Tips for Traveling Light
Tips for Traveling Lightpost contains affiliate links
Right after Chris and I got engaged, we took a trip to Las Vegas for New Year's Eve. This trip goes down in the books as notorious for many reasons, but the most often brought up one was that my suitcase (just mine, with only my things in it, mind you) weighed 75 pounds.
Y'ALL. SEVENTY FIVE POUNDS.
Now, in my honest defense, I had a couple of pairs of boots and my warmest, i.e heaviest, coat, but still. Chris was mortified and we had to literally take half my stuff out and back to the car before we could check in for our flight. Needless to say, that was the first and last time that ever happened. It was a mess!
In the last couple of years, I've spent a LOT of time traveling, which is a huge blessing because it means I get to spend lots of time with my friends, but I had to learn really quick how to travel without checking a bag because that was an expense I was just not okay with paying. I had to learn how to pare down my wardrobe, get creative with packing methods, and master packing all my toiletries in to a zip lock baggie.
Here are my tips for traveling light!
(1) Learn how to bundle pack!
I happened to come across this YouTube video about a year ago and it has quite literally changed my life FOREVER. You can literally pack more clothes than you need and quit worrying about wrinkles with this method and I have used it dozens of times since then to travel all over and never have to check a bag. The jist is that you put your undergarments and pajamas in the middle and then fold all your clothes around them to create a nice, neat little bundle that fits in one half of your carry-on suitcase. It is a miracle to say the very least!
(2) Create a "traveling wardrobe" and stick to it.
Usually when I travel, I am either attending a blogging conference or going on a vacation, so my wardrobe does tend to be pretty casual. I have honed it down to pieces I know look casual, professional, and put-together without being fussy, and most importantly, comfortable. Who wants to sit at a blog conference all day and be in an uncomfortable outfit? Not me!
Jeans | Tee | Boots | Blazer | Earrings
I stick to skinny jeans, solid color tees, ankle boots with a low heel, a comfortable blazer, and a pair of killer earrings. This combo has never failed me and always looks put together and I feel great in it, which is really the most important thing to me! I usually bring two pairs of jeans, three or four tees, a couple of pairs of earrings and maybe a scarf, if I'm feeling adventurous. ;) I can always make several outfits out of what I've brought and rarely do I overpack clothes that I don't end up wearing. It also makes that last-minute frenzy of packing and getting everything together so much easier. I don't have to fret over planning outfits! Win - Win - Win!
(3) Have the right gear.
I have a carry-on sized suitcase and a tote that I use as a personal item that is all I ever travel with. My carry-on has a zippered compartment for hanging up clothes that I use for my blazer and any dresses should I happen to be traveling with one. It also has an expanding zipper that makes the main compartment about 2 inches deeper and comes in handy for longer trips! It also has three outer compartments that are great for sliding a pair of flip flops in (because I always seem to need a pair) as well as jewelry, undies, and snacks. This luggage is pretty similar - it is the same brand but mine is a few years old and this is the newest version of mine:
My tote is a this one from Target, which is pretty easy to find and a reasonable price at $35. It holds my laptop, my trusty water bottle, and all my other standard issue purse requirements. I usually also stuff a scarf in there in case it is chilly on the plane. All of my toiletries go in a Rume Reveal Quart Bag, which holds so much more than a plastic bag and is still TSA approved for security purposes. Plus it is reusable, tear-proof, and a heck of a lot sturdier than a plastic baggie. For the rest of my toiletries that are not required to be in the bag, I use a Timeless Beauty bag from Thirty-One.
(4) Master the Toiletry Bag
This was the hardest part for me because I definitely tend to err towards bringing everything but the kitchen sink because, well... what if I need it? After a few test runs, I finally figured out exactly what I must bring, and what I can live without!
My Must Haves:
- Face Wash - I have a travel size of my Peter Thomas Roth facewash and it goes everywhere with me. Nothing beats a clean face at the end of a long day.
- Contact Case/Solution - these do not have to be in your plastic baggie because they are considered a medical necessity if you wear contacts. You still have to bring them out for screening at security but they don't have to take up space in your baggie.
- Glasses - because I'm blind without them.
- Moisturizer - I use a contact case to travel with these - just fill up both sides (or one with AM, one with PM) and you'll have just what you need and you won't need to bring your whole bottle.
- Essential Oils - I'll be doing a detailed post soon about what oils I never travel without.
- Toothbrush/Toothpaste - for obvious reasons! I refill my travel-size toothpaste from my regular one each time and it has lasted me forever.
- Make Up - I have whittled my routine down to a few basics (powder, blush, mascara, eyebrow pencil) and it has saved me so much time and room in my suitcase.
- Chapstick - I literally never leave home without some kind of lip balm. I usually take two, one for my purse and one for beside my bed.
- Shampoo/Conditioner/Body Wash/Lotion - I use the little sample provided by the hotels - I mean, I'm paying for it anyways, right?
- Hair Dryer - I can usually make do with the hotel's hair dryer since my hair is short or use a roomie's if I need to. Plus I want to save room in my suitcase for shoes ;)