Pack Lightly: How to Pack for Extended Travel

Have you ever been on a long-term trip to find yourself struggling with excess luggage? We’ve all been there. If you’re looking to make your next extended trip more convenient and enjoyable, here are tips from Dennis Bonnen for light packing so you can easily travel.

Table of Contents

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Roll Don't Fold

Rolling clothes help save space and prevent wrinkles. Pack items together in the same bag or compartment if you’re using soft-sided luggage. Consider rolling socks into shoes to save more space!

Pack What You Need

It’s easy to get carried away when packing for an extended trip but try only to bring what you need. Ensure every item serves at least two purposes, and avoid bringing things that take up a lot of space. Make a checklist of what you need before packing so that nothing gets left behind.

RELATED: Best bag for Spring Break converts from suitcase to backpack

Go Digital When Possible

Opt for digital devices instead of physical ones, such as cameras or books. They will take up much less room in your bag than their physical counterparts, plus they have the added benefit of being more lightweight and portable!

Wear Your Bulkiest Items

UNSTOPPABLE Stacey rolls a small computer bag into MSP airport wearing jacket with lots of pockets.
UNSTOPPABLE Stacey wears pocket jacket stuffed full since her ticket allows underseat bag only

A great way to save space when packing is by wearing your bulkiest items while traveling–such as boots or heavy coats — instead of stuffing them into your bag! This will free up more room for other necessities and prevent you from overstuffing your suitcase!

RELATED: The Ultimate Guide to Choosing the Best Travel Jackets for Women

Utilize Space Savers

Space savers are a great way to compress bulky items so that they take up less room in your bag! Examples of space savers include vacuum seal bags or compression cubes, which help reduce the size of clothing by removing air from them before sealing them shut — which helps save valuable space in any suitcase! 

Invest In Quality Luggage

six suitcases - the best lightweight luggage for international travel - shown against green background with dramatic shadowsing
Best luggage sets for international travel | Photo courtesy of Italic, seller of some of the best luggage brands for international travel

Quality luggage pieces will help ensure your belongings are safe while also giving you enough storage space without adding extra weight to your bag. Investing in good quality bags will give you peace of mind that your belongings won’t be damaged during transit and allow you to travel lighter than ever!

RELATED: The Best Carry on Bag for a Woman

Bring Multi-Purpose Items

When traveling for more extended periods, you don’t want to waste valuable space in your bag by bringing too many items.

Look for multi-purpose items like a scarf or sarong, which you can use as a beach coverup or a makeshift blanket on chilly nights. A lightweight rain jacket also serves double duty — keeping you dry during sudden rainstorms and doubling as an extra layer when the temperature drops at night. 

Bring Minimal Toiletries

Toiletries take up the most room in your bag so bring minimal items when traveling long-term. Stick to basics like shampoo and conditioner bars instead of liquid bottles — these take up less space and have fewer restrictions when passing through airport security checks!

Bring Reusable Containers

Instead of having multiple smaller containers taking up valuable space in your suitcase, opt for one larger reusable container; this way, you can store all your toiletries and other liquid items without worrying about spills or leaks!

You can even use these containers as food storage once you reach your destination — making them doubly useful!

Pack Lightweight Shoes

Packing the correct type of shoes is vital when traveling long-term. Not only do they take up precious real estate in your suitcase, but they also add unnecessary weight!

Try packing lightweight sandals or sneakers — they don’t take up too much room but will keep your feet protected while exploring new places!

Final Thoughts

Dennis Bonnen knows that lightweight traveling doesn’t have to be complicated. With the proper preparation, it can be enjoyable and stress-free! By following these tips for packing lightly, you’ll have an unforgettable journey filled with adventure and convenience.

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Hi, I’m Stacey

UNSTOPPABLE Stacey Travel is a travel blog focused on immersive travel that highlights food, wine and the spirituality of place. I also occasionally write about life as a Camino de Santiago pilgrim. I hope you enjoy what I post here. Feel free to leave comments! Read more…


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4 thoughts on “Pack Lightly: How to Pack for Extended Travel”

    • That is GREAT advice, Jennifer. Another thing I like to do is download a Word calendar for the dates I’m gone and then use the calendar to plan my wardrobe. I make sure that I use EACH item at least 2 times! That really helps me keep from overpacking!


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