.) Make a calendar of the days you’ll be gone.

Write on the calendar the outfit you plan to wear for the morning- for me that’s work, and more formal – and then the evening, more casual. Include every item that you’ll need. TIP: I use WinCalendar templates that are free. You can download in Word or Excel so you can write onto the interactive calendar.

What color shoes? Do you need a belt? Which one? What from the first outfit can you wear two days later? Perhaps the top you wear under your suit can double for a work-out T later on. I plan to first use a piece for business when it is crisp and clean, and then use it a second or third time in a more casual venue.

Once you have everything written down, start to edit. Do you really need black, brown and navy shoes? Re-plan your wardrobe so you only need one pair of dress shoes, and one pair of comfortable, casual shoes. What from Day 4 can you wear again on Day 6? Mix and match. Get rid of anything that you can’t use at least twice. Once you’ve reworked your list, pack only the clothes on the list. Not one item more!

Photo by Charles on Unsplash

2.) Try on everything before you pack it

You may need to run it to the dry cleaner. By trying on that backless evening dress, you’ll remember the special foundation that you bought to go along with it. How does it fit since the last time wore it? Take your shoes out for a ‘dry run’. Will you really be able to comfortably walk around Europe – or wherever – in the shoes you plan to bring?

Don’t know which jacket to pack? Check out The Ultimate Guide to Choosing the Best Travel Jackets now.

Photo by Shawn Pang on Unsplash

3.) Pack everything in the luggage you plan to take several days before you leave

Feel how heavy your bags are. Do you REALLY want to be schlepping this much weight around the airport, the train station or the quaint bed and breakfast that you picked out on the internet – that has no elevator?

Re-open you bag and take out 20% – or more – of what you already packed. 


How do you get rid of 20% of your packed panties?

  • You can do better than that by using panty liners.
  • Day 1 use fresh underwear with pantyliner.
  • Day 2 – throw away panty liner.

Get rid of the extra hair products. Put cosmetics in small containers, don’t bother with your pretty, but heavy, designer cosmetic bags. Invest in a new toiletry bag that is light and functional. Repack.

NOW, will you be able to lift your carry-on bag over your head to put in the overhead compartment without dropping it on the head of the person below? If not, start again from the top.

Open suitcase with sunglasses, shoes and clothing packed light
With a backpack or roller bag, I've learned how to be UNSTOPPABLE by pack light.

4.) Tear out the pages that you need from tour books and leave the rest at home

Books are heavy. Duct tape is much lighter to ‘re-bind’ your books into smaller versions. Clear packing tape works well, too.

Use these four smart tips to pack light, and you WILL travel well to any destination. What are some of you favorite ways to pack light? Leave your tips in the comments below.

This blog, UNSTOPPABLE Stacey Travel, contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase through these links, Stacey earns a commission at no extra cost to you. These commissions help reduce the costs of keeping this travel blog active. Thanks for reading.

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2 thoughts on “4 Tips to Pack Light”

  1. These are great, Stacey! I would add to watch the weather carefully, and bring outerwear that has multiple functions—i.e., a jacket both for warmth and that is waterproof. I pay attention to fabrics that pack without wrinkling, too.

    • I’m totally with you on that, Julie. My hubby DAn and I always say, “There’s no such thing as bad weather, just bad gear.”


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