I don’t like to lift heavy things and I really don’t have a desire to drag large suitcases across the world, so I like to pack VERY light. People see my two carry-on’s for a 3 month trip around Asia and are amazed on how I little I can bring for so long. I’m often asked how I do it, so here is my secret on how to pack like a BOSS!
First, you need a Pre-Packing List, so check that out.
Yeah that chaos below, you CAN fit all of that in a small carry on 🙂 Let me show you how.
Here is my recommended packing list:
- Solids match everything, patterns can clash. Pack more solids than patterns.
- Pack layers. Especially important for different climates.
- Pack things that can be cleaned in a sink, dried quickly and are wrinkle free, easily.
- Pack items that can fit many occasions. Yoga gear can go a long way if you add just the right ‘upgrades’.
- Only pack clothes you feel comfortable in. If you feel comfortable, you’ll look comfortable.
- Pack no more than 3 pairs of shoes
- Wear your ‘bulky’ items during travel. I like to wear my leggings, light coat, t-shirt, shoes that can easily slip off and a scarf onto the planes. Those light jackets and scarves can take up a lot of space in a suitcase.
- Pack your handy items in handy places. I pack quick ‘refreshers’ (face wipes, hydrating spray, dental care, headphones, travel docs, etc) in a quick-to-grab area in my bag for easy access
- Pre-Plan for any souvenirs you may purchase or be prepared to replace an old item with a new item. Each time I make a purchase I am already prepared to get rid of something. This helps me make smarter purchases as well
My Travel Must-Haves:
- Re-usable water bottle. AKA My Hydroflask.
- Flip Flops: especially great for showers.
- Shoes you don’t mind destroying for adventures.
- Extra plastic bags for re-packing said dirty shoes.
- A Sarong: great as a scarf, blanket, towel, emergency skirt if need be
- Gum. Great during take off/landing AND if you need to have fresh breath in-between brushes
- Neck pillow. I cant believe I traveled several years without one.
- Headphones & Eye mask/Sunglasses: helps making sleeping anywhere bearable. Even in a crowded place.
- More tops than bottoms. 3 to 1 is a good formula- for every pair of pants I pack 3 shirts.
- Vitamin C packets or super green powders. Nothing is worse than being sick on a plane or anywhere else. Be sure to keep up your health with a shot of vitamins whenever you need them
- Cliff bars– you don’t want to be stranded AND hungry.
- Melatonin; A great kick-starter to sleep without any addictive qualities or hang-over feeling
- Pack more underwear then anything else– they are small and the most important item for hygiene.
Above is an actual photo of my 3 months in Bali & Japan, NYC and ending in Virginia. I packed for a span of a difference of 50 degrees, two countries and 3 states.
My packing Ritual to make Maximum space:
I pack at least two days in advance and the night before- pre-check I made the right decisions. This is where a lot of my ‘I should pack this in case…’ items hit the road and lighten the load.
- Shove shoes full as many socks and underthings as you can.
- Line the inside frame of your suitcase with your shoes.
- Roll up bottoms and larger items and place them as the ‘first floor’ of your packing.
- Shove lighter/smaller items in the cracks between the rolled up items.
- Lay the rest of the items on the top and fold them into one another. Much like if you were working retail and re-folding the shirts on display just in a layered fashion for the 2nd floor of packing
- Place any remainder non-clothes items in and around and spaces available
- Pack your water bottle, books, electronics, documents and toiletries in a separate space or bag for easy access going through -the check-in lines
Here is my latest favorite jam that will get you movin’ & packin’.