5 Tips for Packing Light

Do you feel envy toward every traveler carrying only one bag around? And that’s not even a Birkin bag. You just can’t believe anyone is capable of packing so lightly, when you need the entire Samsonite collection. I’ve been there too but have gradually managed to figure out the art of packing light.


Not a man for all seasons.

I love to be prepared and certainly don’t want my kids to be the only ones without a sweater, Wellies, bathing suits, short sleeves, rain coats, gloves… if there is a chance they might need it. But I think it’s safe to leave the Winter stuff at home, if we are going to the Adriatic coast in August. Even though perhaps in the summer of 1950 they have recorded record low temperatures in these parts.

Pack according to the season at the location and forget the ifs.

Though it probably won’t hurt to throw in a sweater for the cool summer nights but other than that I am focusing on sucking my belly in for all the swim suits and summer dresses.

Don’t feel washed up.

The one thing I absolutely hate is coming home from a vacation and having to face the dreaded reality – work, work and no play. Especially gruesome is having to unpack and wash the dirty clothes for the whole upcoming week. It’s like paying the ultimate price for the awesome trip all over again.

What started as my Mother in Law’s generous offer of washing our clothes before we head back and being done with unpacking in minutes rather than days after our arrival, turned into the best idea ever.

I don’t need to pack 14 days of clothes, I can wash it along the way. This is the only way I managed to fit all of our things in one suitcase for the trip to Japan. I packed five days worth of clothes and then just used the magic of the washing machine. The only dirty clothes upon our return were the ones we were traveling in.

Heading to a deserted island?

If you are not than you can afford to forget things or just decide to buy some at your destinations. I did this with diapers – only carried a few for the first day. For the rest we found a store and bought the “local” Pampers.

If I have spare space in my bag, then it makes perfect sense to go shopping.

Going in I always leave a bit of room for any items we purchase. I take that as the go ahead for shopping, because if it can’t fit in, then how can I even begin to justify it.

Fits like a glove

Before I start packing I bring all of our things in one pile in front of the bag. This way I know what I am dealing with and I approach it with a will of a determined fighter. It’s going down. But rather than using force, it calls for logistics and first grade Geometrics. Put the heavy things in first (fill all your shoes with socks), then fold your clothes around, make sure you have no gaps. It’s just like a 3-D version of the games of Tetris.

To save up space additionally we generally put on the heaviest shoes and jackets. I don’t try to pack it.

Bare necessities 

I only pack the things I know we’ll need. This is not the time for high fashion, just make sure that the clothes match no matter the combination.

Kids don’t get a say really, I figure this really isn’t a democracy, it calls for a bit of dictatorship, otherwise I better check in another bag.

Medicine wise I go with the first aid kit and not the entire pharmacy stock.

I also minimize on the toiletries – we bring only one children friendly shower gel and I don’t carry makeup.

There you go, these five tips for packing light will help you become the object of envy.

Tell me what you think...