Packing Tips-Travel light

With over 30 years of experience in the travel/aviation business and having traveled myself extensively, I have made my share of mistakes and learned a great deal.  That is why I would like to share with you, what I have learned, so that you can be better prepared for your next trip and get into your vacation with confidence and stress free. From the infinite amount of blog posts and articles written on the subject, one might come to believe that one has forgotten how to pack or that one does not really know how to pack! But some basic helpful information is always good and I hope they will prove helpful for your next vacation!


Why Travel Light? To enjoy a hassle-free and enjoyable trip, it is very important to acquire the skill of traveling light, meaning you should carry minimum luggage (in quantity and weight). Light packing/luggage relieves you from the tension of extra baggage charges at airports, porter fees, etc.

This way you are also more likely to take public transportation (even from airports), rather than limos and (often scam-prone) taxis. You can even walk. All of which also bring you into closer (hence rewarding) contact with the people and places that you have come to visit.

Light luggage means more flexibility, thus greatly increasing travel options. With no awkward-to-manage luggage to limit your choices, you can more easily cope with delayed transportation, missed connections, and unexpected opportunities. You won’t feel compelled to take the first hotel room offered: you can comfortably walk down the street should the ambience be unsuitable or the price unreasonable.

Tip: Remember, packing light isn’t just about saving time or money — it’s also about safety. Too much luggage marks you as a typical tourist. Con artists figure you’re helpless. Porters are a problem only to those who need them. With only one bag, you’re mobile and in control.

If there is a bottom line, it’s that traveling light is simply a more stress-and-hassle-free way to go. You have more time, because packing takes little. You waste less energy hauling stuff. You know what you have, where everything is, and that it’s sufficient. We’ve all seen those hapless folks at the airport, with too much baggage and anxious expressions, worried that they have lost track of something, or left it behind. Foreign travel in particular can be challenging because it is unfamiliar and unpredictable, but the one checked-bag traveler copes by operating from a solid, familiar, well-considered foundation, with fewer unnecessary things to worry about.


Whether your suitcase gets lost in transit or you simply forgot to pack something, smart packing can save you from scrambling in a foreign country to replace travel essentials. Be prepared to handle any unexpected travel issues by following these packing tips for international trips.

Packing Tip #1:

Research your destination. There are an infinite number of variables when it comes to international travel. Finding a bottle of potable water might present as much of a challenge in one destination as buying your favorite shampoo or sunscreen in another. Also, keep in mind that the voltage and plug style may (and likely will) differ abroad, so check ahead and buy an adapter before you go. Most electronics are dual-voltage, but check your power adapter before plugging it in.

Packing Tip #2:

Make a packing list. Every destination has unique packing needs, so start with a list of items that you’d need for any trip. Then customize your list by adding items that depend on the weather, duration and style of trip. What you would pack for a hiking trip would differ from the cruise trip. Create a list on your computer and print it out, or write it out by hand. However you do it, check off items as you go, and don’t forget to include accessories, such as cell-phone chargers and camera batteries.

Packing Tip #3:

Carry it on. While checked luggage may come in handy, consider the worst possible scenario when packing a carry-on bag: that your checked bag may not arrive on time. You should keep vital supplies, including medication and a couple days’ worth of clean clothes, with you on the plane. I carry the same bag and no purse (my husband has a carry-on backpack) on every flight, and each essential travel item is assigned to a specific pouch or zippered compartment. That way I don’t need to dig around to find a pair of earplugs, and if my passport goes missing, I’ll know right away.


Unless you’re in for punishment, you don’t want to haul your main bag around with you all the time. For day trips, you’ll want a day pack — something to fit a guidebook, water bottle, picnic lunch, and camera into. When it comes time to move on, though, you don’t want a second bag to have to worry about. Fortunately, a number of companies make small backpacks from super-light material that you can easily carry around, pack it, carry it around, and leave your big suitcase/backpack at your hotel or hostel (make sure it’s secure, though). For European destinations I do not recommend the day pack, but instead an over the shoulder bag for ladies, in which you can put the items you will need for the day out sightseeing. For the men, usually I do not recommend carrying anything, other than a water bottle, or an over the chest bag easily purchased at a store like REI and a camera bag (not too big if possible).