Saving space in your luggage is a good idea for a few key reasons: it’s cheaper, faster, and easier on your back. But despite this, most experienced travelers have made the mistake of lugging along a bulky suitcase only to find it impossible to navigate public transport or take souvenirs home.

If you’re looking to cut down on your packing for your next trip, here are a few steps to lighten your luggage and mind!

Have A Plan

Start eliminating before you’ve even packed anything at all.

Consider how many days you’ll be traveling and the types of events and activities you’ll be doing. Either on paper or in your head, jot down the type and number of pieces you think you’re going to need.

Having a plan will stop you from throwing everything into your suitcase on a whim as you stand in front of your closet.


Start eliminating before you’ve even packed anything at all!


Stick To Neutral Colors

Black, brown, tan, white, and other neutrals harmonize well with each other and (except for white) hide stains and dirt well.

Packing only clothes that fall into one color family makes sure that each piece you pack pulls its weight by coordinating with multiple outfits. You will need fewer outfits if all of your pieces go together, and you’ll look neutral and unassuming in most places you visit.

Reduce Bulk

Unless you’re going somewhere extremely cold, consider leaving the bulky sweaters and outerwear at home.

Packing with the goal of layering in mind increases the number of pieces you can bring, therefore increasing your options for outfits. A t-shirt, sweater, and undershirt can keep you just as warm as one thick sweater, but the multiple pieces can be used in a few different ways.

Plan To Do Laundry On Longer Trips

Don’t bring more than 7 days worth of clothes on any trip.

After a week, you can just run to a laundromat or use the facilities in your rental to clean your clothes. Whatever your travel destination, almost everywhere has a place where you can get your things washed.

Laundry washing is typically cheap and will save you a lot of hassle from lugging 14 days of clothes around.

Don’t bring more than 7 days worth of clothes on any trip

Don’t Worry About What-ifs

When you decide on a packing list, it can be easy to throw in some “emergency pieces.”

What if there’s an unexpected snowstorm? Or an unseasonable heat streak? These kinds of questions can lead you to packing items you don’t actually need in anticipation of a situation that is, let’s face it, often very unlikely.

If there’s unexpected conditions, trust that you can get anything you need to face it while you’re there. Leave the snow pants at home.

Don’t Overthink It

Clothes are just clothes! Pack what you think you need, then take out one thing more.

Trust that they have shops where you’re going, and that you can buy what you need for anything unexpected that comes up. Pack light and enjoy the adventure!

What is your trick to packing lighter?

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