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10 Ways to Pack Lighter When You Travel

Tighter security and hefty baggage fees at the airport mean travelers are packing lighter. Here's how to lighten your load.

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Open suitcase with different clothes and accessories for summer journey on bed
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If you are traveling and want to pack lighter to avoid tight security and hefty fees at the airport…you’re not alone. Suitcase.com just released the results of their survey and found 57.4 percent of travelers are packing lighter and 56.5% plan to check fewer bags.

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young beautiful woman with suitcase and dog standing on the road

Choose smaller luggage

Whenever possible, use a smaller suitcase or duffel bag. The bigger the bag, the more things you tend to pack to fill it. Remember, just because you purchase a lighter bag doesn’t mean you should buy a bigger suitcase than you will need. Bonus: The fold-up Paravel Backpack is your new secret weapon for traveling lighter.

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Create a trip outline

When planning your attire for the trip, create a packing storyboard that outlines each event, meeting and activity on your trip. Then research temperatures at your destination. That way, you can plan exactly what you’ll need to wear and can eliminate over packing.

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Make a list and check it twice

Make a list of all the items you plan to take on your trip. Then, review the list and narrow it down to the necessities. These are the packing tricks you need to memorize before your next trip.

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Choose lightweight clothes

Jeans can weigh more than khakis and dress pants, and tennis shoes can weigh more than your favorite clogs.

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And opt for neutral tones

Pack a basic color palette for pants and tops, especially for business travel. Then use colorful accessories, such as scarves, ties, jewelry, belts etc., to change up and mix and match your outfits every day.

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Midsection of young woman packing suitcase on bed

Don’t over pack

Easier said than done, but it’s important to leave your just-in-case clothes home. Just because your hotel has a gym, don’t pack your workout clothes if you don’t even exercise at home.

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Slim down the toiletry case

Invest in smaller bottles and use the bathroom supplies, such as shampoo, soap, mouthwash, hair dryer etc., provided by the hotel to keep your toiletry case light. Also, keep a separate toiletry case just for traveling that includes travel-sized bottles, and make sure it’s easily accessible when going through airport security.

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Do the laundry

If you can, do the laundry at your destination to wear clothes multiple times, instead of bringing an outfit for each day.

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Open suitcase with casual female winter clothes on wooden table. Top view
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Pack Outside Your Bag First

Pack outside your suitcase first. That way, when you see the pile of clothes, you may pare down the items. But, if the clothes are in the suitcase and there’s additional room, you’ll throw more supplies in there.

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Wheeled suitcase on a luggage belt at the airport terminal.
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Weigh It

Invest in a luggage scale or calculate your bathroom scale and weigh your luggage before you leave home. No need for surprises and add on fees when you get to the airport.