Kalin’s Chronicles: 10 essential packing tips for your next big adventure

j0430968 One of the biggest problems for travelers is carrying too much baggage. I remember the time I bought a HUGE suitcase to carry all my stuff for a 12-day trip to Italy. HUGE mistake! When I arrived in Rome, there were no skycaps and I had to drag that heavy suitcase around all by myself. Then the handle broke off and it really became a pain – especially carrying it up the stairs when the elevators where too small to get more than 2 people inside. And with the arrival of fees for checked baggage, my big suitcase made its final departure. Today with several airlines considering charging for carry-on baggage, I thought I’d give you some tips on packing light…

    1. Pack everything you would like to carry, then put half of it back!
    2. Pack clothes which are complimentary to each other to mix and match oufits.
    3. Leave the iron at home! Try to pack fabrics that don’t wrinkle.
    4. Pack sample/travel sizes of toiletries – easy to find at drugstores.
    5. Pack a small bottle of detergent to wash and re-wear clothing.
    6. Try to limit yourself to no more than three pairs of shoes, and wear the larger pair on the plane. (As a shoe lover, this is still a challenge for me)
    7. Stick small items such as underwear, bathing suits and socks in your shoes.
    8. Instead of folding your clothes, roll them in tissue paper for less wrinkling and maximum space.
    9. Pack a change of clothes in your carry-on bag just in case your luggage gets lost.
    10. For hat lovers like me, instead of carrying multiple straw hats for the beach, select your cutest neutral-colored hat and carry ribbons, scarves, or silk flowers to accessorize with different outfits.

      One last tip, leave any prejudicial baggage at home – a light-hearted attitude helps you better appreciate diverse cultures. And remember: “Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry and narrow-mindedness” – Mark Twain.

      Kalin Thomas is Women at Forty’s Travel & Leisure Editor. She is also Senior Writer/Photographer for SoulOfAmerica. Before starting her own multimedia company, Kalin spent 17 years at CNN where she won several awards for her work as producer/correspondent for CNN’s weekly travel program, CNN TravelNow. She is currently writing a book about her travels. For more information on Kalin, visit www.seetheworldproductions.com.

      • I have tried some of these tricks and they really work. Rolling clothes instead of folding, carrying travel size toiletries, washing and reusing clothes are very handy tricks in staying light for an adventure trip. What makes travel even lighter is a lightweight bag. Weight is the first feature I check when buying luggage. A case in point is this Briggs & Riley 19”. It weighs less than 7 lbs and gets a big thumbs-up from me. As much as I love adventure, I like my back more and wouldn’t want to hurt that lugging heavy bags around.

      • I have tried some of these tricks and they really work. Rolling clothes instead of folding, carrying travel size toiletries, washing and reusing clothes are very handy tricks in staying light for an adventure trip. What makes travel even lighter is a lightweight bag. Weight is the first feature I check when buying luggage. A case in point is this Briggs & Riley 19”. It weighs less than 7 lbs and gets a big thumbs-up from me. As much as I love adventure, I like my back more and wouldn’t want to hurt that lugging heavy bags around.