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Here’s Your Guide to Packing Smart And Not Just Light

September 08 2019

Carrying less cargo has its own share of advantages. But even the most seasoned of travellers often worry about how to limit excessive baggage. These handy tips can help you pack efficiently, no matter what your destination is

Guide to Packing Smart

To start with, packing smart (and light) doesn’t necessarily mean sacrificing on comfort or style. However, it does require you to rethink travel basics, including shoes and suitcases.

Packing for a vacation is all about practicality; not only should you have a clear idea of what to bring, but also know how to neatly organise them into a compact carry-on. Remember that little increments can add up rather fast, thereby forcing you to shell out a hefty excess baggage-charge on most airlines.

Carrying less cargo has its own share of benefits. However, even the most seasoned travellers often worry about how to limit excessive baggage. These handy tips can help you pack efficiently, no matter what your destination is.

How do I make my checked-in baggage smarter (and lighter)?

Remember that checked-in baggage is permitted free of cost only till a particular (weight) limit. Should it go beyond the permissible limit, you might have to pay a sizeable penalty in order to get past. To start with, you can give the big suitcase a miss, and try a smaller one instead.

That’s because more often than not, you can miscalculate what you might need on a trip. Eventually, you might end up using a lot less than what you expect at the outset. More importantly, carrying excessive luggage may make you vulnerable to petty crimes – snatch theft, for instance.

Packing smart makes way for both convenience and comfort. Make sure your checked-in baggage has the following items:

  • Multi-purpose clothes

  • When packing clothes, make sure to choose fabrics on the lighter side. While heavyweight fleece and wool are sure to keep you warm, they tend to be bulky and can add considerable weight to your checked-in baggage. On the other hand, lightweight fabrics include silk, polyester and nylon.

    Importantly, the trick to packing smart is to get creative. This is exactly where multi-purpose (versatile) clothing comes in. This way, you’d not have to carry excessive clothing as you can wear these on multiple occasions.

    For instance, a single pair of inter-changeable sandals can be your all-weather shoes. Ideally, you should pack clothes that can withstand the climate of your destination.

  • Pocket-size toiletries

  • The best way to go with toiletries is, of course, to carry none; you can either trust your hotel to provide you the basics or buy a few when you arrive at your destination. That being said, if you cannot travel without toiletries, consider pocket-size alternatives that can help you trim a kilo (or two) off your travel-kit.

    For men, options are aplenty (both manual and electric) for grooming on the go. The idea here is to get creative again. There are a range of toiletries that you can cut down to size -- smaller bars of soap, for instance. This can help you pack in the essentials without letting them add to your baggage weight.

    For instance, transfer liquids into smaller containers, and use non-electric shavers and toothbrushes (they don’t need cables or chargers and hence take up less space).

  • International all-in-one adapter, substitute phone charger

  • Amid the rush, don’t forget to carry a second charger on you. This way, you’d have extra cushion in case you misplace the one that you always use. Besides a stand-in charger, pack an international all-in-one adapter as well, as it allows the appliance plug to fit the outlet of your destination country.

    Here, bear in mind that travel adapters don’t convert electricity. However, majority of the items need an adapter, considering modern technology only requires the plug to match the source outlet.

  • Walking shoes

  • While packing shoes, try to strike that balance between style, comfort and bulk. Choose your shoes carefully, and don’t pack too many.

    The lightest shoes available – sandals, for instance – may not be the best fit, particularly if you have planned long-walk days on your agenda. If you want to bring your bulkier pair of shoes on the trip, make sure that you are wearing them and reserving the lighter pair for your checked-in baggage.

    Unless you have a special occasion to attend to, pack shoes that are versatile and support walking (comfortable sneakers, for instance).

  • Luggage tag with your contact number, home address

  • Luggage tags are undoubtedly one of the more important travel accessories that you should have. No matter if you are flying overseas, heading out on a quick trip or just backpacking, these tags make identification of your luggage a no-hassle exercise.

    Further, a luggage tag – with your name, contact number, residential address and other details on it – can bail you out of a sticky situation, particularly if you end up misplacing your luggage.

    Further, avoid a tag that flags your nationality. Also, consider a tag with a plastic casing. This way, malefactors would not be able to scan information and use it against you.

What should I put inside my hand luggage?

Once you have taken care of your checked-in baggage, it is now time to know what you should fit in your hand luggage.

  • Money
  • Documents
  • Jewellery
  • Laptop, mobile and other electronic equipment
  • Eyewear
  • Keys
  • Medications

In conclusion, packing simple and smart is the key to becoming an expert traveller. The trick is to know what to pack, and what to leave out from your travel-kit. Extra shoes, excessive and layered clothing, and hardbound books should not ideally make their way into your luggage. More often than not, these only add to the weight and not serve any purpose, whatsoever.

Importantly, don’t forget to invest in a comprehensive travel insurance policy. Besides getting financial cover for loss of checked-in luggage/ delayed/missed flights, you’re also taken care of in case of a medical emergency.

Related Article:

Tips to Plan the Perfect International Trip
What to Do if You Lose Important Documents AbroadInsurers 

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