With travel becoming more common again and the holidays just around the corner, a lot of us are getting ready to pack a bag and go somewhere for the first time in months, maybe longer. Bringing a heavy bag with you means having more to keep track of during a stressful travel day, more weight to move around, and potentially extra fees. With that in mind, here’s some advice for packing light on your next trip, wherever it takes you.
Keeping your packing light can be difficult when you’re planning for the unexpected, and for many packing can be a stressful experience. Here are some tips on how to pack thoughtfully and (literally) take a weight of your shoulders:
- Be realistic. Especially around the holidays, it’s easy to imagine what your Hallmark-style trip might look like and pack for that. If you’re actually going to need outfits for a Christmas party, sledding with your kids, and caroling, by all means bring them! But if your Christmas normally looks more like sweatpants and board games, packing for fourteen different activities you won’t actually do will only take up space in your bag.
- Pack multipurpose things. For a longer trip, trying to pack a different set of clothes for each day might not work with your luggage constraints. While you’re packing, focus on a few things that you can wear multiple times and build your list around them.
- Do your research. What does the weather at your destination look like at this time of year? Are you staying with family or friends who would let you do a load of laundry? What are the baggage limits on your airline? These are all questions that find answers to, and finding them early means you can adjust what’s in your bag accordingly.
- Share space. If you’re travelling with family or friends, you might not need to bring multiples of each necessity. A family-sized toothpaste tube or shared portable charger won’t seem like much at first, but it’ll be one less thing to move around and one less thing to keep track of.
- Be honest about what you can’t leave behind. It can be easy to get too ambitious about packing light and leave yourself with an empty suitcase halfway through your trip. Taking time to realize what your priorities are while traveling will keep you from being stressed or uncomfortable because you left something essential behind.
Whether you’re packing for a family trip or a solo one, visiting family for the holidays or going on a pilgrimage, the preparation process can be hectic and stressful. A lot of the advice here is focused on planning things out ahead of time, which will certainly help with that.
Another way to make sure that you’re calm, collected, and intentional about your travels is to set aside time to find God in silence beforehand–and during your trip! Having some time to center yourself and focus on your relationship with God will help your trip start off on the right foot.
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