Summer usually means vacations and trips, and the dilemma of what to pack! One of our team members traveled to Spain for 2 weeks in April, and she has compiled a list of her favorite tips for packing smart and enjoying your trip:
The most important thing: TRAVEL LIGHT. According to travel expert, Rick Steves, there are 2 kinds of travelers: those who pack light and those who wish they had! Travel light = ONE CARRY-ON BAG. Whaaaat you ask? Here are some reasons why:
- You’ll walk with your luggage more than you think you will or you will find your Airbnb accomodations are on the 5th floor…with no elevator. Trust me on this.
- No spending money for checked luggage that could be used to buy that beautiful rendering by a local artist of the charming village you visited.
- You’re more flexible when plans change, either for unforeseen travel complications or spontaneous exploration of a site or town that you had no idea was so fascinating or beautiful or fun.
- You’re not burdened down when you are dashing madly and breathlessly to catch the last train of the day.
- Less chance of it getting lost or stolen or of you being targeted by pickpockets because you are struggling with an oversized bag whose wheels won’t cooperate over sidewalks or cobble-stone streets.
Does all that sound good, but you have no clue HOW to do it? Here were the best ideas I found that worked for me:
- Find a convertible, carry-on-size soft backpack that can expand. Mine was 21″ x 14″ x 9″ which fit the European specifications for carry-on bags. If necessary, it could have been checked as a regular suitcase, but shoulder straps and a waist belt were securely tucked away in a pocket ready to be converted to a backpack. Totally saved the day. See #1 – #4 above.
- Don’t pack over 20-22 pounds. Again, see #1 – #4 above.
- Stack your clothes on top of each other and roll, rather than fold them. They don’t wrinkle as much. There are many YouTube videos to help you figure this out.
- Use packing cubes to corral your smaller items.
- Plan a capsule wardrobe. Choose neutrals such as black and gray or brown and tans. Choose 1 or 2 brighter colors that will coordinate with each other. I took gray, black, bright blues, with a bit of coral, then mixed, matched, and layered them for different looks everyday. I packed 1 pair of jeans, 2 pairs of leggings that could be worn with my longer tops or under my knit skirt, 2 t-shirts, 2 tunics, 1 tank, one long-sleeved top, one sweater, and took a raincoat. Along with my lightweight accessories mentioned next.
- Accessorize simply. One or 2 lightweight scarves that match your capsule wardrobe not only brighten up an outfit but can double as a blanket on plane rides or as a skirt, head wrap or shawl to cover your shoulders when visiting venues that have strict dress requirements, such as cathedrals. Of course, Style to Go Zulugrass is THE BEST travel jewelry! It is super light, takes up very little room, gives you many options for color, and can be taken off your wrist and given to a host, helpful flight attendant, or new friend. The Leakey Collection even has a couple of Special Edition sets to inspire your travels, in extremely limited quantities so check them out while they’re still available.
- Plan the bare minimum of clothes that you think you’re going to need. Then take out a few things. Again, trust me on this. I could have easily gotten by with 2 or 3 things less than I took.
- Pack a small, foldable shopping bag to bring back any souvenirs you will cherish or small gifts for people. If there is something large you think you must have, consider having it shipped to your home.
Travel light. Pack smart. I don’t think you’ll regret it.