luggage over-packing

Do you really need all of that luggage for this trip? Image: Jeanette via Flickr CC

You are about to embark on a trip and you hear those four dreaded words: “Your bag is overweight.” We have all packed a bit too much for vacation before. The bottom line is that over-packing can be a serious burden on your trip. It makes it difficult to find things, it can be no fun to lug your bag around and you likely won’t use half the things you brought. With a little extra time planning ahead and effort you will be amazed at how streamlined packing can become.

Here are some tips to help you avoid over-packing on your next trip:

Limit your toiletries and cosmetics. Trying to maintain your skincare and makeup routine while you travel can mean bringing many products with you. But instead, try using multi-use products like a tinted moisturizer with SPF or a dual cheek and lip stain. Use travel-sized containers for things like face wash or shampoo which will also help minimize spills and take up very little room. Just bring the necessities if you can.

Opt for carry-on only. It may sound scary at first but it will help you limit your luggage significantly. I’ve managed a three-month trip with smart carry-on only packing, so I have no doubt that you can handle that one-week trip bringing nothing more than what can fit in a carry-on bag. You can fit all your items and you will cut down your time stuck at the airport significantly. Plus, you will save on that petty baggage fee at the airport.

Pack versatile clothing that you can layer. Bring that lightweight sweater that looks just as good over a dress as it does casually with jeans. Take an inventory of your most versatile items before you leave and stick with a few key pieces that work well together and travel well (aka are virtually wrinkle-proof). Think of this as an opportunity to get really creative with your wardrobe! Instead of carelessly throwing your favorite clothing items into a suitcase, be very intentional with the pieces you select.

Do you have any other tips to help avoid over-packing? Be sure to leave a comment below!

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Sarah is a freelance writer with a wide variety of interests, including international relations, politics, education, humanitarianism, women's rights, yoga, mental and physical health, and natural remedies.