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How to pack?

Can you travel with a carry-on only for a week or more? Here are some helpful tips on how to pack light for your next vacation. Share with us your tricks as well!

Most of people cannot travel with a carry-on luggage, even if it is for 2 or 3 days only. Here are nine tips on how to pack your luggage the most effective way, and make your travel experience a whole lot easier.


#1: Packing light

It's highly recommend packing light, light, light. That's important for you not to be carrying around unnecessary weight. It takes also  away some stress that can happen during the vacation because of too many bags or heavy bags. I have friends who were traveling with so much luggage, that they even missed their train connections in Europe! Also, some hotel rooms can be small, so having a large luggage, or 2 or 3 of them, can also add some unnecessary stress.  

#2: Right Luggage

Choose a bag or luggage that is comfortable for you to carry it around. My preference is the rolling luggage. I make also sure to have it on the right size for the airplane cabins. So a max of 21 inches high is what I usually look for. Besides that, you can save some  time and money of not having to check-in your luggage. I have a rolling one even when taking the low cost carriers in Europe. I personally prefer not having to carry it on my shoulders. Some prefer to carry their items on a backpack, so their are not worried about steps, uneven ground, etc. Whatever works best for you.  

#3: Check the weather forecast

When getting ready to pack, please make sure to check on the weather forecast and pack it accordingly. If it's summer time for instance, don't assume it will be warm. I have already traveled to places in Europe, like Paris, Dublin and Prague, that the temperatures were around 12 Celsius at night (during summer!!!). It's always good to take layers with you.

#4: Set aside clothes for the actual journey

Think of the clothes you will be using for the actual travel (car, airplane, train) and set them aside. Also, think of the clothes you will be wearing on your return and already add them to your luggage. They should be nice and comfortable.

If traveling by plane,  avoid pieces that have some bling or metal to them, because you will need to go through security check. 

#5: The art of packing light

After checking on the weather, pack clothes needed by the number of days you will be staying and add one or two extra pieces. Think ahead your activities and the actual chance of you changing clothes during the day or not.  It's very common in trips that you leave early in the morning and come back to the hotel only to shower and sleep. Thinking of your activities ahead of time and packing accordingly will help you pack only the necessary. Make sure to fold clothes carefully and then roll them tight. It will save lots of space in your luggage, besides helping them not to wrinkle too much. If you are attending a wedding or a business meeting, put these clothes in a plastic bag (ideal the ones from the dry cleaning), it will help them not to wrinkle (or at least not too much). The compression bags are a great tool to help you fit all that you need in a small luggage. Keep in mind if you enjoy shopping during our trips. If yes, take less than you need, since you can also use the new items from your purchases during this trip.

#6: Travel sizes

For items like shampoo, conditioner, lotions, you can save tons of space by using the ones provided at the hotel. Other idea is simply purchase what is needed at your local destination. For instance, if you are going to a beach vacation, buy your sunscreen locally. It will save space in your luggage, besides is very likely this product to be cheaper or have more product options there. If you are tight to a brand and afraid you won't find it at your destination, make sure to buy small travel containers (below 3 ounces or 100 ml) and fill it with your favorite product. Another great option for face lotion or foundation, I use for the short trips  a clean lens container. It has enough space  for the amount needed in a shot trip, besides being it so handy and taking so little space. I also use lens container to keep any vitamins, melatonin (my best friend against  jet lag) and any other medicine needed,. Make -up is also something that can take tons of space. Small make-up sets are great in this case. Make sure to have one that has the make-up items and colors you can use the most. 

#7: Shoes

Shoes can take tons of space besides being a usually a heavy item in your luggage. How mentioned on item #5, pack shoes according to the activities planned on your trip. Avoid taking any brand new shoes, since you don't know how they can hurt or put pressure on your feet after a few hours of walking or wearing them. Choose shoes that are comfortable and not too bulky to travel. I usually pack one pair, so I have two  pairs during my trip. Very rare cases I have a third pair, only if attending a wedding, or something similar. If it's a beach vacation, I usually have one cute sandals or flats and my flip flops.

#8: Gifts

Are you traveling and staying with friends or family? A nice gesture is always to bring a gift. You can either bring it with you or get it shipped to your destination address, to be delivered when you get there.  Don't know what to bring?

#9: Electronics

There are here to make our lives  and travels much easier. Don't forget to pack them, From portable battery chargers (these are a must-have),  2-1 laptops, to Kindles.  All light and compact items to keep you entertained and/or memories alive forever.  

If after these tips you still find hard to pack light, a good suggestion is for you to observe or even write down during your next trip how many items you took and then how many items you actually used. Try to reduce the number of items on your next trip and then again and again.  Travel will get so much easier!

Do you have any other great packing tips? Please feel free to share them below. 

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