Tips for Packing Light

by Female Abroad

With baggage fees getting higher and higher packing everything into carry on is starting to be come the norm. While some people have gotten their packing down to less than a lap top bag for three weeks I’m Not quite there yet and I don’t think I ever be unless I’m staying in a place where there is enough room to hang / do laundry but that’s for another experiment. Truthfully it seems like people are competing to pack in smaller bags with less things which is not something that I’m not interested in nor find very practical but to each their own.

Over the last few trips I have slowly gotten better at packing lighter to the point where I will only travel with carry on luggage especially if I’m going some place I cannot risk losing my luggage. With theses growing tips under my belt I thought that I would share them with you.


  1. pack thing clothes that you can layer. Things like cargo shorts are quite thick so try to go for something with less bulk or wear them instead of packing if you must.

  2. stick to dark colours. These will help hide stains, are easy to dress up or down if needed, and you can mix / match things easier.

  3. pack things you can throw away. Since I have people that expect souvineers and I usually like to bring back some local alcohol I will pack things that I can throw away so there is more space at the end of my trip. As I don’t travel constantly throughout the year this works for me as a way to get rid of old socks, ratty t-shirts, or things I just don’t absolutely love. It also allows me to have the clothes I need for the trio while also freeing up space so I can bring new things home without feeling guilty that I’ve left things behind. Sometimes I’ll replace the items if I find a really great deal while abroad so it works out well.

  4. shoes. Wear a pair of comfy shoes on the flight and if you need to take other ones with you then look at picking up a pair of flats that roll up (or lay completely flat). 7/11 and a lot of shoe stories carry them for woman who want to chuck them into their purses for a night out and you can get them in different colours. If you are a guy, this is a little harder then if you can’t fit a second pair of shoes into your luggage then go for a pair of dark coloured shoes that are comfy and preferably not sneaker looking just in case you have to go out for dinner or are going to a higher end club. Also, if you are packing shoes don’t forget to shove things inside them (like socks and underwear) as the foot hole is valuable storage space.

  5. wear heavier items. If you are taking a coat and / or sweat shirts, jeans, boots, or any other less than friendly packing items then wear them on the plane but keep in mind you will be going through security and on a plane so make sure the items are easy to take off. Also check where you are flying, there are a couple of airlines that are charging by weight of a person and others that will refuse your boarding if they dream you are wearing too much.


  1. electronasize everything. Instead of packing books, crossword puzzles, a MP3 player, and anything else that you would need just download versions onto your phone or get the app. This will help saved you a bunch of space. I normally will still print off copies of confirmations and important documents just in case things get stolen but these don’t take up any space and the space they do is more important than not having them in case something goes sideways

  2. grab a 1L ziplock bag of the free ziplocks that are at airport security. Almost everywhere will allow you to pack up to 1L of 100mL liquid / gel / creams. If you have the pre-approvd TSA ziplocks (free at the airport) then it is easy to cram your items in it and pull them out before heading through security. If you don’t have any then just grab a 1L ziplock bag before you go. If there are two of you traveling then you are allowed up to 1L per person but if you pack both bags into one suit case you will be pulled over for additional screening as it will look like one person trying to take 2L worth of items.

  3. water bottles. If you bring a bottle bottle make sure it is empty before you get into the TSA line up as there are no places to dump it out so you will have to throw out the full bottle. This has happened to me as I was not thinking during my third connection, 20 hours in transit. BONUS if it turns compactable

  4. pack only what you need. If you are packing things in tablets (ex. Tooth paste tablets) then pack only what you will need for the trip and not the full bottle

Keep checking back as I have been trying out different forms of packing but have not quite sure decided to do a video or type it on here. Guess you will have to stay tune for that!