3 Key Tips For Packing Light

A collection of items including a folded blue cardigan, a red woolly hat, an mp3 player, phone, necklace, and pen.

I know I'm not the only one who has tried to pack a neat little bag to go somewhere, only to find that said bag has turned into an industrial skip. The kitchen sink might not be in there, but 5 chargers and the most massive jumper ever invented are, and something very important will no doubt somehow be right at the bottom. I'm probably a bit over enthusiastic about packing light, even when I'm not practising it, so I thought I'd share a few simple tips that help me.

Take Light & Versatile Clothes

Leggings are really good because they take up very little space. You can go for looser pyjama bottom/jogger style trousers if you prefer, or wear the same skirt every day and take a variation of tights or socks. Some socks are bulkier than others of course, but they should take less space than spare trousers/skirts/dresses. It's better to take a selection of less bulky items so you can layer stuff and save space.

Another good tip is to take versatile clothing. I have a very lightweight cardigan that I can wear as a skirt as well. Because it's so light, and a nice & simple button up, it looks reasonably natural as a skirt. It is also a great thing to have when I start to feel too hot or restricted by trousers - it's the perfect light skirt, but also the perfect little bit of extra layering when worn as a cardigan.

Minimise Electronics

I have a habit of wanting to take every camera possible. I like to travel with a digital camera as well as my Diana Mini and a disposable too, and I also like to use my phone for quick low quality, off the cuff snaps. This all adds up to a lot of space though, so if you can narrow it down to one or two, that really helps. With film cameras you need to bear in mind the extra space the film will take up, and with digital cameras or phones you'll need to factor in the charger. Disposables are really good for taking up little space, but if you're taking a lot of photos you're probably better off with a different option as having multiple disposables gets pretty bulky pretty quickly. Generally, try to limit yourself to things you need.

Take An Extra Bag

A good thing to always have is an ultra light tote bag or foldable carrier bag. These come in so handy when you unexpectedly have to carry extra things, they fold down into neat and tiny packages, and they're good for the environment. This is a good way to make sure you have enough space without lugging around excessive baggage.


You can build on these and there's all sorts of little tricks and details for packing light, but these are the main tenets for me, and there's always a certain amount of subjectiveness as we all have different travelling needs and wants, but y'know, try to wear less bulky clothes, try to take fewer devices, and make sure you have extra space just in case.

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