You don’t have to carry four suitcases and a hiking backpack full of clothes to look great on your travels. You just have to pick the right pieces and know how to style them. It’s much easier than you might think, and trust me, once you go light, you’ll never look back.
Here are some practical tips to help you pack as few items as possible and look like a rockstar on every occasion during your trip.
Choose Light Luggage
Traveling is all about spreading your wings, but how can you do that if you have to lug a heavy suitcase around wherever you go? The number one rule of packing light is choosing the appropriate luggage.
Did you know that you don’t need anything but a weekender bag or a backpack for a week-long trip? You can fit in everything you need to look and feel your best. For longer trips, instead of choosing a bulky roller, it’s best to go with a soft duffle bag. It’s much lighter and easy to load.
Now, let’s see how you can fit everything you need in your luggage of choice.
Waste No Space
Not everyone is good at folding clothes. Not only is it time-consuming, but it’s also highly impractical. The good news for travelers is — no more folding!
By far the best approach to packing your clothes is rolling. It’s the most space-efficient method, and it takes minimum time and effort. Rolls are also much easier to squeeze into leftover spaces than rectangles.
For bulkier clothes, such as sweaters, you can use compression bags. They will slash the size of your item and make it easier to fit.
Another great organizer of your bag’s contents is a packing cube. You can put all your underwear in one, T-shirts in another, etc.
Lastly, utilize all the gaps to maximize space efficiency. For example, you can fill your shoes with accessories, socks, or other small items.
Travel in Activewear
Luckily for all the frequent travelers who like to look amazing at all times, workout clothes have become quite a hit in the last decade or so. Tracksuits and yoga pants are no longer only for the gym, and you can even make them look glamorous.
Gone are the days when you could combine activewear only with puffy, sporty jackets. Now, both women’s and men’s coats go over tracksuits, glossy necklaces and earrings combine well with sports bras, and you can wear leggings with virtually anything!
Flying is stressful enough as is — you don’t need to make it even harder by wearing tight, stiff pants and a fancy but restraining jacket.
Pick Your Colors Carefully
You can pack a whole closet and not be able to use half of your pieces because they’re difficult to match. So it’s essential that you choose mostly neutral colors that all go well with each other. It’s up to you to choose the predominant tones — these can be urban blacks and whites, earthy khakis and browns, or any other palette that you can mix and match.
Of course, you can spice it up by bringing several stronger pieces, such as a graphic tee, a floral dress, or a colorful, patterned shirt. Just make sure that you can use these items to form several outfits.
Here’s an expert tip: don’t bring anything you’ll wear only once or “just in case.”
Those Boots Better Be Made for Walking
To whoever needs to hear this — you really don’t need more than two pairs of shoes, no matter how long your trip. Shoes are some of the heavier items in our bags, and you can save yourself a lot of trouble by wearing comfy shoes and carrying only another (lighter) pair.
If you’re a girl, you can’t go wrong with elegant white sneakers (they truly go well with everything) and some classic comfy sandals. Apart from sporty sneakers, men can bring another pair of canvas sneakers or loafers. That way, you’ll have many outfit options, even for fancier occasions.
Choose Light Fabrics
The most lightweight and breathable fabric is, of course, cotton. Some other light fabrics you might want to consider are rayon, cashmere, and the king of breathable clothes — linen. However, if you’re worried about wrinkles, you should consider any of these options mixed with polyester.
There are many ingenious ways to smooth out your clothes without an iron, such as hanging them in a steamy shower or even using your flat iron, so you shouldn’t worry about that too much.
However, we all have those shirts or dresses that wrinkle annoyingly easily, so at least avoid those items.
Accessorize for Diversity
Accessories are small, so you can bring lots of them. They can transform the whole outfit in the blink of an eye and make an unremarkable look dazzling. You could bring a variety of rings, bracelets, earrings, and necklaces, ranging from casual to fancy ones.
Take, for example, a simple bodycon dress. Wear it with sneakers, and you have a casual day look. Pair it with sandals and some large earrings, and there’s your evening look.
Men could bring stacked leather bracelets, watches, or even bright, colorful socks for a fun twist to any outfit.
Other lightweight accessories that could fit in the last gaps in your bag include scarves, head wraps, beret hats, and more.
Don’t Bring Bulky Formalwear
Unless it’s an absolute must, i.e., if you’re going to a wedding, don’t pack formal clothes that can only be worn on formal occasions. Instead, take ordinary items and make a more formal outfit out of them.
For instance, a blazer can be both casual and formal. Put on a pair of slim pants, throw a blazer over a plain tee, add a fancy watch or some jewelry, and there you have it. Instead of lugging around a suit or a complicated dress, just use your regular clothes in a smart and fun way.
You Don’t Have to Ditch Style for Comfort
As you can see, you can pack light, feel comfortable, and look amazing. All you have to do is be smart and economical and make the most of the space in your bag.