While you are anxiously counting the days before your long-awaited vacation, anxiety kicks in when you realize you need to pack and you need to pack light. Yes, with every travel comes the painstaking process of packing light AND making a decision regarding comfort and style. This can quickly turn to analysis paralysis.
1. The luggage
Carry-on is the goal. When there are close connections carry-on luggage can be key to preserving the harmony of having fresh underwear. Carry-on usually also means less overall cost for the flight at ensures luggage doesn’t get lost when transferring between airlines.
For carry-ons we are fans of both backpacks and roller bags. Each have distinct advantages. A backpack is ideal for keeping hands free while traversing busy, unlevel emerging cityscapes. The pliable shape is helpful for stuffing the bag in unusual spots. Osprey is a favorite brand.
Roller bags are great for urban adventures, especially to help minimize wrinkles. Away is our favorite roller carry-on luggage. Lightweight and a strong warranty are just two of our favorite features. The bags have the new ‘ebag’ classification meaning it has a battery pack built in so you can charge your electronics even when there is no plug.
TAT Tip: Be careful when purchasing roller bags. Some manufacturers do not include the wheels in the stated dimensions while airlines definitely do!
As a rule of thumb we rarely pack more than one week of clothes, regardless of the trip length. A couple pairs of shorts and a couple more of long pants is usually enough. We plan to do laundry on longer trips. It saves from lugging around a lot of dirty clothes and since everyone around the world needs laundry already, it’s easy to find a shop that does laundry. It often results in a mini adventure or sweet connection with a local as an added benefit.
Reminder: Ladies, a sarong or scarf is a must bring. It can dress up an outfit or double as a blanket or shawl to keep you warm.
3. Use Synthetic Materials
Natural fiber has advantages but the evolution of synthetics and blends is astounding. We often grade materials by thermal retention, wicking abilities and wrinkle resistances. Polyester and Rayon blends are some of our favorites (think Lululemon).
Brands like Smartwool can be pricey but justifiable when prioritizing both space savings and comfort.
4. Pack Layers
If you start packing a number of sweaters and hoodies, you can kiss the “light packing idea” goodbye. Instead of heavy and thick clothing pieces choose multiple thermal and thin layers of clothing that will take up less space. We often use some articles of clothing for warmth and others for windblocking. A light windbreaker with a thermal undershirt is often enough for very chilly evenings, allows for more versatility and takes up a fraction of the room of a winter coat.
Heat Tech from Uniqlo is super lightweight and has a warm base layer. Janelle can even fit them under her skinny jeans.
5. If it’s bulky and heavy, wear it onto the plane
Sometimes you have to pack a thick winter jacket or heavy duty footwear. When we are forced to take these items we often wear them onto the plane. It saves a huge amount of space in the luggage. The carry-on goes into the overhead bin and then that bulky jacket gets stuffed in right around it.
Bonus tip: The return home
Focusing on carry-on is a good way to ensure a trip goes off without avoidable hassles. The return trip can have different priorities. We have been known to buy a cheap piece of luggage to transport gifts for the journey home and even check luggage to make layover adventures easier to actualize. Keep in mind that the objectives and benefits can change when considering the departure leg verse the return journey.
Its easy to become really addictive to quality travel clothes and gear. It is even fun and exciting to find something ideal for the next trip! Explore, attempt and share what you find. We would love to hear from you!
Now that you know how to properly pack, it’s time to decide where your next trip will be! Check out where we’re going next!