THE ROOKIE’S GUIDE TO PACKING LIGHT

Packing light… We have all interacted with this word. It is one of the most challenging things for a traveler. Whether for business, leisure, passion and even tours all of us have difficulty when it comes to reducing the luggage we carry. There are many times I have thought…Maybe I should leave the towel behind I might create more space for an evening dress. Packing, unpacking and repacking, extremely difficult decisions.

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Yup that’s most of us when traveling.

I am going to share my top travel tips with you today. I believe that they might come in handy sometime. I will show you how to reduce 3 big suitcases to 1 small suitcase. I have heard people talk about rolling their clothes but believe me that does work for some types of clothes, not all. I have tried all the tips in the book. Many were just plain propaganda but I managed to find a few that actually released me from the over-packing nightmare.

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Well then I’ll just get right to it:

  1. Take a notepad and write down everything that you need.

How many days will you be gone and where will you be going? Will you be going to the beach, dinner, a national park or maybe a hike? How many t-shirts do you need? Will you be carrying jeans or shorts? Dresses (usually take up less space) or skirts and in what quantity?

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Let’s try edit this list.

From this list I don’t think that you need the hand sanitizer because you have the soap. You don’t need a can opener or a tent( you might just decide to hire one) and thi sbrings me to the second step.

2. Edit your packing list

This is done to actually double check if you need everything on the list. Do you need those 6 pairs of shoes? The five pairs of jeans? No you do not. What you need maximum is 3 pairs of shoes and these are utility shoes( black flats, sneakers and a pair of sandals- for women). Men rarely have packing issues like us so 2 pairs of shoes is enough for them.

3. Folding techniques

Folding is always what makes you have extra luggage or less luggage. I will talk about the 2 folding techniques and show them to you one by one. And so it begins;

a) Rolling techniques

According to my personal experience I have realized that rolling clothes actually makes you end up with no space at all, depending on the clothes. Rolling works for some it does not work for others. This method is done by folding your clothes into half and then rolling them into a cylindrical manner one by one. The advantage of this method is that it is easier to find your clothes when they are rolled rather than bundling them.This method works especially well for shorts, socks, synthetic T-shirts and tank tops, some pajamas and sweats.

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b) Bundling your clothes

Bundling clothes is probably the easiest method of cloth folding. You can decide to have bundles according to the days. For example if on Monday you are wearing; jeans, a t-shirt, socks and a sweater you can actually bundles all Monday clothes together and then Tuesday clothes together and so on and so forth…. This is actually my favorite type of packing.

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Bundled clothes

4. Shoes

The bulkiest and the heaviest of the wearables. When thinking about which shoes to pack or carry this is I recommend. Wear your heaviest pair and pack the rest. Carry a maximum or 3 utility pairs of shoes to prevent carrying too many and heavy shoes that you might not even end up wearing in your trips. If you are thinking of carrying boots, sandals and maybe sneakers. I would advice you to travel in your boots why? Because they are probably the ones that will take up the most space. And pack your shoes at the bottom of your suitcase before you pack your clothes.

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Shoes first, clothes follow.

5. Invest in a bathroom bag

I know that some of you are wondering why? Why should I have a bathroom bag. Well, this is to just save you the embarrassment of you undies falling out at the border checks. When you travel by bus and actually get to Katuna( the Rwanda-Uganda border) your bag is opened for checking. i wouldn’t want any of you getting your essentials flying out because of poor packing. A toilet bag also makes you get organized and eventually saving space for you.

6. Carry your most versatile clothes

Remember when I told you about utility shoes? Now I am telling you about utility clothes. Try as much as possible to carry the clothes or sweaters that you can wear with everything. Pack neutral colors that you can wear with everything.

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Well here goes… Next time don’t be caught at the airport paying for extra luggage just because you didn’t pack light. Don’t have a difficult time heaving heavy luggage and sweating across terminals.

Barbara Michoma,

The Traveling Mindset.

Published by Barbara Michoma

I am a tour operator in Kenya. I have a degree in Tourism Management and I have my own company known as The Traveling mindset Limited which is centered on giving people a chance to experience the world in a sustainable way. I am extremely passionate about climate change, human rights, sustainable tourism, accessible tourism and meeting new people and giving them unforgettable experiences. For fun I play hockey and read all kinds of books. I have two dogs and I love animals very much. My all time hobby though, is writing and sharing my thoughts with the world.

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