Perhaps I am lazy or perhaps I am addicted to comfort but schlepping around a heavy bag isn’t my idea of fun. When I emigrated from Australia to Ireland I managed to pack 32kg into my hold bag and was toting another 10kg on my shoulder in hand luggage. Travelling around through Asia and Europe for 3 weeks before arriving in Dublin quickly made me realise I had packed far too much. Many trips later, I can now pack almost nothing and be completely fine when going away. What is my strategy?

Pack For The Duration

For me, an overnight visit means I barely pack at all. I use my usual messenger bag, pop in my iPad, charger, underwear, socks and a t-shirt for the next day. I’ve whittled down the toiletries to the bare basics – toothbrush, toothpaste and deodorant. I would pack hairspray as well back when I had hair! The hotels usually have everything else.

An unexpected benefit of the liquid restrictions is that all the major toiletry brands now have tiny travel sized versions of your products to take away. Packing for a two night trip is virtually the same – only I add a pair of jeans and one extra of the other clothing items.

But what about jackets and scarves or hats? What you are wearing while you are travelling is also part of your wardrobe while you’re away. My habit is to dress for the flight in the clothes I will go out in on arrival. Nice shoes, the jacket and whatever else are all worn on board and you can mix and match the pieces down the track as needed. Lucky I am not particularly formal!

Things You Don’t Need

When you break it down, what else do you need? Do you need that book just in case you want to read? Do you need that first aid kit just in case you cut your finger? Are you going to need your nail scissors to cut your nails? Probably not. I consider how often I need or use such things at home. If I rarely use it at home, it will never come with me. You are still the same person when you travel – you’re not suddenly going to become a klutz if you’re usually not.

Overall Thoughts

Seeing people hefting huge heavy carry-on bags into the overhead lockers makes me feel very sad. Clearly they haven’t learned the art of the light pack. I know from weary experience how horrible it is to bring everything with you and have to cart it around, so I avoid it at all costs. What’s the lightest you have ever packed? Ever travelled with nothing but your wallet and Passport? Thanks for reading and please leave your comments or questions below.

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