Before taking a three month trek throughout the Caribbean islands I bought a tiny travel knapsack and decided I would just have to ‘figure out’ how to pack light.
I have traveled enough to realize that lugging around 50 pounds on your back is hardly worth the sacrifice for an extra pair of shoes or two.
If you are traveling for an extended amount of time, are packing for opposite climates, or plan on being on-the-go, learning how to pack light is crucial. I have put together a few tips for leaving the dead weight behind while still bringing enough to sustain you while traveling.
How to Pack Light: Wardrobe
Women travelers tend to prioritize what they will pack for their wardrobe for obvious reasons; nobody wants to look totally haggard while traveling (and c’mon, capturing cute pictures in cheeky little sundresses is necessary for your vacation album upload onto Facebook). Luckily I have a few suggestions of how you can still look stylish, while keeping your knapsack bulge at a minimum.
- One light airy dress that you can dress up or down
- A wind-proof packable parka
- Cute pull over sweater
- Easy-going sweatshirt you can wear anywhere, all the time
- One pair of Flip Flops
- One pair of Toms
- Two bathing suits in case you lose one piece
- Four pairs of underwear because lets be honest, you can always wash them in your sink
- One necklace to spice up any outfit
- Easy going tanks (No silk because they rip and start to smell)
- One pair of shorts
- One pair of comfy pants
How to Pack Light: Toiletries
Gritty teeth and body odor are not something I condone while traveling. We are getting dirty enough as it is while on the road and jumping from hostel to hostel. Toiletries can be expensive and hard to find when traveling to remote places, but don’t fall into the trap off overpacking. Also keep in mind that if you’re staying in a hotel, many of these things can be requested for free by your concierge desk.
Here is your recipe for packing toiletries.
- A generic sized tube of toothpaste (It will last your whole trip and then some)
- One travel size toothbrush
- One enormous box of Tampons (OR a diva cup)
- Condoms ( You never know )
- A bottle of sunscreen
- Two or three small bottles of moisturizer
- Face wash
- One razor with a few replaceable blades
- A small packet of face tissue (intended to be used for other places then your face)
Pack Light: Sleeping and Comforts of Home
When I was younger I remember grabbing the pillow off my bed to take on long road trips with my family. The smells and nostalgia of home gave me comfort while traveling. I no longer can afford the room to stuff my pillow in my knapsack when traveling. I do however, have a few tips on how to bring some comforts and familiarity of home to the open road. If you’re going to be camping or sleeping outdoors at any point, these tips are particularly helpful. A good pillow, even a travel pillow, can make a huge difference!
- One fleece sleeping bag ( You can purchase them at any sporting good store, they are small and not too bulky)
- Ear-plugs ( for noisy bus or air travel)
- A bandana ( To wrap up your hair, cover your eyes, or keep a hidden treasure safe)
- Sugar Packets or Spices from your kitchen
- One oversized scarf from your closet ( That retains the scents and aromas from your home)
If you follow these recipes you should be able to fit all the necessary gear ingredients into your backpack without bursting at the seams!
I totally agree with bringing some spices from home! I wish I had brought a bottle of Tapatio Hot Sauce with me!
Also, I wish I had brought along a giant bottle of a good deep conditioning treatment for my hair. The conditioner in Asia just doesn’t work the like ones I’m used to. Also I wish I brought a power strip, often there is one outlet in hostel dorm rooms and you have multiple people fighting over it to charge their many electronics.
This list makes me feel like such an over-packer! I always tend to err on the side of caution and have an extra of essentials…
I’ll definitely consider this list against my own suitcase when I pack for my next trip =)
Man you guys pack wayyy more than me. I just pack 1 shirt and 2-3 jackets and then just buy disposable clothes when I reach my destination, then when I head off to my next destination I discard almost everything and start again. I do love shopping and do occasionally send back some of the clothes I can’t stand to throw away back home.
Ditch the tampons (too much space! too much waste!) and get into using a DivaCup or other such menstrual cups. Though they take some practice, they’re smaller than even a jumbo box of OBs. And, since you only need to bring one, you always have the right amount whether you’re on the road for two days or two months.