Here at the Scrubba we love packing light because we know that trading our bulging bags for nifty day packs saves time and money, helps us to keep track of all our items, and saves our backs from heavy, cumbersome rucksacks. But maybe you already know the benefits and are simply struggling to put your new packing plan into action. If so, don’t get disheartened! Packing light can be a daunting task after years of travelling with a loaded suitcase, especially if you’re going on an extended trip and are worried about leaving something important behind, or are trying to pack enough layers to rug up for winter! As avid travellers, however, we have ample experience packing light in order to get the most out of our trips. In fact, we’ve developed a fool-proof list to help us, and now you, lighten your load every time, no matter what the circumstances. Here are our top 5 tips for cutting down your baggage:
1. Choose your travel toiletries wisely
I see so many people lugging around huge toiletry bags filled with all manner of creams and pastes that, for the most part, sit unused taking up space, ignored by their owner who is too busy exploring the world to remember that they’re even there. To get around this problem, take note of what you actually use and need when you’re at home, and be sure to pack only the necessary items. Use small travel bottles so that you don’t have to lug around huge plastic containers (anything under 100ml can be carried in your hand luggage on-board your flight), and opt for 3 in 1 solutions, often available as shampoo/conditioner/body wash combos. Choosing a small toiletry bag and challenging yourself to fit all your items into it is also a great way to cut down and ensure you’re not just packing for the sake of filling all available space.
2. Cut down on clothes
A typical mistake is trying to fit four seasons' worth of clothes into one bag, which is completely unnecessary, not to mention exceptionally difficult. I recommend doing some research on your travel destination, as this will help you to make an informed decision about the sort of clothes you actually need to pack to experience the local weather in relative comfort. If style is important to you, stick to a colour palette to ensure that all your clothes match, and go for items that can be dressed both up and down, but be sure to prioritise practicality and comfort over fashion. Try to wear your heaviest items whilst in transit to avoid having to squeeze bulky boots or coats into your bag, or consider buying such bulky items from a cheap second-hand store whilst abroad. At the end of your journey simply leave these items behind, thus negating the need to travel with them at all. Finally, learn how to do laundry while travelling and pack your Scrubba wash bag in order to limit yourself to only a few changes of clothes. If in doubt stick to the rule of three: One item for wearing, one for washing, and one for drying.
3. Choose multi-functional travel products
This applies to more than just shampoo/conditioner/body wash trios. Get creative and you might be surprised to see how some of even your most basic items can double or triple as something else, limiting the things you need to take on your trip. Aside from the Scrubba, which can function as a wash bag, a dry bag, and a storage container, one of my favourite items, as a frequent winter traveller, is a neck gaiter. These are small, lightweight, and come in a variety of materials and patterns to suit all styles. Best of all, they can be folded in almost innumerable ways to provide varying levels of protection for both hot and cold weather. Wear them as scarves, sun hats, beanies, balaclavas, bandanas, sweat bands for head or wrist, eye masks for sleeping, or headbands as desired, and switch out your usual multitude of items for one. The possibilities are nearly endless.
4. Buy merino wool layers
Merino wool is a magical material that keeps you warm in winter and cool in summer, making it perfect for travel to places that are notorious for erratic weather, or for global trips that might take you from winter to summer environments. Better yet, it does all this without acquiring much odour, enabling it to be worn for days on end without needing to be washed. As an additional bonus, it’s generally quick-drying when laundry day does arrive, and is lightweight and generally comfortable enough to double as sleepwear or active gear. You can read more about why merino wool is such a good option in our Merino Wool vs Synthetic Materials blog.
5. Buy a small backpack
If you’re still struggling, buying a small backpack or suitcase and promising to take it along on your travels will force you to downsize your luggage and to get creative in ways you never thought you could, prioritising multifunctional necessities over the items you only think you might need at some point. It’s a great way to challenge yourself and to jump out of your comfort zone. Trust me: You only need to do it once to master the technique and become addicted to the benefits of lightweight travel!
The Scrubba stealth pack may just be the perfect 4-in-1 bag for your trip
At the Scrubba we’re wholly committed to producing practical and multifunctional accessories that make travelling light incredibly easy, and our commitment to this cause will never waver because we’ve experienced the benefits of such travel firsthand. So what are you waiting for? Grab your accessories, unload your backpack, and make your next trip a clean, light and free one.
Want to keep our tips handy on the road? We've got you covered with this quick and easy infographic: