How to pack smart & travel light

The key to happy travelling is knowing how to pack smart and travel light.

Travelling light lets you move freely at airports, on public transport, in crowds and on rough and hilly terrain. It saves you time packing each morning and helps you find whatever you need come sudden weather changes. It also means you’ll stand out less as a ‘tourist’ and fit in more like a local.

Here are a few tips to get you started.

Make a list, check it twice and stick to it

Write a checklist or download a reputable travel gear list. Scrutinise each item: do you really need it; do you really need two of said item? Could you get by without it? Try to make your list as short as possible by numbering the items in order of importance and then crossing out the clothes and travel gear that doesn’t rank as ‘essential’.

Use a small backpack or carry-on travel trolley

Generally we pack to fill the space, so choose a small backpack or a carry-on bag and you’ll be forced to pack much less. You’ll be surprised by how much you can fit into carry-on luggage and how few items you really need. Plus, you’ll have the bonus of not having to check in luggage and pay the added charge to do so, there’s little chance your luggage will get lost in transit, and when you land you can just zip off to your destination. Be sure to check size and weight restrictions with your airline in advance.

Pack layers

Instead of throwing a mix of your favourite clothes into a bag, pack strategically and assemble outfits in terms of layers. Once you’ve got the base, mid and outer layers covered, you can mix and match layers as desired and, more importantly, you’ll be well equipped for all weather conditions.

Pack clothes designed for travel

The best travel clothes are lightweight, packable, versatile, wrinkle-free and quick-drying. Clothes made from merino wool, for example, are ideal for travelling. Merino is a great all-round natural fibre that is lightweight, keeps its shape and is odour-resistant so you can wear it for days on end and still look and feel fresh.

Keep toiletry liquids under 100 millilitres

Bring only basic toiletry supplies in travel-size quantities and look for items that are 2-in-1, such as moisturising sunscreen and shampoo & conditioner. If you do happen to run out, you can always buy more along the way.

Invest in a microfibre travel towel

Microfibre travel towels pack down small and are quick-drying, lightweight, ultra absorbent, durable, easy to clean and versatile. Use them as a towel, a beach blanket or a tablecloth…you never know when these nifty travel essentials will come in handy.

Use packing cells and cubes

Lastly, save space and organise your belongings with clever packing solutions. If you put all your socks and underwear in one cell and dirty items in another, for example, getting ready and packing up each day will be a breeze.