There are a number of benefits to traveling light. Unfortunately, traveling light is difficult for many people, especially those vacationing.
Benefits Of Traveling Light
There are three main benefits to traveling light.
First is ease of travel. Being able to move quickly and freely can help when catching a connecting flight or jumping into a cab. If you pack heavy, you’ll always have to have a place for your luggage. Your plans will revolve around leaving your luggage at the hotel, and it could hinder what you’re able to do on your trip.
Second, traveling light can save you money. Many airlines charge for a checked bag and will charge even more if your bag is overweight. There’s no point in spending money on bags if you don’t have to. If you’re vacationing, the money you’d otherwise spend on a large bag could be put toward an experience or a meal. What’s more worth it, a ziplining experience or an extra pair of shoes?
Lastly, if you’re vacationing, traveling light on your initial trip can allow you to take souvenirs home. If you pack heavy and your suitcase is full to the brim, you’ll end up having to pay extra to ship your souvenirs home or check them on the plane. When packing, always account for your luggage coming back, not your luggage on the way to your destination. If you have to use your suitcase’s expander on the way there, you have packed too much.
If you’re traveling as a family, consider checking one piece of family luggage. This way, you’re only paying to check one bag, instead of three or four. Explain to the family that everything for the trip must fit inside of one carry-on and a designated portion of the checked bag. Sharing a checked bag can allow family members to bulkier items, such as boots for a hiking expedition.
Wear Your Suitcase
When traveling, wear your heaviest items on the plane. If you’re traveling to a cold-weather destination, only bring one jacket, and carry it onto the plane with you. The same goes for shoes. Wear your heaviest shoes, and pack your lightest shoes. If you’re trying to pack light, don’t wear sandals on the plane! Pack them away, where they won’t take up much space. You’ll always be able to change once you check into your hotel.
Similarly, you should only bring one pair of jeans on your trip. If this is the only pair of pants you’re bringing, wear them while flying. You’ll be shocked at how much space you create in your suitcase without jeans.
Give Your Luggage A Test Run
Pack your suitcase as you would for vacation, and then walk around with it for an hour. It’s best if you can walk through a nearby city or mall. Go in and out of stores, and tote it around as you plan on vacation. If you find that you’re tired or that it’s too strenuous to carry, you should lighten your load.
Don’t Overpack Toiletries
Deborah Jacobs of Forbes finds that minimizing the number of toiletries you bring is one of the quickest ways to lighten your load. Common knowledge may say “pack the essentials,” but with toiletries, the opposite remains true.
Many hotels will gladly offer you essential toiletries, such as a toothbrush or a comb. However, they may not carry the moisturizer that your doctor recommended to combat your dry skin. Also, remember that toiletries can be purchased anywhere. Pretty much wherever you travel to, you’ll be able to find a convenience store that sells contact solution, toothpaste, and other similar products. It could be easier to buy these items once you arrive instead of trying to force them into your carry-on luggage.