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How To Pack Light

I love traveling, but I hate packing. It’s really one of the most stressful things about traveling for me. Sure, this should be easy, but when you’re packing for a long trip and you will be lugging your pack around for months, efficient, smart packing all of a sudden becomes priority #1! Actually, when preparing for a short trip you tend to overpack even more! So, how do you solve these packing problems?

1. Size matters -  My best advice is to limit your overpacking by choosing a purposely small bag. Much like living in a house, if you have extra space, you tend to fill it up, so don’t fall victim to that while packing!  
2. Color Palette – Try to stick to the same color palette and you will avoid overpacking. Keep it simple by choosing a bland color palette such as brown OR black OR blue, and then choose your basics (trousers, shirts, shoes) based on that choice. Then you can spice up your outfits with a colorful scarf/pashmina or jewelry. These things are little compared to packing yet another pair of shoes!
3. Make the most of your space – Folding is so 90’s…trying rolling instead! By rolling your clothes instead of folding them, you actually utilize your available space better and the clothes are actually less wrinkled!
4. Buy what you forget – remember, if you forget something or desperately need another piece of clothing, then you can always buy what you need at your destination. If you travel to more areas such as India, Asia, Africa and South America - you can buy those things really cheaply! Odds are, you don’t actually need anything else, but by simply realizing this step as you are packing, it will help you from overpacking.
5. Go online - There are many great articles and websites out there that will give you packing advice – here are a few that I’ve used!
Briefcaset to Backpack - packing tips for long term travel
Ottsworld - once your on the road how do you manage your suitcase?
The Indie Travel Podcast - slimming down your toiletry bag
One Bag - the art and science of traveling light
The Indie Travel Podcast - what clothes to pack (more for trekking/long term budget travel)
 
 
What you don’t need: 
As I traveled around the world for 16 months, my packing became much more efficient. I always feel that people should learn from their mistakes, so here were some of my packing mistakes!
I didn’t need:
·         2 pairs of iPod headphones - one for exercising and one for non-exercising
·         Hairdryer…nuff said
·         Travel books - they are HEAVY!!! Give them up and use travel podcasts instead! I would actually recommend never carrying more than one book at a time.
·         Water bottles - Water is cheap, just buy it when you need it.
·         Sleeping bag - you seldom need it, you can improvise if you need to for a night or two – unless of course you are going camping…duh.
·         A first aid kit is great, but don’t bring your whole medicine cabinet. Trust me, there are pharmacies all over the world…in the most remote places…you will be able to find cough drops, eye drops, and aspirin anywhere.
 
Here’s one last great article on what not to pack. This list was compiled by travel experts and bloggers around the world – check it out and see if you are a culprit to any of these items!
 
Now, share your advice with the rest of The Circle, leave a comment, and let me now what items you don’t need to pack!