Travel tips: How to pack light for international travel
How to pack light for an international trip
Are you thinking about taking an international trip? Before you click the purchase button, you need to decide if you are going to check your luggage or bring a carry-on. Consider a few things: how long is your trip? Is it for work or pleasure? What is the weather like? What activities are you doing? Know what you need before you choose the suitcase that’s right for you. You can pack light for your international trip if you follow some of our tips.
You can save money by using a carry-on, but read the luggage allowance before you book. Some small inter-European airlines charge for hand luggage. The carry on size requirements for international flights is different than European ones. If you are flying to the United States but have a lay-over in Europe, you may have to follow the smaller size restrictions.
Here are some examples which include the handle, pockets, and wheels:
British Airways-56 cm x 45 cm x 25 cm
American Airlines-56 cm x 36 cm x 23 cm
Iberia-56 cm x 45 cm x 25 cm
Ryanair-55 cm x 40 cm x 20 cm
Norwegian Air-55 cm x 40 cm x 23 cm
Air France-55 cm x 35 cm x 25 cm
Emirates Airlines-55 cm x 38 cm x 20 cm
What type of suitcase should you use?
One good choice is the American Tourister Bon Air which has a lock, resistant hard shell, and spinner wheels. If you are traveling on Ryanair, consider the American Tourister- Funshine Spinner. We have been fans of the new SAMSONITE Spark SNG – Spinner 55/20 with SmartTop Carry-on Bag. It’s lightweight, has plenty of space, and the top compartment is a handy feature. These models come in small, medium, and large, so you can get the whole set. If you buy a black suitcase, add a colorful tag or ribbon so you can find it on the luggage belt.
How to pack light
You’ll be surprised how much you can fit in a carry-on suitcase. Many people over-pack and end up wearing the same thing every day.
You have already considered the weather but what about your planned activities? Are you visiting churches? You can’t wear shorts or a sleeveless top in the Vatican. Many travelers on social media ask for advice about what to wear in places like Morocco. Be yourself, but why attract negative attention by wearing something too revealing?
Look at travel capsule wardrobes on Pinterest which show mix-and-match outfits. Think about layering your clothes for different looks and weather conditions. A simple black dress can be worn with a top for a casual look or dressed up with a shawl and scarf. Companies like Betabrand make 30-day dresses, travel clothes, and even reversible dresses.
Looking for a jacket? Check out BauBax or Global Travel. The clothes aren’t cheap, but they will last a long time and are made for travelers. Either way, classic, timeless, and comfortable clothes are your best options. If you look like a tourist, thieves will notice you.
What to pack for women
Two pairs of shoes (good for walking)
If you bring a pair of sandals, make sure they can dress up or down.
4-5 pairs of underwear (you can wash them in the sink if you are going on a longer trip)
One extra bra
Three pairs of socks
Two pairs of pants (one can be Capri)
A cardigan or wrap
Men can mix and match t-shirts, polos, or oxfords with shorts and pants as well as a fleece and a jacket.
Buying clothes abroad
Don’t fill every space in your suitcase; save room for souvenirs! Rather than bringing home a small replica of the Eiffel Tower or Statue of Liberty, why not pick out a new purse, shirt, or scarf? You’ll remember your trip every time you wear them.
Are you visiting the U.S. and love Ralph Lauren? Tommy Hilfiger? These brands are much cheaper in the States especially in shops like Marshalls or T.J. Maxx. (A Ralph Lauren women’s coat for $60!) You can also look for an outlet to find bargains on your favorite clothes (like Levi’s, Columbia, and Nike).
How to pack
There are many options when it comes to packing. Air compression bags, packing cubes, and rolling clothes are some. Compression bags are great for shrinking clothes; yet, they tend to make them weigh more. See if your airline has weight restrictions. Packing cubes help organize your suitcase and hold a surprising amount of clothes. Rolling clothes can also be a good option as they keep clothes from getting too wrinkly. Check out our YouTube channel for some great videos on packing.
Put your heaviest items on the bottom. If that includes shoes, make sure that you put items inside them to free up space.
Do you really need that?
It’s important to bring only what you need. You can buy travel toiletries at local pharmacies. Your hotel will already have soap, shampoo, and lotion. You can also ask if they have deodorant, toothpaste, an iron, and even a hair dryer. Also, you may be able to borrow chargers and adapters if you forgot yours. Before you buy something, ask the front desk if they have what you need. You may be lucky and find that you can borrow items like a curling iron, yoga mat, or sewing kit.
When you travel with a carry-on, you avoid a lot of worry and aggravation because it won’t get damaged or lost in transit. Finally, you save so much time when arriving and leaving the airport that it’s worth it to learn how to pack light. Now that your suitcase is ready, read about navigating American airports here.