3 Travel Packing Tips for Packing Light

When I have to sit on my suitcases to get them closed I know I’m SOL big time. Packing and I have a love/hate relationship that seems to rejuvenate itself every time I prep for a trip, and no matter how much I learn about unnecessary travel gear, I can never get my suitcase within the weight limit the first time.

Know your Weight Limits

Tonight was another lost cause for me. Since I’m heading to Ireland for 10 days before I set up shop in London, I have to pack one 40 lb bag for Ireland, and I’m allowed to bring one 50 lb bag for London. I’m using my Euro backpack for Ireland which (while packing) beautifully fit the necessities for warmth in the wet, windy weather. I held strong at 23 lbs.

Pack Your Bag: Then Take out A Third and Put it Back in Your Closet

Then I started looking at my London stuff and sorted my clothes into piles of cardigans, fancy clothes, party clothes, class clothes– you get the picture. I chose my favorites from each pile, discarding about 1/3 of the apparel spread on my bed. But, since I’ve stubbornly refused to travel without my yoga mat, my cowboy boots and cashmere cardigans were kicked for storage at my parent’s house, sadly. I’m super proud of myself though–I think I’m learning. This time I didn’t even reach for the blow dryer. I’m no longer bringing three scarves and I decided on a trench coat, my leather jacket and lots of layers.  Plus I have the usual poly-pro under armor and bulky wool sweaters that I learned were so valuable during my last British Isle trip.  After three hours of packing, jamming items in and throwing them out I’ve finally got my London back at 42 lbs.

Pack for the Climate

Sounds like a no-brainer but this time packing for Ireland and England was very different than packing for the Mediterranean. It’ll be chilly and damp… the kind of cold that seeps into your bones and stays there ’til you spend several days in the very hot sun. After carting around 14 lbs of stuff through Greece and Spain this summer, I’ve sort of taken on the luxury of traveling lightly. I hated lugging my huge post-semester suitcases through the airports at Christmas time and if it means less weight, I’ll be the first one to go tossing items out.

I’m getting antsy to leave now that I have my essentials pared down for Ireland and packing “round one” firmed up. There is something so thrilling about living simple, living easy, and thankfully I get a chance to do it again!  I’ll give packing another go later this week, but I’ve got my euro backpack ready to go with a replenished first-aid kit and my old gear for plenty of adventures over the next few months!

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