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Ever gone on a vacation and, upon returning, felt like you needed to take another vacation just to recover from the first one? Well, that’s because when you don’t pack properly you end up doing more work than relaxing, having to haul all your unnecessary clothes and belongings around. It’s not worth the headache (and backache) to over-pack. Below are 4 basic tips that can help lighten the load for those who love to travel freely.
1. Ziploc Bags Go Far
Write down all the things that you’re going to need, then break that down to the bare necessities. For instance: toothbrush and toothpaste, hair product and shampoo, shirt and shorts, etc.; these are specific and significant things that most people take with them during their travels because they know they won’t find their preferred brands abroad. Pick up a few empty travel-sized bottles to put any liquids or gels in – this isn’t only for light packing, but also so they don’t get confiscated at the airport. Use a Ziploc bag to keep any leak-able things, like shampoo or toothpaste, compartmentalized and away from clothing.
2. The Roll-Up
This is one of the ultimate pieces of travel advice to help you pack light for your next trip: Packing fewer clothes and rolling them up will make luggage so much easier to carry with fewer wrinkles as well. Rolling a couple t-shirts from the bottom to the top, there will be much more space than if they were folded; one or two shirts and a few versatile bottoms can make a big difference in the way your bag feels.
3. The Clothes Make The Person
Quality clothes go far when traveling. Merino wool clothing is one the better type of fabrics out there for traveling because it can be worn several times without holding in moisture or funk after several wears. In fact, it can be worn for days, weeks even, without smelling bad or showing signs of dishevelment. And since Merino wool stays fresher longer, it’s easier to pack light because there’s no need to worry about packing a ton of shirts – just a few will do the trick.
4. Less Is More
Thankfully the 80’s are over and there is no need for that overly layered look anymore. Whether going on a hiking trip or on a cruise, taking a few essential items will suffice to keep you both comfortable and stylish. A fashionable scarf or a good quality belt, as well as a good pair of sandals or shoes can dress up a look without tipping over into maximalism or garishness. Thankfully, this restrained look is easy on your luggage as well!
No matter how long your next vacation is, there are ways to pack light. There are even ways to pack so light that you don’t have to check a bag, regardless if you’re gone two days, two weeks or even two months. Follow these tips and be selective with what you bring. Your back will thank you!
Ryan Yarbrough is a small business consultant, speaker, and the manager at Davis Financial Services, a small business consulting firm.