Those who like to bring everything on travel ‘just in case’ would know the all-too-familiar pain of having to lug bulky suitcases and bags around. Not to mention the flush of nervousness as you wait for your baggage to be weighed at the airport, if getting to your destination entails air travel. If you are anything like me, you’d have tried and failed miserably at your attempts to travel light several times in the past.
Here are a few tips that have really helped me size down and shed the weight of my baggage effectively:

Make a List

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Before you so much as bring out the bags and head to your closet to pick out what you need, make a list of items that you REALLY need on the trip. Sleep over it, and revisit the list to see if there is anything on it that you can do without.

Invest in a Smaller Luggage

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The thing about over-sized bags and suitcases is that there is always room to pack things you don’t need. As a thumb rule, try sticking to bags that roughly the size of carry-on baggage. It is not possible to over pack if there is limited room in your bag or suitcase.

Wear the Bulk

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Bulky jackets, woollens and boots take up a lot of space, forcing you to add an extra bag or suitcase, which means you have more room to add stuff that you don’t need and increase your travel load. Wearing these bulky items instead can help you cut back on luggage weight considerably.

Pack for a Week

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Irrespective of the duration of your trip, always pack a week’s supply of clothes and other essentials. You can always find a laundry service to get a clean set of clothes at the end of the week.

Cross-match Your Outfits

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In this era of social media, a lot of us don’t want to be seen in the same set of clothes repeatedly on a holiday. A smart way to add variety to your clothing without increasing the bulk of your baggage is to pack clothes that can be cross-matched. May be a pair of shorts that can go well with three different tops, a shrug or stole that can be used to jazz up different dresses.

Footwear in Neutral Colours

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Those of you who have a penchant for shoes would identify with the need to bring matching shoes for every dress you pack for a trip. As a result, you have a separate bag of shoes to carry along on your travels. It has taken some discipline but I have finally come around to carrying two or three pairs of footwear in universal colours. A black, a brown and may be a pair of walking shoes would suffice.

Pack Vertically

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Place of your clothes and other items vertically, instead of stacking them in horizontal layers. Not only does it help in saving space, allowing you to fit in more items in a single bag, but also makes gives you a better view of your belongings. If you have to live out of a suitcase on a particular trip, this can be a life-saver. Once you are done packing, take a final look at the colour combinations in your bag to see if there is anything you can replace to help with the cross-matching.

Rubber Bands Are Great Space Savers

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These stretchy bands are really effective when you are looking to fit in more stuff into a small bag. Just tie up each piece of clothing to make the packing more compact and free up some space in your bag. It is also a great way of keep your belongings neatly organized.

Ball It Up

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Your socks are can double up as packing accessories. Roll up your underwear, bras and lingerie and stuff them inside your socks, them ball them up to fit inside your shoes. This saves up a lot of space, allowing you to stuff in a few extra clothes ‘just in case’.

Ditch the Toiletries

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Instead of bringing toiletries of your own, why not use the ones available in your hotel room. They are complimentary anyway! If you are too particular about a particular product or brand, you can always buy them at your destination. In case you are not sure about finding them where you are headed to, it is always a good idea to bring miniatures instead of full blown bottles.

Author

A journalist by profession, a freelance writer by choice. When not writing, she likes to spend her time in company of books and food or hitting the road to explore new places, besides juggling roles as an army wife and mommy.