Over the years, I have learned quite a bit about how to travel with ease. Most of these lessons came from doing things wrong first. The single most important thing that will make your trip easier is to pack light.
Now I know what you ladies are thinking, because I have felt that way too. You feel you will wind up forgetting something and then will need to buy it. Not necessarily though- as long as you bring items that you absolutely love and that pair up with other items in your wardrobe.
Below are my top 5 tips on how to pack light:
1. Purchase a carry on suitcase that you love so much you are excited to carry it and not check it in. Also make sure it has spinner wheels. Spinners allow you to maneuver easily. Here are few of my favorite luggage suggestions if you need them. They are listed from Pricey to Least Expensive:
Rimowa Topas Cabin Multi Wheel – This will be a hard one to find on sale though-if you do please let me know. I love this. I have been unable to find it on sale but I want it very badly!
Tumi – I am a huge fan of all things Tumi and the great news is you can typically get them on sale if you look around. Sites like Gilt and Ruelala often have Tumi sales. I especially like these light models. I happen to have a penchant for hard-side luggage. Don’t ask me why I just love the way they look. It can be hard to find quality hard side luggage that also expands though. Expandable luggage is really a nice to have so that if you do some shopping or want to stick a bottle of wine in your bag to bring home you can just expand it and check it. If you want an expandable Tumi I would recommend this.
Heys Brand – I really like Heys. They are more fashion over quality but I took mine on several International trips and way too many domestic trips to count & it lasted me a long time. I also am really rough on my luggage so I think I murdered it by dragging it down steps instead of picking it up and such. I like this brand especially for the price point. I purchased mine on Overstock. Q’s luggage is Heys and his is still working just fine.
Samsonite- This one is pretty solid and works great. I purchased one as a gift for my mom for her birthday and she loves it. I also wound up replacing my Heys with a Samsonite and so far so good. I own this one but in Blue.
There are many budget options out there especially on Overstock and Amazon. You can also visit your local TJ Maxx or Marshall’s and find some great budget options there. Just make sure you pick the right size and that it truly is a carry on.
If you travel frequently don’t be afraid to invest in good luggage. It will be your best friend on your trip and will save you tons of headache. The last thing you need is a broken wheel or some other issue. If you plan on using it a lot- invest!
2. Don’t be afraid to get your laundry done while traveling. Quentin and I have gone to Europe for over 3 weeks at a time and only packed a carry on bag. This is because we only take enough clothes for a week and then have our laundry done at a laundromat. No, we don’t sit there and actually do our laundry ourselves (although we did do that once). Just about anywhere you are traveling has a local laundromat that has a wash and fold service. It’s really not expensive and is well worth the small extra cost. Plus, you will save money by not having to check a bag not to mention that packing light will make your trip so much easier. Do not get your laundry done at your hotel though without asking about the prices first. Some small hotels just outsource to a local laundromat and it’s really convenient and not too pricey. If you are staying at a big chain like Starwood brands or Marriott etc I would think twice about doing it through them. Just ask about the prices first to make sure you are comfortable with the cost.
3. Pack only enough clothes for about a week (Yes I really mean that- only a week) this will be much easier if you pack things that you can mix and match. I tend to pack white tops since they go with everything). Remember- you’re going to do laundry so you won’t run out of clean clothes.
4. Roll your clothes instead of folding. You will save a lot of space doing this.
5. Only take 2 pairs of shoes, Wear one of the pairs on the plane and pack your second pair. PACK THEM ON THE BOTTOM. If you are traveling during spring/summer I would bring a pretty pair of sandals that go with everything (dresses, jeans) and a pair of Merrell’s for walking around. I always bring these with me on summer trips and they are the best- I never have back pain at the end of the day when I wear these. I bought them at DSW in Union Square a few years ago. I think these are similar to the pair I have.
You can definitely find Merrell shoes on sale you just have to look. Some of their sandals are old ladyish but not all you just have to look and find the ones you like that will blend with what you are wearing. These are a worthwhile investment if you plan to walk around a lot on your vacation. If I go hiking I wear Merrell Hiking shoes though. No matter how hard I try to hike in sandals it just never works out.
If you are traveling in Winter/Fall I would definitely bring some really comfy knee high boots and wear them on the plane. Waterproof them before you leave that way if it rains you wont have to worry about them. Plus they will keep your legs dry and warm.