Are you a chronic overpacker who’s tired of lugging around so much stuff (half of which you never use) every time you travel? Our tips below will show you how to not overpack for vacation (or any trip) so you can travel lighter on your next adventure.
8 Tips on How to Avoid Overpacking
- Limit your bag size – If you start off with a big bag, you’re most likely going to end up filling it with items you don’t need. Go with a small, lightweight carry-on bag and/or a personal item. Check the airline's website for their specific baggage allowance limits on both dimensions and weight.
- Pack Ahead of Time – If you wait until the last minute to pack, you’ll be force you to throw in a bunch of “just in case” items you won’t ever use. The best way to avoid packing in survival and panic mode is to plan ahead and pack early.
- Wear your bulkiest outfit on travel days - Save room (and enjoy toting a lighter bag around) by wearing your heaviest clothing, including shoes and jackets, on travel days.
- Use packing cubes – Packing cubes help maximize the space in your bag, enabling you to more easily fit what you need into a carry-on suitcase. See our guide on how to use packing cubes.
- Plan an outfit for each day - Go over your itinerary and select a complete outfit for each day. This will give you a better idea of what you’ll actually use and wear, instead of packing random pieces you think you might need but don’t.
- Mix and match outfits – Try to stick to one neutral color palette when packing so you can mix and match tops and bottoms. By doing this, you’ll be able to vary your outfits without having to pack a lot of clothes. Try to only pack items you can wear with at least two other pieces you’re bringing. Also, pack more tops than bottoms since tops provide more of a change in your look than bottoms.
- Only bring 3 pairs of shoes (or less!) – Bring one pair for active adventures like hiking or bike riding, one pair of flip flops or sandals for the beach or pool and, depending on your itinerary, a pair that’s a little nicer for an elegant restaurant or theater performance.
- Do laundry – Remember: Laundry can be done while you’re traveling! You can choose to wash it yourself in your hotel room or take it to a local laundry service. Also, check to see if your guest house, hotel, or hostel has laundry facilities you can use.
With these tips and the right BR bag, you won’t have to travel with an overpacked suitcase anymore!