Reader tips: packing light.

I love getting emails from readers! Lately I’ve had a bunch of lovely email exchanges with readers about packing light. Since I think we can all learn from each other, I wanted to share a few highlights of the conversations I’ve had over the past couple of weeks. Hopefully you will learn something groovy as well.

Eve’s tips:

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• Have you seen that video about “20 ways to transform a piece of fabric into a shirt, skirt, and dress?” Chriselle is awesome and I think you guys would be great friends.

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• Also – I am LOVING Baggu pouches. They are functional and glamorous at the same time. I fill one with all of my essentials (phone, boarding pass, wallet) and pop in in my bag. Makes it easy to find and grab what I need in seconds. Once I get to my destination, I often use this as a snazzy clutch, so it does double-duty. A great travel piece.

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Emma’s tips:

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• I try very hard to make sure each item of clothing I pack can be used in three different outfits. A simple black t-shirt is plain, but can easily be used under a jacket for casual business and with khakis for a casual look.

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(Or you could glam it up with layers of gold necklaces!)

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• Actually lay out the clothing you plan to wear with your itinerary.

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I have always prided myself on packing efficiency, but I didn’t realize how valuable that particular skill was until I was traveling with a friend whose packing style was the exact opposite of mine. We were on a six-day trip. I packed a carry-on. She had a carry-on and a full-size piece of checked luggage. We took turns lugging her giant suitcase through the cobblestone streets of Paris, up and down flights of stairs from the underground stations to the streets, over sidewalks that were torn to pieces, and up the hill to our hostel. I kid you not, if she opened that suitcase twice in the six days we spent in France, I would be amazed. The girl had packed almost all of her necessary items in her carry-on! Her suitcase was full of ‘just-in-case’ outfits; ‘just-in-case’ she needed a really great dress for clubbing, ‘just-in-case’ she needed her hiking boots. By the time we left, she had packed even more purchases into the suitcase and my patience with dragging that thing through crowded trains was spent. I took that as an opportunity to understand how important it is to plan appropriately and pack lightly, so here are my suggestions.

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1. Make your wardrobe multi-task

2. Watch out for ‘Just-in-Case’ Packing

3. Plan for Gifts and Souvenirs

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Rochelle’s Tips

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• Two words: packing cubes!! Love, love, love them!!

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• Okay, two more words: disinfecting wipes. Maybe love them more! I wipe down the tray table on my flights, the TV remote and light switches in hotels, and lots of other things as well. I travel a ton for work and haven’t been sick in years!

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Thanks so much for all the great emails and tips, you guys! I hope you all have a wonderful weekend.

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Comments

  1. Form and Function says:

    This is a great article! I recently saw a YouTube video on how to pack 7 days worth of stuff into a carryon. I’ve found the hardside spinners like Samsonite which let you pack half your clothes in one side and the other half in the other side of the suitcase a super easy and organized option. They are also so lightweight! There are some great ipmakeup items that do double duty too (color stick for eyes and cheeks) that help you pack light. I’ve managed to go from the “large suitcase everywhere with just in case items” to “stress-free all the essentials in a light carryon” and it’s a freeing experience!

  2. pinkisnice says:

    I almost always forget to pack a clutch or nicer type purse and wind up using my make-up bag, which doesn’t really work all that well. Baggu is the perfect solution! Now if I could only control my just-in-case’s. They get me every time!

  3. JustSaying says:

    You think you could cover the back of the Baggu pouch with velcro so you can just slap it on a fanny pack? I think it could be quite a fashion statement on flights starting in red states…………

  4. Points Pixie says:

    Form and Function – Yes! It is liberating to pack light. The psychology of it is interesting because it SEEMS as if it would be the opposite (ie, if you pack for every situation then you will be prepared and less stressed), but I agree that it doesn’t work that way.

    pinkisnice – Ha ha! Me too.

    JustSaying – I can’t even begin to imagine.

  5. oh how I know the feeling of the just in case packing. Will try to be more aware, now that i’m aware of what i’m doing haha! love the Baggu idea

  6. Sorry but Emma’s friend would’ve had to lug that large luggage full of “in case ofs” around using her own muscles!!! Lol.

    I have been to several countries for a week with just a carry-on and a large tote. I use the tote as a purse/personal item. I pack my actual purse (empty). I take healthy snacks and lunch and empty Brita water bottle with me. All clothes are rolled. Bulky items are worn for the flight (sneakers/jeans/jackets).

    Packing light and right is essential.

  7. Points Pixie says:

    Rebecca – I love the Baggu as well. I especially love all the different color options.

    ElleX – That is how I like to travel! However – I recently discovered foldable water bottles, and they are a very welcome addition to my quest for packing light. Check them out if you haven’t already – I got the Vapur brand and I love them.

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