Tis the season to be jolly...with a well packed bag!!
Are you heading away for a short trip over the Christmas season? Catching up with family and friends? Want to give traveling lighter a go? Then this blog is for you! Full of tips to make the most of your trip by taking less.
Reduce holiday season travel stress by packing a lighter bag.
Christmas and holidays can be stressful. There's a lot to think about and organise.
What if your bag wasn't one of those things adding more stress? Short holiday breaks are the perfect time to give packing light a go.
Less luggage = less stress = less decisions.
The key word here is LESS!
Here are some of my top tips if you are new (or not so new) to traveling light.
Which sized bag would you pick to pack light?
1. Where are you going?
Your destination is extremely important when thinking about what to pack.
Consider the climate:
Are you going somewhere warm? Tropical? A winter wonderland?
The weather will dictate what you need to pack. Check out the forecast and pack for the conditions.
Remember, "There's no such thing as bad weather - just bad clothing."
Consider the dress standard of your destination:
Are you hiking to a cabin in the woods? Going to a different country with different dress codes? Chilling out with the family? Or hitting the party scene? Or all of the above?
Taking time to think about how you want to turn up, will have you feeling a lot more comfortable.
2. What are you planning on doing?
Will you be hiking? Skiing? Dancing? Relaxing? Surfing? Yoga?
Think about what you plan to do while away and make sure you have the right gear. Remember, there's always the option of borrowing or hiring gear at your destination, as well.
Write down a list of the things you'll be doing so nothing gets left out of your bag.
3. Make sure everything you pack mixes and matches.
Packing clothing and shoes that all go well together serves two purposes.
1. You can change the style and look of your outfit easily with the addition of another item of clothing of similar colour. Accessories are key to this trick - think scarves, jewellery, hats.
2. With a variety of wardrobe pieces, you can have a huge range of outfit combinations. No one will know that you've only brought, say 10 clothing items.
4. Layers, layers, layers!
In line with mix and match outfits, you'll also be able to layer for some great wardrobe combinations.
Layers also work for different weather. Too warm? Remove some layers. Too cold? Just add more.
When I was in Chicago and New York (sigh!!!) back in December 2019, I travelled with my 5 kilo/ 11 pound bag. My merino underlayers were crucial to keeping me warm - merino leggings, socks, long sleeved tee, gloves and scarves.
I had three outer garments that I wore on rotation, and finished with my puffer jacket and a knee length woollen coat.
So whether you need warmth or to look sensational - layers are the answer.
5. Wear your bulkiest gear on travel days.
So yes, I mentioned the knee length woollen coat. How did that fit in my bag, you may be wondering!!!
I didn't pack it. I wore it.
Leaving Auckland airport in New Zealand on a humid summer day, I carried it on to the plane and used it on the flight as a blanket. Once we hit the outdoors in Chicago, it never came off!
I also wore my heaviest boots on the flight, leaving plenty of room for everything else on the 24L space in my day bag.
So, how much should you pack?
That is entirely up to you. I'm not a fan of TELLING people what's best for them, and I also know that one size does not fit all!
If you've been through the five tips above, you'll at the very least know what you need to pack for the season and the reason.
Short trips away, even overnighters, are a great opportunity to give packing light a go. If you normally travel with a massive suitcase, try the next size down. If you're normally a mid-size suitcase, try a carry-on size.
I haven't mentioned reducing your toiletries and cosmetics, but I've got a whole other post on that here - How to pack light with toiletries and cosmetics.
"But Katherine, I'm travelling in a car! I can take as much as a want."
Yes, you can pack your car to the maximum. But wouldn't you rather pull out a bag of clothes, a box of gifts, a container of food and drink contributions at the end of your drive?
Or would you prefer to do 101 trips back and forth from the car unloading everything? And then doing the exact re-loading for the trip home.
And one last thing...
Save your brain and time by creating a packing list. You can get my packing checklist by signing up to my newsletter.
But I've got an exercise for you, for when you get home. Look at your list. And look at your outfits you packed.
- What did you never wear?
- What did you wear multiple times?
- What looked great together?
- What did you wear that covered different occasions?
Start building up your knowledge of your travel wardrobe. It takes time, but over that time you will start to think about your clothes and how they work for your travel style..
Wishing you all a wonderful and blessed Christmas and holiday season.
Meri Kirihimete, from Aotearoa | New Zealand