Traveling Light: 16 Practical Tips to Lighten the Load

travelling light

Traveling Light can be a tricky thing to pull off- especially with your kids in tow.  Sometimes when we think of traveling with the family it’s impossible to think that we can pack light. However, getting savvy with your packing lists and techniques can help make your travels a whole lot easier. Don’t take these tips lightly:)

– Bring Multi-functional Items. A few shirts that can be casual or dressed up at night. A few tank tops you can wear during the day or go to bed with.  Bring versatile clothing. Put down the cute cardigan that only goes with one pair of pants that you MIGHT wear.

– Use Vac-Packs! Yes, these things are genius! You can fit more in a smaller suitcase. They are really easy and the kids will probably have fun squeezing the air out of the bags and accidentally help you pack. (Don’t tell them that though!)

– Bring what you Need and ONLY what you Need:  Yes. You know what I am talking about. Are you really going to need three pairs of heels? No. Bring one pair that will go with all of your outfits.

– Make a Game of It:  Don’t let the kids pack every single toy they own. They might want to, however try to make it a game out of it for them. Who ever can bring the ‘funnest’ toys that take up the least amount of space in the bag wins!

– Leave the Bulky Items Behind:  If the kids want their child-size teddy bear to come, tell them he needs to help watch the house while you’re gone. Let’s try to leave behind the big blankets or other unnecessary items that are very large.

– Layer: If you are going to a place that requires warm clothing, instead of bringing multiple bulky jackets and sweaters try layering the lighter items you brought and then a jacket over that.

– Accessorize:  Bring versatile items that you can accessorize to give you a completely different look.  Work with the colors you wear most. Don’t try packing every colorful item you have. If you stick with a color scheme you can mix and match so you and the kids look like you’re wearing a different outfit.

– Roll it Up: Roll your clothing into tight tubes and pack them in. This is the most effective way of fitting things into your bag.

– Categorize:   Separate your belongings by putting them in plastic bags.  All of your shirts can be rolled up nicely and placed in a single plastic bag. This way, when it’s time to look for things and unpack at the hotel you don’t need to throw everything out of the bag to find what you need. This will certainly come in handy with the kids too! Again, another game opportunity to persuade them into helping pack. Whoever can match their tops, bottoms…etc and place them in a bag first? Winner gets a chocolate. Bam! The kids packed themselves… You’re welcome!

– Put it Down!  If you haven’t used it in the past week, you likely won’t need it on vacation. Put it down!

– Invest Ahead of Time:  If you travel frequently think about investing in mini-hairdryers, straighteners, and other mini-accessories that you can use on your vacation. Bringing the full-sized version of everything will surely weigh you down.

– Iron Free: Don’t bring items that need to be ironed unless you have checked with hotel or other accommodations beforehand and they have one available.

– Soap Up:  Since you’re being so good about packing less, don’t forget the laundry soap in a small container so you can do a bit of hand washing if necessary.

– Don’t Forget the Freebies:  Don’t bring toiletries at all if you going to a hotel that offers them for free. This will save you having to lug them from your house, to the airport and then to the hotel.

– Adjust for Shopping & Bring Even Less: If you plan on doing some serious shopping while you are away why bother packing those “old” outfits? You know you won’t wear them. I know you won’t wear them. Let’s not kid ourselves here. Also, you want to make sure you have ample space in your luggage for your return trip.

– Take One Last Look:  It’s a good idea to place all of these things in one place and take a good hard look at them. Can you cut down anything else? Do you really need that dress? Do your kids need that one extra pair of shoes?

Hopefully these tips will make your next vacation a bit lighter. Be sure to check out our Ultimate Packing List and our Airline Carry-on List! Making lists are the most effective way to make sure you have everything- but not too much!  Happy travels!

Emily Eck

photo credit: emdot via photopin cc

About Emily Oak

I am a Mother, a Lover, a Traveler, Entrepreneur and Blogger. I crave adventure, appreciate good leather, find old weathered wood beautiful, prefer french pressed coffee, and feel alive running in the rain (albeit at a snails pace)! I believe in living passionately, loving extravagantly, taking risks, forgiving often, and living for the audience of One. I am an introvert but you wouldn’t know that if you met me. I LOVE people.