There is only one thing I love more than travelling- It is travelling cheaply. While I don’t mind spending on experiences and have also warmed up to the idea of spending a little extra on accommodations, I would still do anything to save money on flights. Thus, over the last few years, as a result of this practice, I have signed up for some dangerously tight connections (which exposes you to multiple contingencies) and have sometimes been denied the luxury of a free checked-in bag.
Like on our last trip to Bali where we flew airasia, I was faced with the conundrum of choosing between looking stylish in my holiday pictures and travelling light! Not the one to make compromises, I took this as an opportunity to teach myself to pack lighter while keeping my sartorial choices intact. Here are some tips you may find useful when travelling for a duration of 5-7 days:
1.The Right Lugguage
Since you will essentially be packing everything in your cabin baggage which are subject to weight/size restrictions, pick a duffel bag as it has no weight of its own and fits things more efficiently due to reduced air gaps. Since women are also allowed a handbag, I always carry a big travel bag so I can accommodate makeup, toiletries (100ml travel packs of course, which you can create yourself) etc. and split the load between the carry ons. Also, in case you are going somewhere colder, put the heavier items on yourself – like the trench coat or the boots so you don’t have to pack them in. The same rule applies to hats!
2. Roll them don’t fold them!
This is a trick I learnt from American friends who always managed to keep it light on our 40-day-long tours. Rolls are easy to tuck in bags and leave more room for other items. Choose fuss-free/light fabrics and avoid packing fabrics like linen, since it creases a lot (unless you want to spend time ironing on your vacation)
3. Plan your outfits!
We tend to pack more outfits than required in our itinerary, postponing decision-making to our trip by allowing ourselves options. Sometimes we also pack accounting for all possibilities (and if truth be told, often for ridiculous scenarios like a morning jog on your vacation, when your running shoes haven’t seen the light of the day in months.) Check the weather conditions for your travel destination to eliminate or add items which your will actually use.
Decide what you will wear on each day, and throw only a FEW light-weight swaps for contingencies.
4.Try Mood Boards! They are fun.
The problems for women don’t just end with clothes. We have so much more to think about – the junk jewellery (I always pack more than I need), belts, sometimes hats and of course shoes.
Create whole mood boards of your complete outfits – the top-pant/dress, jewellery, shoes and take a picture to remember how to assemble them on your vacation! It is the most effective way to resist packing items you won’t need and keep your fashion game on point. Here are pictures of the mood boards I created for Bali first, and then tried something similar for Rajasthan.
5. Get creative!
Pack some items that are versatile and can be worn more than once by adding clever twists. Neutral dresses, white shirts, jumpsuits are always great options along with the statement items. Also invest in good scarves – the one item that all seasoned fashion bloggers swear by. They can lift any outfit, taking them from day to night or transform into something else. A friend of mine once heading to attend a street music festival in Vienna, quickly conjured a top out of her scarf, making it Coachella-appropriate!
There are many other upsides to travelling light besides saving money. Not only will your body be grateful for the unburdening, you also won’t have to worry about lost baggage or twiddle your thumb at the conveyor belt. Additionally, by not packing so much, you have both room and desire to shop at your destination. Enough said!
Are there tips and tricks you swear by for packing? Do share!