Many people do not realize how important packing light is to budget travel, but I can tell you from personal experience that it is very important. Trust me – if you over pack, you are much more likely to drop extra money on porters, luggage carts, taxis and all those other little costs that could be avoided if you just packed more sensibly. Even though those costs can seem insignificant, they can really add up, especially on a long, multiple city trips.
Think of it this way – while a traveller with just a backpack or small carryon will be comfortable taking the inexpensive city bus into town, the traveller loaded up with several suitcases will need to opt for a much more expensive taxi ride. It is easy to see the impact proper packing can have for the budget traveller, so we present some light packing tips borne of personal experience.
Try to avoid checking bags whenever possible. If you can live out of your carryon, you will be much better off. Not checking a bag means no wait at the 9 baggage carousel, and that means you can get into town and start having fun while everyone else is still waiting for their bag.
Airlines have gotten much more strict lately with carryon limits, with most major carriers now allowing only one carryon plus a purse or other personal item. To make the most of this policy, carry a large purse and pack it with extra items, like toiletries or cosmetics, that would otherwise take up valuable luggage space.
Wear your largest shoes and bulkiest clothing on the plane to preserve space in the suitcase. For instance, a pair of hiking boots or sneakers can take up valuable luggage space, so pack your smaller dress shoes and wear your boots or sneakers on the plane. In addition, you will appreciate having comfortable shoes as you make your way through the airport.
Plan your outfits carefully to minimize the pieces needed. A stylish black skirt or pair of pants can easily be made into several outfits with some creative accessories and a couple of nice shirts. Pack small items like a scarf, a tie or favourite pieces of jewellery to give your outfits a new look without taking up a lot of room.
Try packing a large oversized t-shirt in place of a bulky bathrobe. An oversized shirt can be great for wearing right out of the shower, and it can double as a quick cover-up after a visit to the hotel pool.
Invest in a quality pair of stylish yet comfortable walking shoes. Shoes that are comfortable and attractive can be paired with a variety of outfits for a different look. Since shoes take up more space in the suitcase than many other items, it is best to choose versatile footwear when travelling.
Try rolling clothes instead of folding them. Rolling clothes allows you to pack more clothes into a smaller space, and helps keep clothes wrinkle-free as well.
Stock up on small sample sized products like shampoo, conditioner, toothpaste deodorant. Many seasoned travellers keep a bag of such tiny soaps, shampoos and conditioners (gathered from hotels during previous journeys) in a bag at home for quick packing.
Pack a large but foldable extra bag in your suitcase, and use this bag to carry the purchases and souvenirs you buy on the return trip.