Travel Hacks 101: Tips For Traveling Light

I was raised on backpacking trips and shared suitcases so I have spent many years trying to master the art of packing light.

backpacking
UNSPLASH Ivana Cajina

One of my friends jokes that if I could, I would travel with only a ziploc bag. It’s true, I love to travel light. I feel mildly defeated any time I have to check a bag or lug around an embarrassingly large carry-on. I was raised on backpacking trips and shared suitcases so I have spent many years trying to master the art of packing light. Here are some tips I’ve gathered to help lighten your load:

1. Stuff socks in your shoes.

2. Tightly roll every piece of clothing.

3. Wear (don’t pack) your bulkiest clothes.

4. If you can, avoid bringing a towel at all costs.

There are few things that take up more space than a towel.

5. Second to towels, shoes and coats tend to take up the most room.

Limit how many of these you realistically need.

6. Be O.K. with reusing clothes.

Unless you’re hiking or sweating profusely, you can usually get a couple of wears from one piece of clothing.

7. Do your research for wherever you’re staying.

Most hotels have soap, shampoo, conditioner and lotion so you don’t need to bring these things (but make sure you always have a toothbrush and some toothpaste).

8. Condense your multimedia to one device.

Kindles, phones, computers and iPads all come with cords and chargers that take up space. On most trips, you can probably get by with choosing just one of these devices.

9. Get a Platypus water bottle.

I’m absolutely obsessed with mine because once it’s emptied, it takes up almost no room. Especially when traveling and flying, I am easily dehydrated and water bottles usually take up a lot of space (if you’re supper attached to your Nalgene, you can also stuff some of your clothes into the bottle to save room).

Lizzy Monroe

Originally from Eugene, OR, Lizzy graduated from Stanford University. She's a coffee & street market enthusiast, her travel style involves planning ahead but never hesitating to improvise. Her favorite country is South Africa, she never travels without her Swiss Army Knife - mostly because of the hidden pen, tweezers and corkscrew.

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