Holiday Challenge: Travel Lighter

Save money and time by packing fewer bags.

We're heading into the holiday season and lots of you are traveling. This year, I challenge you to travel a little lighter. Bring less stuff! Fewer bags. Smaller bags. No bags at all! (<Ok well that's a little nuts.)

 This was ALL our luggage for 6 weeks in Southeast Asia. Two 36L backpacks. Freedom!

This was ALL our luggage for 6 weeks in Southeast Asia. Two 36L backpacks. Freedom!

A few of the benefits I've discovered:

Save Money

No more checked bag fees. And no need to pay for gas in a massive SUV, you could travel in a smart car!

Better Mobility

No more dragging a 50lb (23kg) bag over cobbled streets, between airport and taxi, onto trains, boats, or buses. You can move like a cat rather than an elephant. :)

Save the Strife 

No more unpacking that massive bag to find one pair of shoes then spending an hour to repack everything, again.

Save More Money 

There's less room for shopping on your travels. This seems like a negative but it works the same way as tiny houses. You only buy the very best stuff. The best quality, highest nostalgia value, etc. It makes you consider what you really want rather than spending frivolously.

Save Time 

It's easier and quicker to get dressed in the morning! Seems silly but it's SO nice to start the day with an easy decision. With so little to chose from, the perfect outfit will quickly show itself. On that note, there's NO SHAME in wearing an outfit 2, 3, sometimes 4 days in a row. Just make sure you don't smell... Haha.


Tips and tricks from this minimalist:

Pick a Few Colors 

Limit your clothing to a few basic colors. (I learned this from a friend who travels a lot while looking very stylish.) For example, my colors are black, white, grey, and blue. EVERYTHING in my suitcase is one of those colors, except for accessories! If you're worried about looking drab, pack some colorful jewelry and scarves, bow ties and socks...

Plan a Little

Plan your wardrobe ahead of time. For our honeymoon, Mike and I sat on the beach a week before leaving and thought through the vague outline of our trip. Since we were relaxed and not needing to pack right away, we enjoyed the planning. It turned into a date! We came up with a list of stuff which the packing quick. You can do this on a much lesser scale for shorter trips.

 Our packing list laid out on the bed. Time to play some luggage Tetris!

Our packing list laid out on the bed. Time to play some luggage Tetris!

Bring Fewer Shoes

They're heavy and the biggest space-hogs of the whole wardrobe. Only pack shoes that can be used for more than one occasion. For example, ballet flats can be used for slippers in the night and fancy lunches during the day. Running shoes can be used for that jog you may or may not do and the daytime jaunts around the city.

Side note: The best shoes I took on our honeymoon backpacking adventure were these amazingly comfy and light Croc ballet flats, and these also very comfy and versatile Keen sandals.

Bring More Tops

You don't want to feel deprived! Tank tops, tshirts, blouses, and collared shirts take up very little room and it feels like a luxury to have choices. 

Play a Game

Lay everything out in front of your bag before packing. Imagine it like big, money saving game of Tetris.

Pack in Layers 

Pack the bulkiest stuff on the bottom (usually shoes & coats) and medium stuff on top (jeans and tops). Stuff the little things (underwear and socks) in the cracks that show up in each layer.

Good luck! I believe in you!

Stuck with a cluttered space? I can help you reorganize! It's as simple as sending me a few photos. I'll send you back photos and sketches of my recommendations plus links to specific products so you don't flounder. CALL OR EMAIL ME! (760) 822-6417 OR ashley@meldrumdesign.com