The secret to packing light

Lately I’ve been refining my packing light technique and it seems to be going pretty solid. The last half a dozen trips I’ve been on have been with carry-on only, having finally gotten over my fear of not packing something I would desperately need (if you really need it you can buy it anyway). So here’s how I solved my problems with the secret to packing light!

Packing light

Take one of everything.

Except undies – take a few of those. Everything else you really only need one of. Why? Because you can wash your clothes in the sink.

So with that in mind, what would I say you need for a 1, 2, 3 or 4 week trip away?


Packing List

x5 undies (they’re small so its good to have enough to be on rotation)

x1 socks (unless you plan to wear them every day, in which case you areย permitted x3)

x1 bra (unless you’re not a girl – probably skip this step)

x1 trousers (jeans are heavier but more durable so you make the call)

x1 shorts or skirt (notice the key word ‘or’)

x1 dress (again, for the girls – a dress is the easiest day outfit)

x1 pair of shoes (because you only have one pair of feet)

x1 singlet top (can be used to layer if going to cold weather)

x1 t shirt (comfy trumps all)

x1 cozy sweater (as above)

x1 jacket (if its a heavy one, you can wear this on the plane to save space and weight)

Packing light

Do I really need that?

This question is subjective (that is, it is different for everyone) but some general rules apply.

On top of clothes, you will inevitably need a few things.

Make-up? You don’t need it but if you wouldn’t go anywhere without it then pack it.

Deodorant? Please, yes.

Toothbrush + toothpaste? Obvious necessity.

Razor? If you’re not checking your luggage you can’t pack it anyway – buy it there.

Shampoo + conditioner? Buy it there or if you’re staying at a hotel use the freebies.

Pills of any kind? Obviously yes. Anything you need at home you need away.

A book? Tough call. Depends if you are prepared to part with it on your trip (in which case read the E-version).

Passport? Please don’t forget your passport.

etc. etc. etc.

So then, the secret?

Take one of everything and learn how to wash your clothes in a sink. Anything else you need you can buy there.

Bon Voyage!

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    March 18, 2016 at 10:38 pm

    Thank you for sharing the tips ๐Ÿ™‚ It’s really helpful to me. I really don’t want to pack too much.

    Fingal Ross
    February 5, 2016 at 12:57 pm

    Books are always a hard decision for me. Usually end up taking two and only read about half of the first one. Next trip I aim to take my phone and laptop with all books as PDFs. Travelling light is the way to go!! Thanks for the great post Brooke ๐Ÿ™‚

    February 3, 2016 at 7:42 am

    Going to save this and refer to it whenever I am flying somewhere. I always have such a hard time packing light!

    January 31, 2016 at 12:12 pm

    The lighter, the better! I pack extremely light so that I can buy more things ๐Ÿ™‚
    Brooke, thankyou again – you’re such an inspiration <3

    January 29, 2016 at 1:08 am

    I never check baggage when I travel and have never had an issue bringing a razor with me in my carry-on… just an FYI. I love traveling light but I am guilty of packing a bit more options in my backpack. I just look at it as a little added on exercise when I have to carry a bit more weight around with me ๐Ÿ™‚

    January 28, 2016 at 3:46 pm

    Take one of everything – Nice tips!

    January 27, 2016 at 6:36 am

    Spot on advice as usual! I stopped using hold luggage a couple of years ago to save money.. the extra money I’ve saved can then be spent on visiting extra museums, a couple of glasses of wine etc! ๐Ÿ™‚

    January 27, 2016 at 5:32 am

    I never travel with checked luggage. It’s just not necessary. Compact makes it easier to travel!

    January 27, 2016 at 4:43 am

    Great tips… Amazing and very interesting…

    Sabrina Howard
    January 27, 2016 at 3:48 am

    The trickiest part for me is always workout wear. I’m a fitness addict so I always need at least one workout outfit and an extra pair of running/workout shoes. A couple summers ago, I was able to get by with two workout outfits that I would “freshen” by taking them into the shower with me. It was a pretty good solution.

      January 29, 2016 at 1:04 am

      Ah! Good thinking ๐Ÿ™‚

    January 26, 2016 at 10:29 pm

    I actually tried the take one pair and wash them method on a recent trip to China. My problem was the clothes didn’t dry fast enough. The only pants I had that would dry overnight were a pair I bought from exofficio. My daughter tried this with her jeans, big mistake! Tried using the hotel hair dryer to speed up the process and ended up burning it up ha ha! How do you solve the drying problem? I definitely was glad that I packed light because we started in the northern part of China and in less than 3 weeks worked our way to the southernmost part of China, but having to wash and dry my clothes every night wasn’t fun to be honest.

    Ida van der Burgh
    January 26, 2016 at 4:35 pm

    Good tips! Me and my boyfriend are going away for a year. Different climates. Gonna be tough to pack for ๐Ÿ™

    Liefs from Holland

    January 26, 2016 at 4:18 pm

    This is awesome. I aways feel like I am missing something when I pack, but with this list I won’t have to worry. Thanks for sharing!

    January 26, 2016 at 3:15 pm

    I will need this when I go abroad this April! I always seem to pack too much and end up not wearing half of the stuff I brought x

    January 26, 2016 at 11:07 am

    I tried telling my mom she should travel lighter and by the time we ended up in Prague she was miserable dragging around a giant suitcase on cobble stone streets. For once I was right! ๐Ÿ˜›
    The Fernweh Wolf / Travel & Lifestyle Blog

    January 26, 2016 at 9:34 am

    I love the idea of packing light, but what if you want a good night out and only packed trainers, and what about black and blue jeans!? god I wish I could pack light but look how frantic I become, haha I’d love to give this ago one day though and see what I can make out of it all!

    January 26, 2016 at 8:39 am

    My friend always said that, depending on where you’re traveling, take one less pair of shoes so you can bring a pair home with you ๐Ÿ˜‰

    January 26, 2016 at 7:43 am

    Great tips… packing light is always a challenge

    January 26, 2016 at 7:40 am

    Very useful tips! I always pack to much, because I think during the packing: what if….

    Rachel Oliver
    January 26, 2016 at 7:29 am

    some great tips, i’m flying tomorrow so definitely taking these on board!

    rachel // Style Soup