This summer when you’re preparing for long distance travel you can lighten your load by following these tips. Traveling lighter is especially important if you’re flying. Oversized or overweight bags will incur excess fees on most airlines. Plus you’ll be lifting and moving your bag many times, so your back and muscles will appreciate a lighter load.
1. Start with a Lighter Weight Suitcase.
For most manufacturers a 22 inch carry-on roller is considered lightweight at 10 pounds and under. Ultralight starts at around 7 pounds. IT Luggage, which claims to sell the world’s lightest luggage, wins hands down with 19.5 inch carry-ons that start at 3.4 pounds.
2. Pack Lightweight Durable Shoes.
Keep in mind you’ll probably be doing quite a bit of walking so you will need more than flimsy flats. If you’re shopping online for walking shoes check Magellan’s or Travel Smith, who offer lightweight comfort and list the shoe weight in the specs. If you must take a heavier pair, save the weight by wearing them on the flight if you can.
3. Select Lightweight Toiletries.
Unless you need or want specific basics, plan on using those provided by your lodging. Cosmetics can add weight fast if you take the original container. For liquids and things which can spill select the smallest lightweight container to hold the amount you will need. Backpack Travel Store offers lightweight toiletry kits and bags, as well as lightweight sheets of body wash, soap, shaving cream, etc.
4. Choose Mesh Bags for Internal Storage.
Use internal storage bags only for the things that need to be kept separate or protected. Shoes, suits, and other things you’d like to segregate work well in lightweight mesh bags. Place anything liquid or with potential for leaking into a watertight plastic bag before placing in the internal bag.
5. Take a Cue From Backpackers.
REI.com offers a lightweight microfiber jacket for women at only 4.3 oz. and a multisport jacket for men at 11 oz. If at all possible, plan to wear or carry your heaviest outerwear and other garments. Plan to use each item of clothing for more than one purpose. To reduce the risk of sunburn pack a lightweight fabric foldable hat.
6. Go High Tech.
Now’s a good time to go for that e-reader or tablet. Most weigh between 8 oz. – 1 lb. You can store an entire suitcase full of books on one device and you’ll be able to add travel apps to help reduce the travel paper trail.
7. Pick Clothing Made of Lighter Fabrics.
Lightweight fabrics include silk, nylon and polyester. Cotton, linen and blends are a bit heavier, but may be more appropriate for the weather. Select a lightweight wool or wool blend sweater or jacket if needed for cool evenings or if you’ll be in cooler climes.
8. Don’t Overpack.
Lay out everything you want to take; then remove anything that’s single use (unless it’s for a special occasion). Pack only shoes you will wear on multiple occasions. Include a small amount of laundry soap, so you can wash any item you want to refresh before wearing again.
Happy, safe and lightweight travels!
Have a tip for lighter luggage? Share it in the comment section below.