Top tip – Become the world's lightest packer

26 Mar

TOP TIP – BECOME THE WORLD’S LIGHTEST PACKER  When it comes to stuffing my backpack for an overseas holiday, I am one of the world’s lightest packers. It’s hard to believe, I know, that a woman can pack so lightly and I must admit I have my partner to thank for teaching me. When we travel overseas, we generally carry one backpack between us. Because he is usually responsibile for carrying it, he makes sure I don’t pack any unnecessary items, including hair straighteners and high heel shoes (yes, they are unnecessary).

The last time my partner and I went abroad for two weeks, we carried just 11kg of luggage between us.

After reflecting on my experiences of brutal culling, I have summarised the best tips for reducing your luggage:

In weeks leading up to your departure, don’t buy new clothes specifically for the holiday unless its vital. Without a doubt, you will be tempted to pack your old favourite clothes as well as the new ones which doubles the number of items in your backpack. Only buy new items that are absolutely necessary and that you don’t already own. For example, if you plan to trek the Inca trail and you don’t own a pair of suitable joggers or hiking shoes, you really need to buy a pair as thongs just won’t cut it.

Cut the shorts and add leggings. Sure cargo shorts are comfy but they are also bulky and heavy, adding weight and reducing space in your backpack or suitcase. Pack a pair of leggings or footless tights as an alternative. The best thing about this is that you don’t need to leave your pretty dresses at home any longer – by wearing leggings underneath them, dresses become much more comfortable for walking and traveling. Not only are leggings practical but they are so much cuter than cargo shorts!

Do you really need all of those electrical cords? It’s easy to get carried away with packing cords to charge everything, including your phone, iPod, camera, video camera, laptop, alarm clock and more. Before you know it, you are connecting so much equipment that you could channel enough power to sustain the entire hotel you are staying in! Don’t even let me begin to tell you how many carbon emissions this kind of activity generates. Firstly consider which electrical items you can leave at home and then identify ways to conserve battery power for your remaining items. It is often possible to buy a universal adaptor that will charge most of your items.

The rule of 3s. Three pairs is the absolute maximum number of shoes you should pack on any holiday. Three pairs includes comfortable shoes for high impact activities, such as joggers or hiking shoes, shoes for daily walking, including thongs or sandals, and one pair of nice shoes for restaurants, clubs and events. High heels are tricky to pack and you often find your feet are too tired from walking during the day that you can’t stand the thought of heels by nighttime anyway. Ballet flats are ideal as they are comfortable to walk in, they suit almost any outfit and they are easy to squeeze into your suitcase or backpack.

By Marissa Toohey


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