Saturday, May 31, 2014

Pack light when traveling...

I still owe a post in my 5-part homeschooling series, and I swear someday I will get it done! Today, however, I want to talk about packing light while traveling. Author Elizabeth Gilbert's FB page today had a post about women traveling solo, and one of her suggestions is to pack light. A commenter, however, asked HOW does one do that.

I've spent a month in Mexico with only one backpack to carry all of my things. I spent 10 days in New York City with the same back pack. I've traveled cross-country twice, and both times, although I had tons of stuff with me, I only dipped into one single bag for clothes and toiletries.

Weekender tote bag by The Orange Door Boutique on Etsy - I could totally pack for a month in this one bag. Isn't it gorgeous?

Here are my tips for traveling light - this is my exact comment in response to the woman who commented on Liz's FB post:

Clothes that serve multiple purposes - a single pair of black paints or a black skirt in a forgiving, wrinkle resistant material can be worn for casual or dressy events or anything in between and goes with just about any kind of top. White, gray, black tops go with everything. Or, if you keep the bottoms neutral, take any top will pair with it. By taking easy to mix-match clothes you can take fewer clothes. Also, fabrics that can be worn more than once without getting smelly or that air out easily between wearings so you don't have to do laundry frequently.

I took a single backpack for a month long trip to Mexico once. We stayed in a hotel with a laundry service - it cost next to nothing so I could wear everything, put on my last clean outfit, and send the rest to be laundered every week for very little cost.

For a long trip, I pack 5-6 pairs of underwear and socks, an extra bra in addition to the one I'm wearing, a second pair of shoes (stuff the shoes with socks, underwear, and other stuff when packing to save space!), flip flops/sandals, one pair of pants, one skirt, and three tops. I carry a jacket or sweater on to the plane with me as I always get cold when flying. I usually wear a shirt and lounge pants on the plane and use those as pajamas while traveling. Oh, and I typically pack a hat of some sort (something that can be squished or folded up). Toiletries when traveling are toothbrush, toothpaste, deodorant, lotion. I buy any other toiletries (shampoo, tampons/pads, for example) at my destination. 

I don't take things like a hairdryer, curlers, etc when traveling...although I don't use those at home either! 

I suggest pack a week before your trip. Two days later, remove 1/3 of whatever you packed. Two days after that remove another third. Only take what's left. Even with the small amount I pack, I always find one or two items that I don't wear at all during the trip.

I love taking clothing brands like Royal Robbins, Ex-Officio, Patagonia, Columbia, etc as they often are designed for travel with forgiving fabrics that don't wrinkle or that can be shaken out, and often don't absorb body odor.

My favorite book about women traveling solo: