Don’t believe that I have always been a follower of minimalism ! I remember my “first big trip” in 2009 when I went to Bali. I took an enormous suitcase with me, filled with a multitude of things that I barely used.
Over the years, I have considerably reduced the amount of items I carry in my suitcases up to a point that I carry only a single piece of cabin baggage with me, even for a 3-week stay in Japan ! That being said, I do not compromise on my femininity or on the fact that I have pretty outfits to go to a chic restaurant for example ! In this article, I will give you all my tips to light your suitcase.
Why travel light ?
It was the first question that I asked myself. Why not take a huge suitcase filled to the brim and not bother yourself to make choices !
Firstly because I am a huge fan of road trips and I very often change accommodation (every day or 2 days maximum). Suddenly, taking a massive suitcase out of the car, carrying it, taking it up the stairs in some hotels or some train stations quickly becomes very tiring.
For me, the 2nd reason is essential : with a carry-on luggage, there is no longer an endless wait at the airport to put it in the hold. There is no longer a need to arrive 3h before, to stand in a monstrous line and, upon arrival, you can get off the plane without having to wait anymore !
My 8 secrets revealed
- The storage space that you wil optimize
The first technique consists of having a good and expert packing technique. It is essential to find a packing technique that most suits your luggage. Personally, I opted for the set pack from Eagle Creek brand : the different sizes enable storing clothes, underwears and shoes and slotting them in place like in Tetris ^^ The space gain that is considerable
- The correct clothes that you will select
The choice of clothes is also another aspect to take into account. At all costs, you definitely want to take your new yellow dress that you can mix with only one pair of shoes and just one jacket. Forget about it ! You need to select dark clothes (neutral colors as a priority, such as black, blue or grey) that you can mix together. It is essential to plan different outfits with very few clothes and not to have the feeling of always being dressed in the same way.
- An ultra-light coat that you will wear
For colder destinations, I pack a coat : I chose an ultra-light jacket that can be put in a handy storage pouch. It is extremely practical as it takes very little space. There is a lot of brands at the moment : I’m thinking of Comptoir des Cotonniers, Uniqlo, K-Way, …
Well, if you are visiting Canada in the middle of winter, you should definitely need to find another solution ^^ If the temperatures are cool, as it was the case for example when I slept with the monks at Mount Koya (3°C in the morning), I had to take thermal underwear with me which really kept me warm.
- Small shoes that you will choose
In terms of shoes, I put my biggest shoes on my feet during the flight. Most often these are tennis shoes that are comfortable and essential for any trip. In my suitcase, I opt for a pair of soft ballerina pumps which take up very little place or even chic espadrilles that I can wear both during the day and in the evening.
- The washing that you will do
There is no need to bring your entire wardrobe because don’t forget that you can also have your clothes washed during your trip !! If you are in a good standing hotel, there should be a cleaning service and if you are staying at an Airbnb apartment, there is often a washing machine (think about this before making your reservation!). In addition, there is always a dry-cleaner’s !
- The little bottles that you will take with you
In terms of toiletries, I take very small packaging. Firstly because with cabine luggage, you are not permitted to exceed 100ml per bottle, but also to save space. You can find a dedicated shelf to small travel bottles in drugstores.
- The extra items that you will avoid
When I pack my suitcase, I carefully monitor the weather and I don’t take anything “just in case” ! I think about clothes that are suitable to the temperature and climate at the destination I’m going to. Don’t forget that you can also buy things there. If for example, it’s colder than you thought, nothing is stopping you from buying another sweater to compensate. It is often disturbing to spend money on things that you already have at home, but you have think about the global price of your travel and it’s also the price you pay for traveling light.
Personally, the only thing that I have bought while traveling was a pair of gloves during my west American road trip before going horse riding with a very cold temperature.
- The books that you will shift
My books and trip guides have been shifted by a Kindle ! A considerable space gain, especially if like me you read several books at the same time !
I hope that my tips have convinced you to reduce the size of your suitcase. If you have other tips, don’t hesitate to share them in the comments !