Let’s talk today about a “heavy” subject: SUITCASE! And, as a matter of fact, I have been able to keep it lighter than ever: For some time now I have been traveling with only a carry-on. No matter the destination, or the season of the year. You can’t even imagine the advantages!!! You don’t need to dispatch your luggage and then have to wait forever at the baggage claim. You also don’t have to worry about arriving to your destination without your luggage because it got lost (which has happened to me several times. Ugh!), you don’t carry unnecessary weight, you can do low-cost flights without a worry, you can travel by train around the world without losing your breath on platforms, you can choose to make a subway transfer to leave the airport instead of taking a taxi, and you can even stay in a hotel that has no elevators. It’s all good!
My radical change began when I had to travel to China for business. A full schedule of meetings and where is my suitcase? Simply disappeared. At first I was very upset, but I had no other choice than to go out and buy a basic survival kit for 12 days. And you know what? Everything worked out! I survived without trauma! And I’ve learned my lesson, from then on I carry only a carry-on.
I promised you guys the secrets to packing light, remember?! So let’s get started!
1. KEEP UPDATED WITH THE LOCAL CLIMATE. A week before the trip, add the cities you are traveling to, to the weather app on your phone. That way you will know exactly what to pack.
2. LEARN THE CUSTOMS OF THE PLACE. Each destination has its way of being. Packing a bag to the Caribbean is very different from a suitcase to an Arab country, for example. The attire is part of the culture therefore it is necessary to adapt to the “rules” of the house. This makes it a fun mission when packing.
3. GET INSPIRED BY A COLOR OR A PIECE TO START PACKING. You can’t imagine how this tip saves the excesses! Choose a necklace, a jacket or bag and organize the whole suitcase to get in tune with this one piece. Remember to make sure all pieces match among themselves and with the “icon object” of the trip. So you already begins to dispose of those items in the category “and if I need to.” If you really need something extra, you buy it there.
4. PACK FOR FIVE DAYS. This is another powerful tip to reduce your luggage. Don’t forget that all the clothes selected should match among themselves so that you can create several looks with just a few pieces. Packing a lighter suitcase requires skill. It is like a puzzle, everything needs to fit. Avoid bulky clothing, they occupy too much space. Ah! Always take an “LBD”.
5. ACCESSORIES MAKES ALL THE DIFFERENCE. They revamp any “basic” outfit. I love traveling with scarves, they do not occupy space and are very versatile. They can also be used as a belt, hair accessory and even as a handkerchief. Haha.
6. GO FOR CLOTHES THAT DON’T WRINKLE. They save you from the hassle of having to iron.
7. IF YOU HAVE THE INTENTION OF PURCHASING THINGS, TAKE A FOLDABLE BAG. In some trips you will be tempted to come back with lots of souvenirs. Especially if it is from European countries. The bag will be your salvation!
8. WASH ANYTHING THAT GETS DIRTY. Repeating clothing when traveling is totally okay. After you wear it, ask for it to be washed at the hotel you are staying or a laundromat. Do not carry loads of dirty clothes.
9. ONLY THE ESSENTIALS IN YOUR TOILETRY BAG. Don’t pack all the makeup and moisturizers you use at home, make smart choices. Always have travel size items to help keep the weight at minimum.
10. HANDBAG SECRETS. You will feel comfortable to attend any place/event with a nice purse. My secret is to not take your wallet when traveling, just travel documents, credit cards and cash, in the inner pocket of your purse. I leave space for my cell phone, charger, adapter, sunglasses, lipstick and camera.
See how easy that was! I assure you that slowly you will learn how to pack light. Traveling “light” is awesome. We gradually learn what works and what doesn’t on a trip. It is pure matter of practice and, of course, of detachment! I bet you will get it and won’t ever want to travel with more than a carry-on. Try it and let me know if it worked!
If you are interested in any destination, whether national or international, please leave in the comments below and I will be happy to answer.
See you next Tuesday.