THE BLOG

Take a Load Off: 5 Ways to Pack Light

05/13/2013 12:14 EDT | Updated 07/12/2013 05:12 EDT
shutterstock
Teenage boy struggling to close suitcase

Packing for a trip can be challenging at the best of times, but packing light can be downright difficult. As you're reading this, I'll either be away on or back from my mini-holiday -- four fun-filled but surely exhausting days visiting the big-eared mouse in the F L. Travelling on my own with two kids, all their gear and three suitcases means that we'll all need to pack light.

Here are five tips that I found to be quite useful and are sure to help you Pack Like a Pro -- lite style.

1. Check the Forecast

Check the forecast, recheck the forecast and check the forecast again - for at least a week prior to your trip. You'll notice over that week that the forecast will probably vary, and while the weather might not be completely as predicted, you'll get an idea of what you're in for. With that knowledge in place, you'll have a good idea of the types of clothing, shoes and accessories to pack.

2. Be Realistic

Be realistic about what you'll really be doing on your trip. Many of us have an idea of what we'd like to do (or how we'd like to look) while away, but the reality might be quite different.

Will you be on your feet all day long or transported about on four wheels? Will you be heading out to fancy restaurants or grabbing quick bites in not-so-fine establishments? The more realistic you are about your schedule and activities, the better prepared you'll be.

3. Choose a Base Colour

Not only does choosing one base colour for your whole trip cut down on the amount you'll need to pack (fewer clothing items and accessories), it also provides more opportunities to mix and match.

For example, for my trip my base colour is black. Black shoes, black handbag, black belt, etc. and I'm using white and red to add to the mix. Had I gone with brown as a base colour, I probably would have added colours such as navy and green.

4. Think in Layers

When considering what to bring, think in layers. How will your outfit work for you throughout the day? Will the weather be cooler in the early morning and evening? Would you like to switch out a piece or two when going out for dinner?

Layering an outfit or making only minor changes to it throughout the day will keep you from having to pack too many items.

5. Plan Your Outfits

Planning your outfits ahead of time allows you to know exactly what it is you'll need to bring. It also saves you time getting dressed on your trip. Photograph complete outfits to remind yourself which pieces go together, just in case you forget.

If you're like me and have a tendency to change your mind once you reach your destination, bring along a few extra pieces that go with multiple outfits. Having that one base colour and creating outfits that could mix and match will make it much easier to create new outfits on the fly.

Packing light has multiple benefits. Not only does it keep you organized, it allows you to carry less, lightening your load and possibly saving you a couple of bucks in baggage fees. But the most important benefit? All that space in your suitcase just waiting to be filled with new little treasures...

Best Travel Photos Of The Week: 2013 Edition