How To Pack as Little as Possible

Lose the Weight, Gain the Freedom of a Light Pack!

Tried of lugging hundreds of pounds of luggage? Too much stuff can ruin a trip, from holding up buses or airport security, even requiring hotel staff, friendly passers-by or anyone around to help lug your stuff from here to there.

Rid yourself of excessive stuff, and revel in the freedom and ease of traveling unburdened!

  1. Pack normally. Go ahead, just cram in everything you think you might want to take with you.

  2. Unpack and spread everything out. Now that you can see everything you wanted to bring, we can begin to prune.

  3. What are you actually going to wear? Honestly, pick out the few, best clothes and items, the ones you know for certain you enjoy wearing, and will often. Set them aside for the moment.

  4. Pack for the place. Going to the tropics? A light jacket might be in order, but not your winter parka. If you're going to the beach, odds are you'll be spending a lot of time in a relaxed, informal environment... which means you can cut down or outright eliminate formal clothing. Conversely, shorts won't work well in a Russian winter.

  5. What can you get there? If you know you're going to buy ten swimsuits, bringing ten more with you seems excessive. Plan on buying shirts, shoes or dresses? Look forward to wearing them by saving space and weight for them right now. The same goes for personal items.

  6. Re-pack only with items from steps 3 - 5.

  7. Repeat steps 2 - 5. Skimming the top layer of unnecessary things off, you can now clearly see just what it is you're taking with you.

Be brutal and unmerciful in your judgments, as you can always replace something you forgot to bring with you with whatever is around, but there is no way to ditch the extra weight of the unnecessary. Using these steps is highly dependent on what your outlook is... it might bring you from seven suitcases to five, or perhaps from one to just a backpack. For the extreme, here are a few more measures you can take:

  • Wash 'n' Wear. One outfit to wear, while you wash and dry the other... swap every day for always clean clothes.

  • Cut 'n' Half. Pack your bags normally, then leave half in one room while you take the other half in the next. Pretend the ones you don't have were lost or stolen. Can you salvage a good time from what you have left? If so, leave the other bags alone and go with what you've got. You can do this as many times as you can.

  • Ask a Friend. Often, we plan on the worst, or otherwise think too much about situations of travel. Ask a trusted friend to go in and pack your bags for you... you'll be surprised by the results.

Happy travels!


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You are right, we just lug around things we don't use and add more when we get to those places anyway. Now, we just buy things we need in the places we go to.

By Mary Norton