travel tips

20+ Tips for Packing Light

One time (at band camp) I had to dispose of several items because my suitcase was over the limit. It was only slightly over so it didn’t warrant paying for extra luggage allowance. I also knew that I could always buy another £3 t-shirt. However, this process took up a lot of time since I was instructed to leave the queue, re-pack, and line up again.

Several trips and 5 different countries later, (one check-in suitcase to Japan, a handbag to Portugal, Italy and South Korea, and a backpack to Hungary), I have picked up a few tricks on how to lighten to load. These tips are more suited to short trips of a few days to a week but feel free to implement them to better suit your travel routine!

Liquids

  • If your goal is reduce the amount of liquids then you can bring bar soap for sensitive skin to wash both your face, body, and underwear in the sink.

  • In terms of make-up, you could bring a small skin-toned concealer or BB cream instead of a larger vial of foundation. This is more to reduce space than liquids but red lipstick can double as blush.

Mini brushes, a skin-toned concealer, a dual eyebrow pencil, and pressed powder from Superdrug for that no-make-up make-up look!

Mini brushes, a skin-toned concealer, a dual eyebrow pencil, and pressed powder from Superdrug for that no-make-up make-up look!

  • You can also bring toothpaste that is half-empty and finish it on your trip.

  • When I went to Japan and Korea, I bought a pack of hydrating sheet masks to use instead of both toner and moisturizer.

  • For really short trips like my 2 nights in Hungary, I brought make-up remover wipes instead of cleanser.

  • I also once brought scented anti-bacterial wipes instead of gel to feel and smell fresher during summer in Portugal and Italy.

  • Washing and deep-conditioning your hair the night before allows you to go a few days without shampoo and conditioner. However, for slightly longer trips, I have just brought shampoo and moisturized my hair with a tiny bottle of olive oil. On one trip, I brought a 2-in-1 shampoo and conditioner.

  • In terms of actually packing liquids into your bag, I would pack them last. Having them at the very top of your bag or in the front compartment means that you can pull out your liquids bag as soon as you hit security.

Off to Seoul! I bring a hat to avoid bringing lots of hair products!  I also often wear sunglasses on the plane instead of bringing an eye mask!

Off to Seoul!
I bring a hat to avoid bringing lots of hair products!
I also often wear sunglasses on the plane instead of bringing an eye mask!

Size

  • If you’re staying in a hotel or are happy renting one then you wouldn’t need to bring your own towel, but I always bring a small hand towel to dry myself. The smaller it is, the faster it dries.

  • This also applies to underwear. I’ve found that lace thongs dry a lot faster than cotton hipsters.

  • I tend to wear a thick jumper or a big shirt (I sleep in over-sized shirts not pyjamas) on the flight to save space and keep warm on the journey.

  • Wear as much as you can! It’s not a law to weigh people just your bags! Don’t go overboard to the point your feel uncomfortable though.

  • A lot of people swear by wearing boots or heels to avoid putting them in your bag but for me, I don’t bring those at all and instead pack a pair of flats for formal dinners and nights out.

  • If you do pack heels then go for a neutral colour to co-ordinate with several outfits.

Contacts and Glasses

  • If you wear contact lenses on the day of travel, you can pack your empty contact lens case and have one less Liquids item. I recommend only wearing contacts for short flights because airplanes can dry out your eyes a considerable amount, which means you might bring eye drops, an extra liquid.

  • If you wear glasses on the day of travel and don’t intend to take them off to rest, then you can use the empty glasses case for storing things like earphones, charging cables or jewelry. Obviously wearing glasses or sunglasses, balancing them on your head, or hanging them from your collar means that you don’t need to bring a case at all.


As a solo traveler, I need to carry as few items as possible to be nimble, comfortable, and less vulnerable. I also like to buy souvenirs and so I bring less things in order to have enough space. The more I travel, the more tips I will add to this list, so keep an eye out!
Wherever you’re off to next, I hope you can reduce the amount of luggage you bring even by a pound!

Happy travels,

deeyandra x

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