The art of travelling light

Whether you are jetting off to a far-flung destination or looking forward to a luxury weekend getaway closer to home, the stress of packing can really take the edge off your sense of anticipation. Packing for a holiday really doesn’t have to be a stress-inducing experience though, particularly not for those planning to stay in luxury accommodation. Stick to the following tips for travelling light and you will be well on your way to minimising packing stress (even if you are not ready to limit your luggage to the bare essentials just yet). Farini It is worth remembering that the more upmarket your hotel, the more little extras you can expect to be provided and the less you will need to pack. You definitely won’t need to pack a towel or any toiletries and may well be provided with fluffy slippers, a dressing gown, or even an umbrella. Following these steps should help alleviate a lot of your packing stress, leaving you free to concentrate on looking forward to your holiday.
  • Look for a suitcase or luggage bag that is lightweight when it is empty. You will be able to carry far more than you would be able to in a heavy suitcase.
  • Roll your clothes. This makes maximum use of the space in your bag and helps garments to stay wrinkle free.
  • Wherever possible, buy travel-sized toiletries. Shampoo, shower gel, toothpaste and even sun cream are all available in mini bottles and take up far less space than their full-sized counterparts.
  • Find out ahead of time whether bulky items like towels and a hairdryer will be provided at your destination. If so, leave them behind! Try to be strict with yourself about what you really need.
  • Bookworms beware: books are heavy and their weight will add up very quickly. Consider an e-book instead.
  • It is a good idea to take clothes that are from the same colour family. Packing an assortment of coordinating items allows you to save on space, leaving clothes that don’t match at home.
  • Take a good look at the contents of your suitcase next time you are unpacking after a holiday. Make a note of everything as you unpack it and decide honestly if you really need to take it with you next time. If you realise you forgot to take something important, make a note of that too. Leave this list inside your luggage bag so that you will find it straight away when the time comes to pack for your next luxury getaway.
William Forshaw is Managing Director at Maxwell Scott. If you would like to be a guest blogger on A Luxury Travel Blog in order to raise your profile, please contact us.

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  1. This is so important!

    Venice, Italy. Pedestrian. Bridges. Beautiful. We came loaded for bear and missed 90% of Venice because of LUGGAGE!

    Two rollies and two small duffles. NO! NO! NO!

    Two MESH backpacks period. Ten pounds of stuff and no more! If it’s not medicine or something you wear LEAVE IT AT HOME! The Iron Law Of Luggage Physics: Every once of ANY stuff morphs into a full pound inside a bag!

    All of the places we went to in Southern Europe could have been done with a Backpack! Every place had safe bottled water.

    Between a Norwegian Cruse Line life boat drill and luggage I learned my lesson. NO rollies! Take clothes you wash out every night, dry and reuse the next day. So what if you have a boring wardrobe.

    I use Kirks Castile Bars. No weird smell. Light weight. Three bars will last an entire two week trip.

    Hey! You are on Vacation! Travel Light!

    Please post this! This is important!

  2. We both have a backpack. And use packing cubs to “compress” the clothing. It basically helps everything lie flat. Also, I call ahead or email hostels to make sure they have a hair dryer.

    For ladies, depending on where you go: consider a pair of flat boots. Wear them on the plane and they go with just about everything. :)

  3. I found some Men’s shoes at Wal-Mart. “Faded Glory Phillip III” it says on the box. They are the most comfortable shoes I have! They come in Basic Black and Brown. They’re made of “Classic Oriental Plastic” and they wear like iron! The Black ones go with anything. You clean them with a damp rag. So? Wear your most comfortable shoes and no more!

    WARNING! Extra shoes in BAGS add extra weight!

    I take ONLY the pair I wear and no more! Same goes for the clothes I wear on the trip. A light jacket with lots of pockets. Blue jeans and a plain Polo shirt. AND of course my politics neutral ball cap. If you can wear a versatile flexible ensemble on the plane DO IT! ANYTHING that does more than one thing is best. Think “Swiss Army Knife” or Multi-Tool and you get the idea…

    The little 7 inch e-Reader/Tablets will hold MANY guide books and novels and weigh very little.

    One more very important thing I do is to wear small pouches on my belt. Here’s where you carry credit cards and money. One pouch is a blister kit! Another holds my cell phone. I kept heavy rubber bands over the flaps too. I did NOT lose anything in Europe although I was “probed” many times!

    And finally, I carried a cheap walking cane. Why? For stability of course. BUT you can create a “zone” around you that keeps pick pockets too far away to work! A cane can be a weapon too! I had NO trouble taking it aboard any plane.

    Travel light! Have fun and come back with happy memories! The object is to be able NOT to say: “…I wish I hadn’t I wish I didn’t”.

  4. Rolling up your clothes is absolutely the best tip I’ve ever heard, the difference it makes when I’m trying to lug my wardrobe around is something else! Great post!

  5. Here’s two more things I have discovered about traveling light:

    When you hand wash your now very few items, roll them up in a dry towel and tromp it to get as much water out as possible. Speeds drying! Even heavy jeans and jackets dry overnight.

    Consider a Hobo Roll. Roll your now few clothes into a roll. Lay out jeans/pants first then shirts, shorts and socks. Roll tight then secure with a cinch strap. Re-thread the loose end through a three bar slider to make a “street car” loop so you can carry it easily. NO BAG! You can get ready made straps and hardwear from Strapworks. PACK LIGHT! Really enjoy your trip!

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