Over the years my luggage has shrunk considerably and these days consists of a tiny carry-on (12.5” x 7” x 16”, yes…seriously) and a cute little backpack. Gone are the days of lost luggage and waiting at baggage claim. Plus, I save money by not checking a bag. Joy fills my heart as I effortlessly toss my little carry-on up into the overhead bin on the plane – oh, life is so sweet. Here are some tips to help you simplify your packing and travel experience:
- Pack the least amount you need. When packing for your next trip, create a list of everything you took with you. When you return home, check off all the items you used. This method will narrow down your list of what you need when you travel, and it will take mere minutes to pack each time.
- Roll your clothes; this allows everything to fit in the nooks and ridges of your suitcase. Roll socks and place inside shoes. Roll underwear to fit into any tiny areas, so you utilize all the space in your case.
- Wear bulkier clothes, jackets, and shoes during your flight.
- Choose clothes in the same color scheme for mix and match to lessen the number of items you bring.
- Select accommodations where you can do laundry; this saved me during my last trip, as my stay was longer than expected.
- Organize jewelry into a travel pouch or pill sorter. Keep necklaces tangle-free by threading them through a flexible tube or use velcro wraps.
- Consider minimizing your liquids for the TSA-required quart-size bag. Can you get by with a day moisturizer and leave the night cream, serum, and eye cream at home? When traveling, I’ll minimize what I use on a daily basis – it’s less to figure out how to condense into a small container and less to pack into my TSA bag.
To lighten your TSA liquids even further:
- Check out solid bars of shampoo, conditioner, exfoliators, face moisturizer, body moisturizer, sunscreen, insect repellent. These fit well into the open spots in your suitcase as well. A small slice of these bars will go a long way and not take much room in your case. Cut what you need and place in a labeled snack-size baggie.
- Make dry dots with your toothpaste. Here’s a quick tutorial: squeeze your toothpaste into dots (the amount you usually like to use on your brush) onto wax paper, allow the dots to dry in a sunny spot. When dots are dry, roll up the wax paper and place in a cloth bag or remove the dots from the wax paper and place in a container with baking powder.
- If dots don’t do it for you, consider purchasing dry toothpaste. The all-natural brand called “The Dirt” in Sweet Spice comes in a small travel size and tastes yummy! There’s also a Super Mint flavor that’s available in a larger size and lasts forever. I place that flavor in a smaller container to switch things up for travel.
A backpack will hold everything you want access to while on the plane and slips easily onto the pull-up handle of a rolling carry-on, so they roll as a unit. In my pack (love this one!) I usually have food, water bottle (dual purpose for hot and cold), tea/coffee, reading material, laptop, phone (my phone case is my wallet and holds credit cards, cash, and driver license), lightweight portable power bank, lip stuff, tissues, water, TSA bag, glasses, sunglasses, pen, and anything else that perhaps didn’t fit into my little carry-on.
- A device for reading or listening to several books is a lighter way to travel. I love books made with paper; however, not when I fly. The smallest Kindle is excellent due to its compact size which is thin and light. Plus, I like the Audible feature so I can listen to books as well.
- Tame power cords for electronics with velcro wraps – love those things.
- Bring food from home – it’s a healthier choice, and you’ll save money at the airport. Pack in lightweight and leakproof containers. Make sure your water container is watertight as well.
- Invest in a bamboo spork! These utensils work great, easily fit in your pack, pocket, or purse – plus, they help the planet by reducing the use of plastic silverware (yay!).
- Bring tea bags or instant gourmet coffee. I’m always able to get free hot water in my reusable bottle at any restaurant or coffee place at the airport – love that! It’s nice to leave a little “thank you” tip. : )
- Souvenirs take up precious room in your suitcase – consider sending postcards. Save money, and your friends and family will appreciate receiving a note from you in the mail.
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