Travel Links: Packing Light is Key to Enjoying Your Trip


Whether taking a long vacation, a quick weekend getaway or a short business trip, at some point you must decide what to take and what should stay home. In any case, packing light is best for enjoying your trip.

Obviously, your final destination, what you plan to do while there and how long you plan to stay will all play a major role in the items you want to bring and what you really need. However, there are a few things to keep in mind every time you pack your bags to avoid lugging around a lot of heavy – and often unnecessary – items.

Earlier this week, Tara Donaldson of offered some Pro Packing Tips in order to reduce stress while you travel. First and foremost, bag selection is key and Donaldson suggests only packing one that will fit in an overhead compartment, but be sure to “maximize that personal item” as well:

Aug 16, 2013; Foxborough, MA, USA; A New England Patriots fan carries a clear plastic bag into the stadium before the game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Gillette Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports

"Most airlines allow passengers on board with one carry-on plus one personal item provided it fits under the seat.Take advantage of the opportunity to stow that extra outfit that didn’t fit in the carry-on. It can double as a spare change of clothes in the event that forced gate check leads to a lost bag.Keep the item light to avoid piercing shoulder pain when running to a gate to catch a flight or flagging a fast-moving tuk tuk.Electronics and chargers, valuables like jewelry and travel documents should live here so they’re close at hand and extra safe.An emergency snack to get through at least the first leg of a flight can ward off disappointment when the airline doesn’t even provide peanuts."

Not checking a bag saves you time once you’ve finally landed. You don’t have to wait around at baggage claim, and you don’t have to worry about anything getting lost on the way to your final destination.

You just grab your bag from under the seat or in the compartment above, and set off to meet your ride. Not to mention, you won’t have to worry about extra checked baggage fees.

But, when packing light you must pack smart. As Donaldson points out, in order to make the most of the limited space you’ve got, be sure to use a compression bag and plan specific outfits in advance using clothing items that can be repeated.

Geoffrey Morrison of relies on his wealth of experience (73,000 miles over the course of 217 days in the past calendar year) to find the perfect mix of necessities and comfort – and for Morrison, all his Favorite Travel Gear, as well as the clothes he brings, fits in one backpack.

"“Luggage” is nothing but an anchor. Never pack for more than a week, no matter how long your stay. You don’t need it. Wear it more than once, or do laundry. Almost every hotel has laundry facilities either on site, or nearby. Being able to fit everything you need into one backpack with completely change the way you travel. If you can’t lift it easily, you’ve packed way too much."

Aside for recognizing the benefits of packing light, Morrison also shares why an Asus T100 is the best laptop to travel with and a Kindle Paperwhite is the best e-reader. Also, he explains why a powerful USB charger and battery pack, as well as an unlocked phone are absolutely necessary.

More from Travel Tips

One way to minimize the items you lug around is to make the most out of your smartphone or tablet. Paste Magazine put together a list of 10 Essential Travel Apps For iPhone and iPad. In the future, one item you may never want to leave home without it the Apple Watch. Jason Clampet of Skift took a look at six travel apps soon to be available for the new product.

And if you know exactly what you want to pack, but aren’t sure exactly sure where to go, Virgin Atlantic has an interesting interactive feature called “Let it Fly” that will “recommend your perfect trip based on what you pack.”

Note: they only allow you to pack one bag.

Next: European Vacation, Part 3

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