“I thought you would be easy to spot because you would have lots of bags…. but you only have those!”
“That’s not a bag… that’s a purse!”
“I feel like I should be carrying something, but you only have that 1 crazy bag.”
I love to pack like a superstar & wow my friends & family. All of the above are things people have said to me this summer during trips. I always get questions about how I do it, so here is a little tutorial/highlights. First, no one likes to pay to check bags… especially with the outrageous amount theya re charging these days. That’s why we usually fly Southwest (read an interesting story about their philosophy on paying for checking bags here) & maintain a personal “only carry-ons” policy.
Since we have been trying to take a more minimalist approach to traveling (& life in general), I welcome the challenge of packing for a long weekend, week long trip, or 10 day adventure. I base my wardrobe on 1 neutral color, usually black (skirts, pants, shorts), & add various shirts I can mix & match. I always bring workout clothes (shorts, Vibrams, and a wicking T). Many of the traveling we have done in the past year has also included attending a wedding, so there is usually some form of formal dress & shoes required. I usually plan to wear clothes more than once; if you can wash clothes, either a quick rinse in the tub after a run or in a machine, you can pack significantly less & still smell fresh!
I use a mix of rolling and “cubing” clothes. The cube, pictured below, is the key to my success thus far. I lay my larger clothes out on the bed in an X as described here, and then roll smaller items & place them in the middle of the X. This baby can get 6 days worth of clothes into a stylish tote and 10 days of clothes into a backpack!! While rolling clothes can produce similar impressive results, I think the cube leaves more room around the edges of my bag, where I can stash snacks, toiletries, and shoes.
Images from academichic.com
I love packing extra light; it gives my back & arms a break. For most trips, I can ignore the overhead bins on the plane & stick my bag underneath the seat in front of me. (I know you are super jealous about that lil’ tidbit!) And best of all, traveling to & from the airport on public transportation is much easier when you aren’t lugging a huge bag. So feast your eyes & pack lightly next time!