Packing Light for Carefree Travel

For many people, travel is one of the great joys of life. The anticipation of arriving in either a new, unknown location or a much loved and frequently visited destination lifts the spirit and cheers the wanderer's soul in all of us. To travel with the greatest enjoyment and least difficulty, you would do well to learn to pack light for any trip. Keeping your baggage both lightweight and compact makes for easy handling in any situation without the need for assistance. Here are some tips to help keep your baggage manageable.

Many toiletry products can be found in trial or travel sizes. Shampoo, conditioner, toothpaste, lotion, shaving cream, hairspray and even contact lens solution come in 2 to 4 ounce sizes. If you are very attached to your brand and it does not come in travel size, purchase small plastic bottles and fill them from your full size product. These bottles can often be found at dollar stores. There are many individually packaged items that also make for convenience when packing for a trip, such as nail polish remover pads and pre-moistened wipes. The newer facial cleansing cloths that need to be moistened before use are great for travel. They are virtually weightless when dry and very portable. If you take several medications, vitamins or supplements daily look at the selection of pill organizers available at your local pharmacy.

When choosing clothing to pack for a trip, pick out basics in a color scheme that can be mixed and matched. Blacks and other neutrals are good choices and can be dressed up with accessories. Scarves are very lightweight and can be used to change the look of an outfit and add a dash of color. Try to keep shoes to a couple of pairs. If you will be able to do laundry on your trip, pack the tablet form of laundry detergent to avoid spills in your luggage. Individual packets of woolite type cleaner and a stain stick are also good choices. A tiny spray bottle to spritz water on wrinkled clothing will come in handy. If you are unsure about the weather where you are going, pack with layering in mind. It is easier to take clothing in several weights to layer than to pack a bulky jacket that you may not need. Roll clothes rather than folding to make them more compact and prevent wrinkles.

A sarong will take up little space and can be used in a variety of ways, as a beach cover up, a shawl on chilly evenings, a scarf or even a belt. Tiny net bags with drawstrings are great for packing jewelry. You might want to pack a small collapsible nylon bag for items you may purchase on your trip.

It is beneficial to check with the hotel or other accommodations where you will be staying to see if a hair dryer, iron or other heavy items will be available. Make a packing list and stick to it. Do not be tempted to throw in extra items just in case . Chances are you will not need them and you definitely do not need the added weight. After a few outings, you will have your list pared down and perfected with only the things that are essential to you for pleasant travel. Keep the list for future use and keep the items on it stocked all year. There is something liberating about knowing that you can be ready for an adventure at a moment's notice! Happy traveling!

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