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9 Tips to Finally Stop Overpacking


“I never wear this at home, so now I have the chance to use it!” … “What if I’m invited to a fancy dinner?” If you think that way while packing, it’s no wonder you’re at End up having an overweight bag and lugging injury.

Here are nine tips to help you finally stop overpacking.

Pack anti-stink clothing

Look for fabrics like merino wool, polygiene, or fabrics woven with silver, all of which inhibit the growth of odor-causing bacteria. This way, you can wear clothes again without having to wash clothes or worry about smells. Brands like Smartwool, Patagonia and Under Armor use this technology in a lot of their sportswear.

Plan an outfit for every day

Woman writes a list while looking at her partially packed suitcase
Pormezz | Adobe Stock

Go through your itinerary day in and day out and put together a complete outfit for everyone. This gives you a better idea of ​​what you will actually be using and wearing, rather than just packing up a bunch of jumbled items that you think you might need.

Pack multipurpose shoes

If you train while traveling, pack a pair of shoes that can withstand a run but are also good for casual sightseeing. I like Nike’s Free Rn line, which has a knitted upper that makes it lightweight and packable while looking more like a fashionable sneaker than a running shoe.

Coordinate articles with your travel companion

Group of friends looking at a map in the middle of a city
Prostock studio | Adobe Stock

Are you traveling with a buddy? Decide in advance who will bring what toiletries like toothpaste and sunscreen so you don’t double up.

Pack for specific plans only

If you receive a spontaneous invitation to that fancy party or the best secret swimming spot, take this as an opportunity to go shopping. Whatever you buy on site will be a memorable souvenir.

Pack items that go together

Try to use a neutral color palette when packing so you can mix and match tops and bottoms to vary your outfits while still packing minimally. As a rule of thumb: only pack things that you can carry in your suitcase with at least two other items of clothing.

Pack your favorite things

Close up of woman packing suitcase on bed
Kittiphan | Adobe Stock

If you never wear it at home, leave it behind – or better yet, just donate it. Pack things that you know are comfortable and make you feel safe, and not things that you rarely wear because they are pinching, irritating, or just don’t look the way you want them to.

to make the laundry

When you stay in a vacation rental with laundry service, it’s free and easy to do a quick wash halfway through your trip so you don’t have to pack a lot. Check the listing before booking if this is important to you.

If you don’t mind hand washing a few things to help pack less, pack a small travel clothesline and pack of laundry detergent (I like these laundry soap sheets because they’re firm and won’t spill or cause TSA issues) to ease . If you are traveling to a country where the exchange rate is cheap or the cost of living is very low, the hotel laundry services are usually very cheap, and having your laundry washed and folded without work is pretty good.

Start small

Choose a small and light suitcase. If you start with a large bag, chances are you’ll fill it up with things you don’t need just because you have the space. You will regret it when it comes time to carry this bag around the airport.

Caroline Morse Teel is Managing Editor at SmarterTravel. Follow her on Instagram @TravelWithCaroline to see their photos from all over the world.

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