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There are several reasons you might want to pack lightly when going on a trip, and not all of them are as important for others as they may be for you.
1) You don’t have to carry heavy luggage to and from the airport or on transfers.
2) You can get cheaper flights. If you manage to fit all your stuff into your hand luggage this means you can get cheaper tickets. Charging for checked baggage is no longer something only low-cost airlines do, so whenever you avoid checking in a bag you save some money that could go towards paying for your next trip.
3) You save time. One thing most people who love to travel hate is waiting at baggage claim for what usually feels like an eternity. If you only bring a carry-on you’re good to go as soon as the plane lands.
For all of the above reasons, I usually try to avoid checking in any bags.
So how do I manage minimalist packing?
When you get cosmetics samples it can be tempting to use them right away. After all, you’re curious if you’re going to like the product. A better idea is to keep them for upcoming trips. I have several samples of body lotion, shampoo, and conditioner, which means I don’t even have to decant any such products into 100ml bottles. This leads me to the second tip.
Decant Products into 100ml Bottles
If you want to bring any liquid products on board you are quite restricted with regards to quantity. Instead of buying smaller sizes of identical products just buy 100ml transparent bottles and fill them up with the products you need. When you check in your bags you tend to bring much more product than you actually need.
Stop Planning for Scenarios That Will Not Happen
I’ve seen this way too many times when traveling with other people. People want to be prepared for any kind of situation so they bring two extra pairs of shoes in case they will go to a fancy dinner, or they bring a jacket just in case it will get cold in the middle of the summer in the Mediterranean. You know exactly what you will be doing so pack according to your lifestyle and the weather. You can easily get away with packing fewer clothes. For six days in Rome, I’ll probably pack one dress, one cardigan, two long-sleeve tops, one pair of jeans, and one pair of leggings, one pair of pajamas, as well as underwear and socks to change every day. That’s easily enough, and don’t forget that you also have what you will be wearing on the day of the flight.
Limit the Use of Cosmetics
When you travel you want to spend as much time as possible exploring your surroundings. Spending two hours getting ready in the morning is not very helpful. Aside from taking samples the best way to reduce your luggage is to keep it very simple. There really is no need for primers or different kinds of eye makeup (choose two out of mascara, eyeshadow, eyeliner, fake eyelashes) and I’ll take the following with me to Rome:
Shampoo and conditioner samples
Body lotion samples
Eyebrow powder (also works as eyeshadow)
Soap (can be used for face, hands, and body)
Focus on the Important Stuff
As with clothes and toiletries, try not to bring other unnecessary items either. Of course, I will bring my camera, my phone, and chargers. However, for a city trip, I won’t even think about bringing a hair dryer or any other electronic equipment. Nor will I bring a book which I know I will not have the time to read anyways. Essentials, such as toothpaste, toothbrush, contact lens solution, etc. take up enough space. Also remember that the more gadgets you bring the less time you will actually have to spend on exploring your destination.
In order to get the most out of your trip bring the least amount of stuff. You will be more mobile and more able to focus on enjoying your stay.
Do you struggle with packing too much every single time you go on a trip? Let me know in the comments below.
Half Bulgarian Turk, half German living life as an expat in Greece.