How to Pack Light if You Always Overpack

June 4, 2021

It is a few days before your long-awaited trip and you are excited about it. You must start preparing. Packing the essentials is the first step. Often people pack too much when going on a trip be and you might even carry an extra suitcase that you had not planned to take. Why do we tend to overpack? The major reason that we overpack is that we want to prepare for unexpected events. Trips are all about spontaneity and doing things that you have never done before. Therefore, to avoid being caught in an, “I wish I knew” situation, we make up every possible scenario that could happen.

If you are the type of person who will decide on what to do the minute you set foot in a new destination, most of the time you will find yourself overpacking. Packing your trip luggage twenty-four hours before the journey may induce anxiety and cause overpacking. Since packing can be pretty stressful, you will be forced to throw things into the suitcase without determining whether they are necessary. However, this doesn’t always need to be the case. We should leave the excess and enjoy our travels without tiring luggage. Below are some tips that can help you stop overpacking.

Understand your destination

If you know nothing about your destination, you may be tempted to overpack to cater for any situation you may land in. Before you go on the trip, do some research on your destination. For instance, if you plan to visit the Gulf Coast near Mississippi, first research things to do on the Mississippi Gulf Coast and see what the destination offers or the type of activities. With that in mind, you understand you are visiting the sandy beaches and from there you know what to carry and expect. Other things you should check include:

Laundry services: if your trip is within an urban location, chances are you will get laundry services. Going for a trip to do laundry yourself might not be that fun. Laundry services are always available, especially if you will stay in a hotel or a house. This will save you from packing too many clothes.

Weather situation: traveling during rainy seasons can be hectic because you will need to carry heavy jackets and footwear appropriate for the region. Research the weather of your planned destination to avoid bringing inappropriate clothing.

Write a checklist

A checklist will save you from overpacking. It will help you remember the items you should take and plan outfits easily. Make a list a few days before you pack so that you can have time to remember little details. Make it more fun by dividing it into categories, such as clothing, electronics, beauty, documents.

Pack your favorite things

Do not pack items you do not use at home because you may also not use them during the trip. Pack your favorite items only and those that you know you are comfortable wearing or using. The clothing should make you feel confident and not things that will end up irritating you.

Pick the right suitcase

Choose an average-sized suitcase. Big suitcases mean heavy suitcases. With an enormous suitcase, you might pack so much as you try to fill space and end up carrying stuff you may not need. One medium suitcase is probably enough for a few days trip, but large suitcases will only be suitable for long-term trips.

Carry multipurpose shoes

Shoes can make your luggage heavy. Do not carry over three. If the trip is an adventure trip, multipurpose shoes will do. If you are going for a vacation, you can choose a flat walking shoe, a sandal if weather is suitable, and if necessary, a pair of heels for ladies or official leather shoes for men for dinner dates.

Pack smaller sizes

Nobody said that you must have full bottles when traveling. You don’t even have to fill your travel-sized to bottles capacity if you are going for a quick trip. Only take what you will need based on the duration of your trip. Keep your toiletries at a minimum. If you fall short of some items during the trip, you can always buy them, although this may not happen.

Planning a trip can be stressful, but you will enjoy your travels if you do it the right way. When planning for a trip, avoid carrying unnecessary stuff as it can make your suitcase heavy. Make a list of what you need, and you will find the packing process to be more fun.

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Andi Perullo de Ledesma

I am Andi Perullo de Ledesma, a Chinese Medicine Doctor and Travel Photojournalist in Charlotte, NC. I am also wife to Lucas and mother to Joaquín. Follow us as we explore life and the world one beautiful adventure at a time.

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