Hey there fellow travelers and welcome to my post where we will outline my 5 tips for traveling light this year. In my experience, there are two types of travelers. The first with the trolley full of suitcases piled to the eyeballs containing everything they could possibly ever need and more.

tips for traveling light - header

The second, one carry-on only! Now of course there are those in between but or the purposes of this post, let’s just think about the extremes here. So if you are in the full suitcase camp and wish to cross over to the light side of the force and all its carry-on goodness, let’s see when we can do to help you out…

  1. Start with a small suitcase
  2. Choose your clothes wisely
  3. Beauty takes up a lot of space
  4. Use packing aides
  5. Use local tools and amenities where possible

Why travel light?

Apart from the shear exhaustion of trying to manage all those bags you mean? Sorry, that was a bit condescending and there are always reasons to take extra stuff with you. However if that is not the case, then there are a good number of reasons to travel light. These include:

  • It is cheaper with no luggage or excess weight fees
  • It is much easier to move around in airports etc.
  • You always have all your stuff with you
  • You don’t have to book larger taxis or ride share cars to fit all your suitcases
  • You won’t get as tired from carrying all that extra weight

Tips for Traveling Light

Ok, so for those of you looking to save on suitcase size and weight, let’s check out my 5 tips on how to travel light below:

1. Start with a small suitcase

Apart from the fact that you simply can’t fit as much stuff in them, a good carry-on case can provide a number of advantages for those who like to travel light. Modern options actually hold a lot more than you might expect and include little slots and internal pouches etc. to assist with packing as well.

And as we discussed above, they are simpler to move around with and go on the plane with you too. Additionally, if you don’t have one already, you will find that most options on the market today are light in weight and sized to meet carry-on size restrictions of most airlines (9″ x 14″ x 56″ or 23cm x 36cm x 22cm).

Check out these: Hardside Carry-on Luggage Cases

tips for traveling light - lady with carry-on

2. Choose your clothes wisely

In light of the above regarding the use of a smaller suitcase, this next tip probably goes without saying but as you can’t fit everything in, then you will need to seriously consider what you take with you in terms of clothing.

Of course this will mean that you will absolutely need to leave some things behind, but here are some ideas that you can try:

  1. Look for multi use items – i.e. a blouse or button up shirt that can be worn around the shops or to the beach in the daytime, and then out for dinner at night. This is especially important when it comes to shoes as they take up the most space. It really might be a case of wearing the flats out for dinner and leaving the high heels at home.
  2. If it is going to be cold, wear layers to warm up rather than taking a large, heavy coat.
  3. If you are shopping for you trip away, go for lightweight, quick drying clothing items made of fabrics such as bamboo, crinkle cotton or spandex/polyester. The advantage here is that they are not only comfortable, but they fold down to almost nothing as well.

In most cases, the general rule of thumb is to only take clothes for a week and take the time to do some laundry whist you are away. And whatever you do, pack your flip flops in your suitcase and wear shoes on the plane!

Check out these: Quick Drying Towels For Travel

3. Beauty takes up a lot of space

Ok, this is where you really need to be a little harder on your travel stash and toiletry bags and makeup kits take up a real lot of space. Luckily, most supermarkets sell ‘travel sized‘ items such as body wash, shampoo and toothpaste etc. and also leave the electric toothbrush at home in lieu of ye olde hand held model.

And now for the makeup, lipstick and so on. If you really want to take it all, then try using a draw string bag or similar instead of a makeup case. And as with toiletries above, look for travel sized moisturizer creams etc. as well.

tips for traveling light - packed suitcase

4. Use packing aides

Once you have sorted out your clothes and toiletries, it comes time for packing. I have never been a fan of this next tip myself but it really does pay to do a practice run in the days leading up to leaving just so you know how to pack it and what space you are really taking up.

Trust me, if you wish to travel light, jamming everything into the suitcase in whatever fashion you choose is really not going to work for you!

There are however some little tools you can use here to assist you with you packing endeavors. these include:

  • Compression packing cubes – These are little bags that you place the bag in and then ‘squeeze’ squeeze the air out of to take up less room.
  • Vacuum bags – These work in a similar fashion to a cryovac bags for food in that you place your clothes inside and then shrink them down with a vacuum cleaner.
  • Mesh laundry bags – these don’t squash down as such but do allow you to squish everything down in the one spot.

And finally here, if you are a little nerdy like my wife (but please don’t tell her I said that), once you have everything sorted, you can crate yourself a packing list for future trips. This allows you to pack easily without having to go through the above every time.

Check out these: Best Compression Packing Cubes

5. Use local tools and amenities where possible

This next tip is more to do with what you don’t pack rather than what to put into your suitcase but obviously the most space you can save is with stuff you don’t take at all. This includes:

  • Use the hairdryer in the hotel
  • Buy your toiletries, sunscreens etc. once you get to your destination
  • Use the towels provided by your accommodation
  • Rent your scuba or snorkeling gear at your location

Other little tricks

And finally, to save space and weight you can also:

  • Pack earbuds instead of big bulky headsets
  • Use a kindle rather than paper books
  • Take photos on your phone rather than a camera
  • Charge one thing at time – power adaptors are bulky too

Check out these: Hair Dryers for Travel


So there you have it, my 5 tips for traveling light this year. I hope it has been of assistance but as usual, if you have any questions please do not hesitate to reach out by commenting below.

Do you have any other tips to save weight or space when travelling? If so, please comment below.

Until next time

Have fun


Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *