You love to travel. But it seems that no matter how many times you give in to your wanderlust, you just can’t seem to master the art of packing that could save you a few hundred bucks by going light in your flights. So, here are my tips that could help you travel lighter on your next adventure.
1. Read up! During my unexpectedly cold stay in Batanes, I realized that the “I-wanna-be-surprised” mindset is not too wise when it comes to traveling. Knowledge is indeed power. It turns out that knowing the place, the weather at that particular time of the year and the planned activities is quite indispensable when it comes to choosing the clothes (and other stuff) that you need to bring. Being prepared and well-attired, not just to avoid fashion faux pas, is necessary in order to prevent under- or overpacking.
2. Fold your clothes nicely. I have never been successful with the “rolling” technique. They just seem to invite in unnecessary air (which, duh, takes up space) and produce grossly wrinkled clothes. So what I do is fold my clothes in such a way that their shape or size maximizes the contours of the insides of my travel bag. This way, I would have more room to maneuver my other things.
3. Select crease-resistant clothes. Even if you need to squeeze your stuff into a bag, you still wouldn’t want to look too bedraggled when you change your clothes. So if your trip would consist mostly of physical activities, bring dry-fit shirts instead of cotton ones. They are cooler to use, they wick away your sweat and they would not make you look as haggard as cotton shirts do.
4. Use ziplock plastic bags. Ziplock bags are really my travel companions. With them, I could sort my clothes into different sets per day. Then my dirty (and later on smelly) clothes could be separated from the clean ones. My wet clothes would be safely segregated and there is less to no risk of leaking. They also have a nice way in ensuring that all the extra air would be squeezed out of my clothes. Hence, more space. They are also very essential during boat rides that could render your stuff useless after getting wet. And as an added bonus, ziplock plastics are not as noisy as the ones used in groceries, etc. Plus, they can be reused ad infinitum, if you are careful. One way to prolong their lifestyle is to label each bag, such as “new only”, “used”, or “wet”.
5 Choose refillable cosmetic bottles. Instead of buying shampoos and conditioners in sachets, choose reusable, refillable cosmetic bottles instead. With them, it is easier to control the amount of hair product to be used. Plus, they are easier to open and would spare you the trouble of having to rip open those hard sachets. And lastly, you would avoid littering in those bathrooms and looking like an uneducated a-hole who leaves around trash for other people to find. Up to you.
6. Bring a Towelite. The key to my style of traveling light? Towelites! Forget those bulky terry cloth towels that tend to take up about 50% of your luggage space. Bring a Towelite instead! They are, as the name suggests, lightweight, compact, very absorbent and, best of all, fast-drying. Even the full-size bath towel (24x48in; 150g) doesn’t take up too much space. There are lots of colors to choose from (blue, pink, purple, aqua, orange, etc.) and they come in cute pouches, too. They can be bought online or at the Landmark.
7. Buy a strong bag. So you have carefully gone through your itinerary, painstakingly selected the stuff you’ll bring, packed your nicely folded, crease-resistant clothes in ziplocks, put your liquid products in bottles and found yourself a Towelite. Now, it’s time to look for that ideal travel bag. Buying a bag is a real investment. You might want to choose one that is already waterproof so you are ready for any kind of weather. May it be a backpack or a shoulder bag, be sure to buy a strong one. One that could stand by you during all your travels without unexpectedly giving up.
These are only some of the steps I take to ensure that I don’t overpack myself whenever I travel. How about you? Feel free to share some of your tricks!