20 Tips to Travel Light

Tips to Travel Light

It has been fifteen years since I last checked a bag, and throughout my adventures while packing light I’ve learned a thing or two. Today I’m sharing with you some helpful tips I’ve picked up on when it comes to traveling light.

20 tips to travel light:

  1. Change your mindset. Think outside the box and be open to re-wearing an item or two.
  2. Pack only a carryon, I have not checked a bag in 15 years. You can do it!
  3. Two pairs of shoes is enough, I promise. One that can be dressed up, and one that is casual and easy off/on.
  4. Use my travel light method, I use it for every single trip I go on.
  5. Check for necessities ahead of time. Most places have items like blowdryers, irons, and even other toiletries on hand.
  6. Forgo a large laptop for a tablet. Can they do the same work for you? Do you need one at all?
  7. Consider packing items that are double duty, some dresses after worn can also double as swim coverups.
  8. Pack all of your items at once with my grid system.
  9. Use packing cubes. Not only can you stack your clothing in order of wear, they help keep it organized. I prefer lightweight mesh sided ones in different colors for each family member.
  10. Pack larger items first, then fill in with smaller items. You can even stuff items inside of your shoes.
  11. Buy smaller size beauty items instead of taking larger ones. They typically meet the size requirements for carry-on 3.4oz rules too.
  12. Wear minimal makeup, you wouldn’t believe it but every little item counts when it comes to lighter travel.
  13. When changing climates, dress in layers. Not only will you have tons of options, you will be able to match any climate too.
  14. Double-check the weather ahead of time, there’s no sense in packing for the unknown.
  15. Have a loose schedule so you know what to pack for and what to expect in your travels.
  16. Pack your other items in zipper bags so they are sorted and easily accessible no matter where they are.
  17. Jewelry doesn’t need it’s own huge box, you can pack it in a small pouch. Wrap necklaces and longer chains around a piece of cardstock to keep it from becoming tangled.
  18. Be aware of local customs. For Iceland we didn’t bother to pack an umbrella since none of the locals carry them and it’s too windy anyway!
  19. Plan your outfits ahead of time, with one or two combinations that can be dressed up or down. A LBD never fails!
  20. Use a good-sized personal item (within official size) so you can carry more and leave more space in your carry-on suitcase.


Do you have any tips for traveling lighter? I’d love for you to share them with me!

Posted in


Responses to “20 Tips to Travel Light”

  1. I have become better at this, but I’m always game for some new tips on how to pack lighter! xx Adaleta Avdic

  2. I admire your ability to travel so light! No matter how hard I try, I always end up way overpacked.

    xo Bree

  3. These lists of traveling tips are wonderful and thorough. Thanks for the post!

  4. These are great tips! I used to be so good as packing light, but recently I’ve just been getting worse and worse. I’ll have to keep some of these tips in mind next time!


  5. These are all great tips to take into consideration. I am always an over-packer so I need to teach myself how to pack light.

    Amanda || http://www.fortheloveofglitter.com

  6. I definitely need to learn how to pack light! I have never been able to travel with just a carryon even when only travelling for a few days!!
    Charlene The Frugal Fashionista

  7. Yes! I just bought a backpacking pack and I’m really hoping it’s carry-on size or I will be returning it. Also must get the packing cubes. So handy. I also live in the Bay currently but I have a one-way flight to Hawaii in a couple weeks so that may be my new temporary home.

    I’ll add you to my blog list so I can keep checking back!

  8. I can’t believe you haven’t checked a bag in 15 years! That is pretty amazing and quite an accomplishment. I’m definitely going to use some of these tips, thanks!

    Xo, Brianne

  9. Great list – and I agree that it is surprising how heavy make-up, creams, shampoo etc. can get!
    Any suggestions for good “all-in-one” make-up combo packs? Benefit used to have some great compacts that included the essentials like lipstick, foundation, mascara, eyeliner, blush and eye shadow.

    1. Completely! I brought only the basics to Iceland and although I miss my shadows, my bag is a little lighter because of it. Stowaway cosmetics makes travel size and kits that I’ve been wanting to try, and they have pretty packaging (lol).

  10. Love, love, love this post! Bookmarking for my trip to Europe this Fall! xo

  11. Love this post! Will definitely keep this in mind when preparing for my trip to Italy!

    xx, Bri || http://www.Neutral2Neon.com

    1. Thank you Ania. 🙂

  12. Perfect timing for my trip to Costa Rica! Thanks!

  13. I can’t believe you haven’t checked any baggage for 15 years! i’m the worst for overpacking, going to be taking on board some of these tips for my next travels!

    The Little Things | Louise x

  14. I always only pack a carry on. My dad never let me check anything in, growing up. It’s so nice to be able to move quickly and not have to wait for baggage claim!


  15. Can you show us how you use the packing cubes? Curious as I’ve never used them!

    1. Sure! I’ll do a post on them if you’d like but I don’t feel like my method for them is anything special. I refuse to roll my clothes so they’re just folded and zipped.

  16. My last 2 week trip was completed using a hand luggage bag and I managed to create a pretty badass travel capsule wardrobe. You can do it, you just need to plan, then plan, and then go over it again lol

    Amy | http://www.yankified.com

    1. Great work! 🙂

  17. […] 20 tips for traveling light.  (Which is kinda like packing since I’m reading about it, right???) […]

  18. […] light. I’m a huge believer in packing light when you travel, not only because checking a bag is a pain, but your bags are less likely to have […]

  19. Absolutely fantastic tips. So true about the ziploc bags and the LBD. I’m super impressed you haven’t gone carry-on in over a decade. #TravelGoals.

  20. My running shoes always take up a ton of space. Otherwise I have a similar packing philosophy.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.