Hello, beautiful friends!
Today I wanted to share a few of our top travel tips for packing LIGHT. 🙂
Check out this short video to see what I packed for our 2 week trip to Italy- this backpack was my ONLY piece of “luggage” for the whole 2 weeks!(Click Here to Jump to My Packing List)
In years past, I have totally been “that person” with a giant suitcase AND multiple carry-on bags… however, I found that I only used a fraction of what I packed- and all of that extra stuff was not enhancing my travel experience!
Learning the art of “curating” my packing selections to a minimum has enhanced my overall enjoyment of travel.
Why I Love Traveling Lighter
#1 TRANSPORTATION: Traveling lighter allows me to relax and not be stressed out about needing roomy storage options for my luggage when traveling around countries that use metro systems (not fun with luggage)… or countries that LOVE TINY CARS…. which, fun fact, happens to be most of the world outside of the United States. 🙂
#2 STAIRS: Along with the tiny-car-love-affair going on in most of the world, many of the cities and villages that I adore have ZERO elevators and LOTS of steps… Nuf’ said.
#3 AIRPORT-PHOBIA: I do NOT miss lugging all of my bags around the airport or waiting for eons at baggage claim, and I definitely do not miss the fear of my bags getting lost between legs of international flights (*ahem*- Russia…)
Tips for Packing Lighter
#1 Choose Coordinating Clothing. This is the same theory as building a capsule wardrobe. If you’re going to pack light, you have to be more intentional about which items you select. By going with coordinating colors and fabrics, you can have many different outfit variations with a handful of items. You can “spice things up” with pops of color or design with a couple items, while keeping the majority of your options interchangeable. I use the same rule for my shoe choices.
#2 Embrace Old-Fashioned Laundry. If you are not staying somewhere that provides laundry service, then make sure you have a basic soap or detergent that you can use to give your clothes a quick rinse at the end of the day. This works great during the Summer because your clothing can air dry and be ready to be folded by the next morning. This keeps everything fresh and ready to wear.
Old-fashioned laundry tip: don’t overcomplicate this. I usually just give my clothing a rinse in the shower after I finish showering. Wring allllll of the water out of the fabric and stretch or hang dry somewhere well ventilated (often on our balcony chair).
#3 Shampoo Soap Bars. These are my new obsession for light traveling! There are many great brands to choose from, so I suggest choosing one that suits your needs (moisturizing, cleansing, etc.). I purchased a Chagrin Valley shampoo soap bar from Whole Foods that worked great. I even used it for my laundry and it left my clothes (as well as my hair) fresh and clean with no build-up!
#4 Choose Wrinkle Resistant Clothing. Since you may not have access to a clothes iron, make your life easier with minimal wrinkle clothing. If you do have an item that wrinkles easier, you can just take it out the evening before wearing and rub a warm damp cloth over it. Lay it on a flat surface to dry.
#5 Streamline Your Toiletries & Makeup – curate a go-to simplified regimen of the items that keep you looking, smelling, and feeling your best… without the unnecessary extras! Remember that we usually use a fraction of the items that we bring on a trip- so embrace the freedom of a pared-down small-but-mighty collection of your favorites!
Anything that can be multi-purpose is a great choice when you’re trying to streamline: a lipstick that can also function as a blush, an eye pencil that also works as an eyebrow filler, a lip balm that also works as a highlighter, etc… get creative!
#6 Use the Fold ‘n’ Roll Method for Packing Clothes. By taking the time to smooth any wrinkles out, fold the item into a narrow strip, and then firmly roll it up into a jelly-roll log shape you can reduce the amount of wrinkles and pack more in a compact space. If this is new to you, watch the super short mini-video that goes with this post to get a better idea of what I mean!
The season, weather, and purpose of your trip will dictate much of what you decide to pack- but I hope this packing list and tips help get you thinking and packing lighter (and more intentionally)!
2 Week Summer Packing List
- 5 Pairs Underwear
- 3 Bras Neutral colors, 1 classic, 1 strapless, 1 sports
- 3 Pairs Socks 2 lightweight footies & 1 warm pair for the airplane
- 4 Tops (plus the top that I would wear for traveling)
- 2 Pairs Shorts Jean shorts and a lightweight black pair for hiking
- 3 Dresses Lightweight materials
- 1 Camisole Neutral
- 1 Swimsuit
- Rain Jacket, lightweight This can also be used as a windbreaker on cool evenings or a long flight.
- 2 Scarves, lightweight Handy for keeping your hair up on a hot day and also to cover your shoulders if a historic site or cathedral require this before entering (common in Italy).
- 1 Pair Sandals, comfortable for walking (wear your 2nd pair of shoes during travel)
Shampoo Soap BarMulti-purpose washing bar perfect for compact travels! I purchased the Chagrin Valley shampoo bar from Whole Foods store. It even worked great for washing clothes.
- Sunscreen, mineral sunscreen stick Choosing a stick over liquid helps avoid any leaks in my bag.
Makeup Removing TowelI love re-usable microfiber makeup removal towels. Rinse it out at night and it will be dry by the morning!
- Toiletries / Makeup Bag Such as: BB cream, mascara, eye pencil, concealer, lip color, lip balm, hair ties, hair pins, tweezers, razor, & floss (toothpaste/brush kept in my front backpack pocket to be within reach)
- Vitamins and Supplements Traveling can tax our immune systems, so don't forget this!
- Travel Wallet Just large enough to fit my license, money, and credit card. We carried our passports in a concealed passport pouch.
- 1 Guide Book or Dictionary
- 1 Printed Itinerary or Map Include the address and phone numbers of any lodging destinations- in case you were to lose your phone and needed a printed reference
- Copy of Passport It's a good idea to have a backup copy stored separate from your real passport (just in case)
- Other Small Items Items that I put in the front pocket of my bag to easily access: toothbrush, toothpaste, mini essential oil packets, hand sanitizing packets, my dental retainers, a sleeping mask, a bag for trash or dirty laundry, & snacks
- 1 Phone Charger
Adapter (if needed for international outlets)
There are definitely times that I “need” more luggage (i.e. to bring my scuba gear to the coast). And that’s totally fine! This isn’t an exclusive rule that I must always adhere to; rather, it’s more like a game that also makes my experience while traveling so much more enjoyable!
I hope something in this post inspires you. Please share your best pack-lighter tips in the comments below!