The Art of Packing Light

The art of packing light starts with remembering these three three points:

  1. You can always wash things, even if you have to do it by hand.
  2. You can wear things more than once between washings.
  3. You can focus on function, not fashion, and buy and extras you might need (at very good prices) while on the road.

  • Hair dryers (check with your hotel, most have them or can be borrowed from the front dsk).
  • Shampoo, conditioner, and soap. 
  • Extra shoes or purses. (Wear your heaviest pair of shoes or boots on the plane, then pack one extra pair of walking or athletic shoes. Purses – especially designer bags – attract thieves. A daypack or belt pouch to wear under your clothes is safer, lighter, and more functional.)
  • A heavy suitcase. (Ever weighed your bag? Suitcases can weigh up to 10 pounds, while an army duffel bag weighs 2 lbs and looks like dirty laundry — BUT you have lots more room for your gear. Weigh your options literally!


 These essentials should serve well on most adventures lasting two to eight weeks:

  • 7 days worth of socks and underwear
  • A bathing suit
  • A towel
  • 3 t-shirts
  • 3 tank tops
  • 2 long sleeved tops
  • 1-2 sweaters or sweatshirts
  • 1 pair of track pants
  • 1-2 pairs of jeans or long pants
  • 1-3 pairs of shorts
  • A cap or hat
  • Extra eyeglasses or contact lens
  • Prescription medications and copies of your prescription

Of course, you won’t forget to pack cold-weather gear if needed, right?  Rechargeable batteries instead of extra batteries?  A Kindle or eBook reader instead of heavy books?  Zip-lock bags for dirty or wet laundry? 

What else is on your list of “must have” items to pack?

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With these three things in mind deciding what to pack becomes much easier. Couples should plan on sharing items like deodorant, toothpaste, and sunscreen instead of packing double.Once those ideas are firmly in your head, here are some things that can almost always be left at home:

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