I have been traveling in ministry for over 15 years — sometimes as many as 40 weekends a year! And, believe it or not, when I am not traveling for ministry, I still love to travel just for fun! One of the comments I most often hear when I arrive, no matter where I go, is “wow, you travel so light!” I guess I am a little — okay, a lot — type A about how I pack! I’ve been asked how I do it so, even though this is a departure from my usual blog content, I thought I would help the sisters out! Seriously, I write the blogs I do to help you lighten your load in life, so why not help you in a super practical way with lightening your load so you can enjoy stress-free travel? Makes sense to me, so here are 4 tips to simplify your packing and reduce your travel stress:
1. Use lightweight luggage:
Let’s just start with the basics. Not only do you not want to over pack, you don’t want your luggage to weigh a ton to begin with. It’s just no fun to lug it around. So, if you start with luggage that doesn’t weigh much to begin with, you will never be over-weight when you check luggage with the airline and you won’t pull a muscle as you try to drag it into the hotel. There are lots of good brands for traveling light. And, I have learned from experience, you don’t have to spend top dollar. Look for nylon as the main fabric for your lightweight luggage. You can find a four-wheeled carry-on that is under 5 lbs.! I really like Kipling and Lucas brands because they have traveled well and aren’t the most expensive. And, they come in fun colors!
2. Choose one color family to travel with
Instead of bring every cute pair of shoes you own, narrow your wardrobe down to just one or two pairs of shoes. You do this by choosing just one color group to travel with. For example, in the fall I travel with either a brown wardrobe or a black one. That means, only one pair of shoes and just a few mix and match outfits.
3. Pack your outfits in Ziploc bags
And, speaking of making deciding what to wear when you arrive easier, this little trick will totally reduce your need to even think! I pack each outfit in a large Ziploc bag! That means, under things, and jewelry too! You can buy those more expensive shrink-dink bags that suck all the air out, but, is you simply put some pressure on your Ziploc, the air gets out and you can fit more in your luggage. And, then all you do is pull out a bag, open it, wear it and you’re ready to go. Besides, who wants to spend time in a hotel trying to decide what to wear when you can be out there having fun?
4. Leave room in your luggage and bring a collapsible tote
Because you’re sight-seeing and could possibly want to shop while you’re out, leave some room in your luggage for treasures you want to bring home. Especially if you pack in Ziplocs, you can leave a little room in your luggage without your clothes becoming a rumpled mess! I also throw a collapsible tote or duffle bag in my luggage so if I need to bring home a lot of souvenirs, I can just have a separate bag to put them in.
There are lots of ways to travel light; these are just some of my tips. But, if you have some, please tell me! Leave your tips and tricks in the comments so we can all lighten our loads!