Packing Light For Holiday Travels - 6 Tips

With the holidays literally starting this week, many people have to start thinking about what to pack. Whether you're going away for a weekend, an overnighter or a long stay, these tips to pack light are universal and can help your bag feel more like a carry-on rather than a ton of bricks. I am a notorious over packer but recently I've learned how to pack everything I need into a duffel. As far as I'm concerned, the least amount of things I have to carry is best. There is nothing worse than a kink in the neck because of bag abuse. So take these tips and try to apply them as you pack for grandma's this weekend.

1. Pack the basics. A white or black tee-shirt can be worn casually and formally and no one can tell if you wore it two days in a row if you change up the rest of what you're wearing. Think about what you're natural basics are. What are the tops you always grab when you're running late because they work? Those are your basics. Pack those and you're setting yourself up for success.

2. Pack one set of shoes and wear your favorites. Shoes take up a ton of space. If you can get by with one casual pair to wear when you travel and one formal pair for those fancy nights, do it. If you can't, try and pack shoes that are a bit slimmer or easier to manage like flats. Booties and heels just take up way to much space to deal with.

3. Only pack toiletries that are essential like a toothbrush, toothpaste and deodorant. Regardless where you stay, a hotel and your mom's house will have shampoo, conditioner, body wash and the rest. Limit the toiletries you pack to only the things you absolutely cannot part with. Tresemme hair gel is always one for me in case I can't get my hands on a decent hair dryer. 

4. Pack small instead of large. Capitalize on the basics you brought by backing more small items then large. Instead of packing three sweaters for three days, pack one and instead have two shirts and two scarves. Mix and match. One sweater, two shirts and two scarves equal four different outfits.

5. Do not bring your entire formal wardrobe. List out the events you'll need to dress fancy for and only pack for them. Try on several different outfits before you pack and choose the one(s) you feel most comfortable with. Try to decide if you can recycle them too. If you have two holiday parties but with completely different people, perhaps you can wear the same skirt and just change the top, or maybe you can wear the same dress but wear a blazer instead of a sweater. Whatever you can do to minimize the number of articles you bring with will help. 

Always choose what you already know you like on you or feel most comfortable in. Bringing along that dress you bought a few months ago but never wore "just in case you might wear it because you love it" is a waste of space. Chances are you'll take it off and wear what you've worn before and feel comfortable in. We all have those go-to items in our closet. Stick to those and you'll be happy with what you're wearing and have the lightest bag in the house.