Packing well for travel is a skill that comes from practice. Recently I traveled on a weekend trip that included a wedding and was able to do this with only a carry-on. Travelers can consider a few things that will make their packing easier and improve their ability not to overpack and fit in just a small bag or suitcase.
Check the weather for your destination. As I discussed in a previous post, pack for the realities of your destination, not what you expect it will be. Therefore, think in layers. Weather is not always predictable. When packing for a warm, sunny destination, consider the cool evenings by the beach or weather changes that can cool considerably as the day progresses. Similarly, when thinking of cold destinations, remember that you can become overheated if dressed too warmly.
Limit your footwear. For travel to any destination, you can almost always limit footwear to three pairs of shoes. Consider one set of footwear for walking, one for evenings out, and flat footwear. These three pairs of shoes will cover almost all types of travel itineraries. Your initial traveling outfit should include one of those three types, which means you will only need to pack two pairs of shoes.
Plan your travel. If you organize your trip, you will know what activities you plan and can pack accordingly. Think of how many changes of outfits you will need. How many times will you go to lunch or dinner? Will your plans call for business casual or comfort? In most cases, one pair of bottoms can be made unique with a different top or jacket.
Try different packing techniques. Rolling items rather than packing flat can allow for more things to fit into your carry-on. However, your outfits may need to be ready to wear and will not be suitable for rolling. Think of what items will be best rolled, such as jeans and tee shirts, or folded flat such as dresses or suit jackets.
Pack in advance. Packing in advance allows you to consider what you are packing rather than rushing to pack at the last minute. Preparation also will enable you to determine better if you are overpacking or packing according to plans. It also limits forgetting items you will need, such as pajamas, socks, workout wear, or underwear. Advance packing helps in packing light.
Are you able to pack for a weekend with just a carry-on? What’s your secret, or what prevents you from packing light? I’d like to know.