Jayce’s Guide to Traveling Light

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.

Screen shot 2013-04-02 at 2.22.17 AM1.  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.

800px-Ziplock4.  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.

62873_164253593588793_7703176_n6.  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!

Jayce Cairo

Jayce is a linguaphile who speaks four languages and currently works as a translator to finance her various interests. Scoring very high on “Openness to Experience” on the Big Five Personality Test, she is an avid globetrotter who aspires to retire at 35 and travel for the rest of her life.


  1. Wow, nice tips. That really keeps you on the go without lifting too much weight. It’s really good if you keep your things minimal on size. I also agree that one should consider to buy a strong and reliable bag suited for all weathers. Thanks for these helpful tips 🙂

  2. I thought that it’s better not to carry any towels if you want to travel light because most hotels would provide towels anyway. But before doing so, it’s best to call the hotel staff and ask the things that are already available like shampoos, conditioners, lotion, soap, toothbrush, slippers, etc.

  3. I remember my BDJ Planner where in they include travel light packing guide too. Yours looks interesting too!

  4. Funny thing, I lost my ability to travel light ever since I started running because of the shoes and gears that comes with it. This tips really helps.

  5. I am also a big fan of ziplock plastic bags. They make segregating things a lot easier in a bag.

  6. you got nice tips bro. Using ziplock plastic bags is a must for me, since dyan ko kasi inilalagay ang mga basa and used clothes na. I guess, next time you take a travel marunong ka ng mag-fold ng clothes.

  7. When I travel, I use the rolling technique for my shirts as it can save space and I can place more things that I want to bring but these are great tips that the traveler will surely take note. 😀

  8. I always travel light whenever I’m travelling because it makes the whole travelling experience less stressful. 🙂

  9. this tips helps a lot when they travel anywhere, a use this when we have a vacation in the end of my first semester

  10. I am not a traveller but these are nice tips. Hahaha I’ve been doing the rolling technique every rare time I travel and it works for me. Hahaha pero I am not used to with the travelling light because I usually like to bring a lot. Thanks for this though, I already bookmarked this entry as they are very helpful :3

  11. Thanks for sharing some tips here. I will fold my clothes as what it instructed hehe. For an easy ang light free travel. See you Cebu this Friday 🙂

  12. travelling light is such a complicated task for me. this is actually a great help especially for people like me who usually pack almost the entire house whenever i travel. lol 🙂

  13. great tips here! i’ve been travelling for years and I guess I pretty much masterized how to pack light specially when its only 3 days in a country i can just bring my bagpack and easy with clothes

  14. I also have the same standard when it comes to packing. I even started with bringing crease-free clothing (the ones that can be rolled instead of folded) and would also pack those inside several ziplock bags (for easy viewing too). But I now have a different bag for my clothes when I travel, and have since let go of the ziplocks.

  15. Thanks for these tips! I actually practice almost everything that is listed here. For folding, I roll my clothes sometimes just like what my dad told me to do whenever I travel 🙂

  16. Wow these tips are awesome! I need to invest in Ziploc plastic bags! 🙂

  17. I agree that it is an investment when you buy a bag. As a backpack traveller, I really need to know this kind of information because everytime I travel with my backpack, I have to make it sure that all things must be included despite the size of the bag.

  18. I don’t travel a lot but my husband does so, it’s my duty to pack his things. I do some of these tips but the rest are equally helpful though.

  19. This guide is very helpful to not only for travelers but of course those who needs to go to places in a short time.

  20. These are on my checklist too when traveling. Expect choosing a reliable and strong bag is my on my top list! 🙂

  21. There are also plenty of interesting tips on these sites for those who want to travel light: http://www.onebag.com/ and http://onebagger.squarespace.com

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