To be a green traveler there is one true “must”: You must pack light.
A while back we posted the Ultimate Guide to Packing Light: 45 Tips to Lighten Your Load. Some of you might have found that post a little long and detailed, so for our 25 Days to Green Travel series we’re condensing the tips down to just 11.
The earlier you begin to pack, the more time you will have to take out what you don’t need. And let’s face it – it’s too easy to overpack the first time around.
Choose the Best Bag or Luggage for You
For me this consists of:
- One Sturdy Bag: I prefer the Eagle Creek Centerline Series Maiden Voyage 70L
- One Day Bag: One of the best parts of the Maiden Voyage is the zip-off day pack.
- One Take-it-With-You Bag: I carry a bag like the Kiva Keychain Expandable Duffle Bag which works great for quick trips to the market.
Learn to Roll Clothes and Bundle Pack
Rolling clothes and bundle wrapping them (essentially wrapping everything around a central object) makes for fewer wrinkles and takes up less space – which allows you to pack a smaller and lighter piece of luggage.
Ditch the Guidebooks
Guidebooks can be extremely heavy. By leaving them at home your bag will not only weigh 5 pounds less, but you’ll be more likely to get off the beaten path. If you insist on guidance for your journey, take a look at these 12 Paper-Free Guidebooks.
Stick with One Color
Coordinating your clothes around one central color scheme means you have to pack fewer shirts, pants, and shoes. Black or brown are smart choices.
Learn the Rule of 3′s
Bring 3 shirts. Depending on the climate, bring 3 long and/or 3 short sleeve shirts. Why? When you bring 3 shirts you won’t be wearing what you wore yesterday. Honestly, three shirts is all you need. When I traveled around Europe for six weeks I wore the same 3 shirts, over and over and over.
Bring Light and Quick-Drying Underwear and Socks
I recently purchased 2 pairs of Ex-Officio Underwear. I’m going to use only these two pairs for an entire 3-week trip. Socks and underwear take up a lot of space and can weigh down your bag, so bring as few of these as possible.
Learn to Layer
Layering is the key to packing light. Why bring a heavy coat when a fleece over a long-sleeve shirt over a t-shirt will do?
2+1 Shoes Rule
1 pair hiking/tennis shoes
1 pair nice shoes
1 pair flip-flops or sandals (they don’t really count as shoes right?)
Bonus tip: Make sure your shoes match your color choice.
Toiletries: If you don’t already own it, buy it there
You can buy brand-name toiletries and cosmetics almost anywhere in the world. And with stricter environmental laws in the EU your toiletries available may be more environmentally-friendly. So if you don’t already own something, buy it when you arrive.
Get Over Yourself
The number one rule for packing light is to leave your variety-needing, self-conscious self (the one with a desire to look not only your best, but also different on a day-to-day basis) at home. When you travel you can literally wear the same thing everyday and most people won’t bat an eye.
11 Best Tips for Packing Light is the ninth post in Go Green Travel Green’s 25 Days to Green Travel series. You can see the complete list of articles in the 25 Days to Green Travel Index. If you haven’t already, subscribe to our feed (also available via email) and stay up to date.
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