The Art of Traveling Ultra Light

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One glance at me and you presumably think I am the type of girl that packs a full luggage filled with shoes, to accompany a second (maybe a third) filled with millions of outfits that most likely will never make a cameo. Well, you have me all wrong.

I wasn’t always a master at the art of traveling light. Over the years I’ve learned to pack smart. Like many females, I used to pack a BIG ASS suitcase (sometimes 2) filled with tons of outfit options, shoes, and accessories. After countless trips, I started to master the art of packing and quickly realized that I didn’t need copious amounts of options. Each trip I take, I learn more and more about editing my outfits and shoes. Plus, if you are traveling from place to place, it’s pretty easy to move swiftly from one location to the next.

When I tell people that I traveled for 18-months straight with a 25″ suitcase, they never believe me. I show them this photo, and their jaws drop in disbelief. I should also add that this was towards the end of our travels, with three months more to go. A few more clothing items made their way into my luggage. Hey, how can you not shot in Paris, Berlin or Barcelona? I even managed to fit a paella pan miraculously; my wheels were about to burst off, but it fit.

 Here  are my arsenal tips for traveling ultra light:

Check the weather before your trip. Why? This way you’ll know what to pack. I used to never do this and sometimes I’d over pack the wrong items and under pack the needed items.

Select your day-of-travel outfit wisely. Why? Because it will create more efficiency when you pack your luggage. I’ll typically wear heavier shoes (wedges or boots), a coat or jacket, and a hat. These items will save you space and weight in your luggage. (Note: In the video, I packed my light coat in my luggage since I had room to spare. I generally take it on the plane with me.)

Pre-select your outfits. Picking your outfits ahead of time will not only save you the headache of “what am I going to wear today?” but it will also allow you to pack clothing items that can be combined into multiple outfits. Style your outfits and snap a photo. This will help you keep an inventory of what you have and different outfit combinations. For me personally, I love dresses and jumpsuits. You can dress them up or down, layer them with cardigans, jackets and button downs.

Choose a color palette.  Pick a favorite item that you want to emphasize in your packing list. Then choose two other colors that compliment it well. These three colors will be your color palette for your packing list. I like to pick neutral items as a base like black, white or beige and this will help me decide what I pack.

Pick outfit items that can be repurposed. This is probably my favorite one. Pick out items that can be worn in various ways.  All of the tops should coordinate with all of the bottoms you pack. All outerwear items like a  cardigan and blazer should match everything else, all tops and bottoms. Layering is a great way to get lots of combinations from just a few items. Make sure your tops are thin enough to layer and have coordinating colors. 

Accessories to help change an outfit. Accessories are a great way to change up an outfit. Bring a belt that has enough holes so it can be worn at either the waist or the hip. I generally will back two colors: a brown, black or white belt, all depending on my outfits. Bring at least one piece of statement jewelry that can dress up your looks.

Know how to pack efficiently. The pack in roll method is what I have found to be the most efficient. You can neatly pack items that won’t generally wrinkle as much.

Stick to a 25″ suitcase or smaller. This will hinder you from over packing. There is really no need for anything bigger unless you are going somewhere where you are required to being bulky items like Iceland or Alaska in the winter or a ski holiday.

The Art of Traveling Ultra Light The+Art+of+Packing+Light

Filmed and Edited by: Valerie Fidan / Music by: Yanis Soundress Hypnotized (Dim Sum Remix) / Camera: Olympus E-PL7 with 14-42mm IIR Lens / Luggage: Samsonite Spin Tech Luggage 24″ (Similiar item)

Hi, I’m Valerie!

I'm an Integrative Nutrition Health Coach and Registered Yoga Teacher (RYT-200), offering guidance to high achievers in aligning their lifestyle with well-being through daily wellness and self-care routines, promoting balance and harmony. Join me at Wellness Bum for tips on living well, and consider subscribing to my newsletter or booking a coaching session.