Lately I’ve been refining my packing light technique and it seems to be going pretty solid. The last half a dozen trips I’ve been on have been with carry-on only, having finally gotten over my fear of not packing something I would desperately need (if you really need it you can buy it anyway). So here’s how I solved my problems with the secret to packing light!
Except undies – take a few of those. Everything else you really only need one of. Why? Because you can wash your clothes in the sink.
So with that in mind, what would I say you need for a 1, 2, 3 or 4 week trip away?
x5 undies (they’re small so its good to have enough to be on rotation)
x1 socks (unless you plan to wear them every day, in which case you are permitted x3)
x1 bra (unless you’re not a girl – probably skip this step)
x1 trousers (jeans are heavier but more durable so you make the call)
x1 shorts or skirt (notice the key word ‘or’)
x1 dress (again, for the girls – a dress is the easiest day outfit)
x1 pair of shoes (because you only have one pair of feet)
x1 singlet top (can be used to layer if going to cold weather)
x1 t shirt (comfy trumps all)
x1 cozy sweater (as above)
x1 jacket (if its a heavy one, you can wear this on the plane to save space and weight)
This question is subjective (that is, it is different for everyone) but some general rules apply.
On top of clothes, you will inevitably need a few things.
Make-up? You don’t need it but if you wouldn’t go anywhere without it then pack it.
Deodorant? Please, yes.
Toothbrush + toothpaste? Obvious necessity.
Razor? If you’re not checking your luggage you can’t pack it anyway – buy it there.
Shampoo + conditioner? Buy it there or if you’re staying at a hotel use the freebies.
Pills of any kind? Obviously yes. Anything you need at home you need away.
A book? Tough call. Depends if you are prepared to part with it on your trip (in which case read the E-version).
Passport? Please don’t forget your passport.
etc. etc. etc.
So then, the secret?
Take one of everything and learn how to wash your clothes in a sink. Anything else you need you can buy there.