Looking for tips on how to pack light without having to sacrifice style? We have got you covered.
Do you find yourself overpacking consistently and using half (or even less) of the outfits that you pack? Well if you answered yes then you are in the right place. As a former over-packer myself, I got tired of dragging around heavy suitcases while going through the already taxing process of travel – only to use a few of my outfits.
Below you’ll find a list of tips and tricks that will help you start the process of learning how to travel light. Try implementing one or two of these on your next trip and watch how much better your packing process and vacation style will be.
This post is all about how to pack light without sacrificing style.
Best Tips On How To Pack Light
1. How To Pack Light
Pack Clothes In (At Least) Three Coordinating Colors
| Cardigan | Top | Mini Skirt | Boots |
| Sunglasses | Bag |
When it comes to the balancing act of traveling light and traveling in style, sometimes the answer is already in your closet. When you are packing for your upcoming getaway, consider packing pieces in three matching colors. Why? Because doing so enables you to seamlessly mix/match them to create different looks for different occasions and days. In the end, you get to enjoy the perks of traveling lighter by recycling the same few pieces to wear in different forms without sacrificing style along the way.
Bonus Tip: If you are heading to an urban location such as Paris, then black, white, navy, and grey are excellent choices. If you are traveling to a beachy destination, try white along with bright hues like yellow and orange.
2. Pack Shoes Strategically
| Vest (similar) | Top | Denim | Bag |
Another core secret on how to travel light? Take it easy on packing your shoes. Though it can be exceptionally tempting to pack all your gorgeous boots, heels, and sandals, the reality is that you really only need no more than three different pairs during your trip – something comfortable like sneakers, something statement-making for a classy night out, and something casual with some style flair to it.
In short, plan your shoes based on where you are going and what your itinerary looks like. And remember, shoes are highly versatile, meaning just a few pairs in your suitcase can still be worn in various ways to keep your style on point. Remember that you are wearing a pair while traveling, so try to wear a pair of shoes (preferably your sneakers or comfortable boots). I actually love to wear my over-the-knee boots on the plane when I’m going to cold destinations. Not only do they keep me warm but I also don’t have to pack this bulky item in my suitcase. If your ankles swell like mine on longer flights, try wearing long compression socks under your OTK boots.
3. Leverage The Power Of Jewelry
| Vest (similar) | Top | Denim | Bag |
| Boots |
Never underestimate the power bold, bright, and wow-factor jewelry can have at transforming an entire wardrobe. Shiny jewelry ranging from neutral to vibrant is a sneaky way to make yourself look good and create the illusion that you have more outfits in your suitcase than you really do. Whether it be a necklace, earrings, or a nice watch, jewelry can genuinely accentuate different looks by just adding some bling into the mix. The best part is that jewelry in just about any form is amazingly easy to pack and does not take up much space, making these little yet mighty fashion assets perfect for traveling light yet still traveling in style.
4. Rolling Clothing v. Folding
Let’s pretend for a moment that you have several different pieces you want to pack but simply do not have the right amount of suitcase space to fit it all. Maybe your trip is an extended one, or you genuinely want to have a variety of outfits to choose from while away. Now, instead of shedding tears that you can’t fit it, try doing this classic little trick to make it work without having to upgrade your suitcase/bag count: rolling your clothing instead of folding it.
In summary, rolling clothing is a long-time traveler hack to pack more without taking up ample space. All you need to do is roll your items up tightly and place each one snug next to each other instead of stacking. I take the extra step of rolling my items and placing them in these packing cubes which allow me to have even more space. Doing so, you’ll likely be surprised at how much more you can fit with a bit of strategic compacting.
PS: For shirts, try folding them in thirds (lengthwise) before rolling. For pants, fold them in half and then roll them up tightly to optimize your packing space.
5. Ditch Some Toiletries For Outfit Space
If you are going to be staying at a hotel or an all-inclusive Airbnb during your stay, then there is a good chance you can travel lighter by merely taking advantage of that on its own. In general, knowing how to travel light boils down to knowing where you are going and what to expect in terms of accommodations. For example, most hotels supply towels, lotions, and complimentary soaps. Most even have a wall-mounted hairdryer as well, a styling tool that can take up hefty luggage space.
Whatever the case may be, just be sure that you check what accommodations will be there when you arrive because doing so might mean you could skip packing certain items that will already be supplied – giving you the ultimate space opportunity to pack more outfits if you desire to.
6. Adopt The Capsule Wardrobe Approach
In regards to the art of traveling in style yet still remaining light, never forget that quality is always going to be more important than quantity. And there is a term for that in this day and age, which is the capsule wardrobe. In fact, the entire concept of a capsule wardrobe has been becoming a hot fashion trend in recent years to amplify style using the notion of less.
So, for those who truly want to know how to travel light, now is no better time to start prioritizing quality and adopting that capsule wardrobe approach to stay true to your style while venturing. Because whether with you on the road or in the air, having a bunch of mediocre pieces that just take up space will never compare to having a few interchangeable ones that you absolutely love.
Download my FREE Year-Round Capsule Wardrobe Checklist
7. Seasonal Packing Approaches
Packing for a trip can vary tremendously based on the destination’s weather. While most of the above tips still apply to both, we wanted to share some specific seasonal tips that you can use.
How To Pack For A Winter Vacation
One of the most important items you will need is your winter coat. For this reason, it is important to invest in a coat that will provide both function and style. Check out the article below if you are trying to decide on what kind of coat to invest in. Wear (or bring along if leaving a warm destination for a colder one) your coat on the plane to save a tremendous amount of room in your luggage for additional items.
How To Pack For A Beach Vacation
Packing for a warm destination is much simpler than packing for a winter vacation. Try to pack thinner fabrics and light dresses. You can easily roll up your items in packing cubes. You don’t have to pack one bathing suit per day – you can simply wash your bathing suit with some soap (or shampoo) and hang it in the shower to dry.
If you are in dire need of space in your luggage, you can mix up your bathing suits to create the illusion that you have a brand new bathing suit every day. For example, let’s say you pack three bathing suits, a black one, a white one, and a pink one. You can easily mix a pink top with a black bottom and create various color combinations.
This post was all about how to pack light.