Are you planning to take a massive suitcase full of clothing on your upcoming vacay to Europe? When it comes to wheeling that heavy suitcase along a cobblestone street or checking in at a hotel that doesn’t have an elevator, you may seriously regret that burden of luggage. It won’t take you long to realize that traveling is much more comfortable if you take less stuff.
It’s possible, even for those of you who have a habit of overpacking, to significantly reduce the amount of items that will be making their way into your bag. If you usually pack one pair of underwear and a different outfit for each day of your trip, and take more pairs of shoes than needed “just in case” - here’s how to curb that packing habit and instead pack lightly for 2 weeks in Europe!
Mix and Match
Look up the weather averages of your destinations before packing. Will you be visiting a few different places with varying temperatures? If so, you may need to take a few warmer items along with your summer gear. Make sure that all your pants/shorts/skirts can be matched with all (or most) of your tops, so that you don't have to take as many different outfits. It's ok to wear the same pair of jeans every day as long as you have a few different sweaters or tees to change up your look.
Intend to Wash Your Clothes
You can actually take the same amount of clothing for a short trip as you would for a long trip. If you pack enough outfits and underwear for one week of travel then wash your clothes and wear them again for the second week, you’ve halved the amount of clothing that needs to fit into your bag! When the time comes to wash your clothes on your trip, either find a laundromat in the area that you’re staying, or book a hotel or airbnb that has laundry facilities.
Pack Like a Pro
PRO Packing Cubes are a godsend for keeping your suitcase tidy and organised! These rectangular bags are made of a premium lightweight fabric and come in a range of sizes. They separate your clothing and other items that might normally get lost in the depths of your suitcase, making it easier to find what you’re looking for without messing up the entire contents of your bag. The packing cubes also stack nicely, which keeps your clothes free of creases and they lightly compress so your stuff takes up less space.
Compact Everything to Travel-Size
Suitcase space is a limited resource, so try reducing all your toiletries to their smallest size. Most liquid items (like shampoo or moisturiser) can be transferred into space efficient travel bottles, and aerosols such as hairspray and deodorant can usually be purchased in travel-sized cans. Medications can also be reduced by placing the exact amount of pills that you'll require for the trip in a click-zip bag instead of taking the whole container.
Invest in an e-Reader
Reading books is a great way to relax while traveling, but books are heavy and bulky. Invest in an e-reader (like the Amazon Kindle) so that you can load multiple books for your trip without them taking up space in your bag. They’re super lightweight and convenient!
Consolidate Your Electronics
It’s nearly impossible to travel without at least a few electronic items. Smartphones, laptops, and cameras all take up space and require separate charging devices. Consider whether any of your electronics could be left behind, and find out if any devices use the same charging cord - it’s possible that you won’t have to take separate chargers for each item. It’s possible that your e-reader, camera, and smartphone all accept a USB-C cable, so take just one charger for all of those devices!
Plan Ahead For Shopping
If you’re planning on shopping for clothes or souvenirs during your trip, make sure you leave enough space in your suitcase to fit in the additional purchases, or take along an empty duffel bag that you can fill and carry on the flight back. An expandable suitcase (one with an extra zipper that creates more space) may come in handy, so if you have one of these, try to leave the zipper closed for the flight over then you can expand it to fit the extra items later.
It’s easy to think that you need to take ALL the things, but seriously, you don’t! If it doesn't fit, then empty your bag, reassess, and start again. That pair of fancy shoes or that extra bathing suit may seem like necessities, but if you’ll only use them once, they’re probably not worth taking. Be strict and pack only things that you’ll use multiple times on your trip.
Wear Your Bulkiest Items on the Flight
If you’re still struggling for suitcase space, how about wearing your bulkiest items (like a heavy jacket or hiking boots) on the flight? Removing these big things from your bag is going to free up a huge amount of space.
Good luck with packing lightly, and have a great trip!