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…
- Pack everything you would like to carry, then put half of it back!
- Pack clothes which are complimentary to each other to mix and match oufits.
- Leave the iron at home! Try to pack fabrics that don’t wrinkle.
- Pack sample/travel sizes of toiletries – easy to find at drugstores.
- Pack a small bottle of detergent to wash and re-wear clothing.
- 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)
- Stick small items such as underwear, bathing suits and socks in your shoes.
- Instead of folding your clothes, roll them in tissue paper for less wrinkling and maximum space.
- Pack a change of clothes in your carry-on bag just in case your luggage gets lost.
- 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.