How Do You Pack Light for Extended Trips?

How Do You Pack Light for Extended Trips?

How Do You Pack Light for Extended Trips?

Embarking on an extended journey with minimal baggage can be a liberating challenge. To offer you the most practical advice, we’ve gathered seven packing tips from experienced travelers, including an ER travel nurse and a CEO. From skipping the “What Ifs” to planning your itinerary to determine needs, these insights will help you travel lighter and smarter.

  • Skip the “What Ifs” When Packing
  • Choose Quick-Dry, Washable Clothing
  • Select Multi-Purpose, Breathable Apparel
  • Opt for Multi-Functional Garments
  • Pack Essentials in a 40-Liter Bag
  • Adhere to a Cohesive Color Scheme
  • Plan Itinerary to Determine Needs

Skip the “What Ifs” When Packing

After three years of working as an ER travel nurse, everything I own must fit into my car. Needless to say, I’ve learned to pack smart. Besides rolling clothes to save space, my biggest tip is to not pack for the “what ifs.” No need to take up valuable luggage space if it doesn’t serve a clear purpose. If worse comes to worst, you can make a purchase while on your trip.

Ashly DoranAshly Doran
Er Travel Nurse,

Choose Quick-Dry, Washable Clothing

Pack things that you can wash easily by hand and that dry by themselves, e.g., functional clothing, quick-dry sports shirts. Think about the material that the clothes you bring are made of, and choose things that dry easily. Keep the things that require a washing machine to a minimum, e.g., thick jumpers, jeans.

Julia-Carolin ZengJulia-Carolin Zeng
Director, Charlie on the Move Ltd

Select Multi-Purpose, Breathable Apparel

I always try to spend as little money on luggage as possible, so I focus on multi-purpose clothing that can be mixed and matched. I typically select a color palette of neutrals (white, black, beige, and brown), as clothes of these colors can be easily combined to create different looks.

Also, it is very important to invest in clothing that breathes well, so you don’t sweat too much and don’t need a change of clothes or to use a washing machine too often; UNIQLO’s “AIRism” clothing line is a great example of clothing that breathes amazingly. This allows me to have a variety of outfit options without over-packing. Additionally, layering is key. A few well-chosen layers can adapt to different climates and settings, saving space and adding flexibility to my wardrobe.

Shoes are often the bulkiest items in a suitcase, so I limit myself to one or two pairs that are versatile and comfortable for walking. I’m quite a casual person, so a pair of sneakers that can double for both active and casual wear, and perhaps a more formal but still comfortable shoe, cover most travel needs. For leisurely travel, at resorts, and such, you will probably always see me with just flip-flops 24/7, so shoes are never a problem for me when packing.

Justin AlbertynasJustin Albertynas
CEO, Ratepunk

Opt for Multi-Functional Garments

Packing light for extended trips is all about versatility and prioritizing essentials. My top tip for minimalist travelers is to focus on multi-functional clothing and items. Choose garments that can be mixed and matched to create different outfits suitable for various occasions.

For instance, a pair of quick-dry, neutral-colored pants works well for both hiking during the day and dining out at night. This approach significantly reduces the amount of luggage needed, making travel easier and more enjoyable.

James DavisJames Davis
Chief Editor, Surf Spots

Pack Essentials in a 40-Liter Bag

Mastering the art of packing light for extended trips is a skill every minimalist traveler should embrace. A key tip? Limit your luggage to a 40-liter bag or backpack, or less. This not only encourages you to pack only essentials but also ensures mobility and ease during your travels.

But the real game-changer? Choose quick-drying and easily washable clothing. This approach is a minimalist traveler’s best friend. By packing clothes that dry quickly and can be easily laundered, you can significantly reduce the number of outfits needed. Making wise decisions is key when it comes to clothing. When shopping, look for items that can be adapted to fit different situations—items you can mix and match, dress up or down, and that are suitable for various weather conditions and occasions.

This strategy also aligns with sustainable travel practices. Less laundry means less water and energy consumption, making your travel footprint lighter. Moreover, quick-dry fabrics are often more durable, meaning they’ll last longer and reduce the need for frequent replacements.

Packing light isn’t just about saving space; it’s a mindset. It’s about prioritizing experiences over possessions, freedom over burden. You can travel more easily and have more fun by using these simple strategies. They’ll help you immerse yourself in your adventures and experience the freedom of minimalist travel.

Will HawkinsWill Hawkins
Owner, Digital Business

Adhere to a Cohesive Color Scheme

Packing light for extended trips is all about versatility and choosing items that serve multiple purposes. My go-to tip for minimalist travelers is to stick to a color scheme when selecting clothing. This approach ensures that every piece of clothing can be mixed and matched, creating numerous outfits from a limited selection. It significantly reduces the amount of clothing needed, freeing up space in your luggage for other essentials or leaving room for souvenirs from your travels.

Irina TracyIrina Tracy
Chief Editor, Love Advice

Plan Itinerary to Determine Needs

One of my biggest tips for packing light is actually having an itinerary prior to traveling. Before I started traveling lighter, I’d always think, ‘What if I go for a run or a workout? Okay, I need gym clothes and gym shoes. What if we go out to a nightclub? I need a pair of nice shoes and nice clothes. What if we do XYZ?’ Half the time, I wouldn’t even wind up doing most of these things, but I packed for them nonetheless. By having an idea of my plans and itinerary, I can pack what I need and not what I don’t. On some trips, maybe I know I’m not going to have time to work out, so I skip the gym clothes. If I know I’m not going out, or at least if I am going out and it’s going to be a beach bar and not a nightclub, my day wear—i.e., sandals, shorts, and a tee—should be fine. This is my best advice for packing light.

John FrigoJohn Frigo
Ecommerce Manager, Best Price Nutrition

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