I just returned from a two-week trip around Europe. I always wanted to do a road trip there and this year I went through France and a little bit of Spain (mainly Menorca), then spent 24 hrs in Lisbon.
It was a lot of fun! And required a lot of planning (which my travel buddy did most of it), then a lot of driving and a lot of sitting.
Here are some tips I put together for you about traveling light:
1. You can bring fewer clothes than you think you’ll need!
I thought I was being smart and packing outfits that I can reuse so I still fit in my carry-on suitcase. (Oh, did I mention that we were traveling only with carry-on luggage?! )
Well, I didn’t use half of the clothes that I packed. Our main focus each day was finding a good beach, a good restaurant, and cute towns to explore. Therefore, we had bathing suits on throughout the day and we just changed into a different outfit for dinner… but even if we didn’t do bathing suits, somehow I still would’ve been fine and left with unworn clothes! I brought jewelry to switch around (didn’t even think about it), a hat for the beach (I wore it once), three different purses (I used one daypack -pictured- almost everywhere and one purse for dinner, IF we actually changed after the beach … which we didn’t always have to do!).
Here’s what I learned… I would have been fine with the following:
- Bathing suits and bras – 2 are enough
- No more than 3 complete outfits – dresses, jumpsuits, anything like that.
We were traveling in the summer, so for the colder months perhaps that wouldn’t work that well. But if you have to bring shorts, skirts, and tops to coordinate, the luggage will expand tremendously! Instead of packing complete outfits, try to mix and match … can you have one pair of shorts that works with multiple tops? Can you pack fewer tops because you can wear them with different bottoms? Try thinking creatively to limit what you have to bring.
*I will say – There are 2 things I wish I brought with me – flip flops, so I don’t have to wear my Berkies on the beach; and a second pair of PJs. That’s it!
2. Utilize both packing cubes AND the rolling method
I know many of you have heard of those 2 methods – most people stick to one – I utilize both of them 🙂 As a larger person, my clothes take up more space so I need to be creative about the space I have to work with.
In my carry-on I can fit 2 cubes. In those 2 cubes, depending on the clothing items, I either layer them or roll them. I have few items that look OK even if they are a little bit wrinkled… almost like they were designed that way. So I roll those and pack them in the cube.
I use a certain compartment in my suitcase for underwear, so I know where to look for it at all times. I also bring large Ziploc bags for dirty underwear, socks, etc. whatever I can fit in it after it has been used.
I gotta be honest, my biggest problem is toiletries… I have been working on sizing down the bag but it’s hard. It’s the last thing I pack in the suitcase, AFTER I have fastened the little belts in the suitcase and tightened them a lot – that way I get more space for the toiletry bag and maybe one more pair of shoes. 🙂
3. Use foldable bags and backpacks.
I love those things! When I travel, I have the backpacks on me so I can fit more s**t if I have to. I also have a little duffle bag that when unfolded fits plenty more (especially if I’ve shopped for gifts) and it’s part of my carry-on luggage – it hooks up to the suitcase when we are rolling through security – no problem!
Stay tuned for more tips and tricks like these on the blog and on Master The Time social media . And if you are looking for more time and flexibility in your life so you can travel more, try new things, or spend time with your loved ones – contact me ASAP. I can coach you through optimizing and organizing your life so you can enjoy it more!