Top 5 tips on how to pack light when traveling

Travel bag to pack light

I finally came to a realization that I have to pack light when traveling. My recent trip to Bulgaria made me carry a 21kg luggage filled with winter clothes to layer and some pieces of clothes for partying and fancy occasions. This also includes 2 pairs of footwear– heels for fancy dates, parties and social gatherings and black winter boots for the thick snow. Well, of course, I had to do everything that I can to keep warm, right? But guess what? Half of the clothes that I brought with me were untouched!  I dragged a freaking 21kg luggage to the other side of the world only to find out that I was packing unimportant things in there! WOW! shookt!

Before the trip, I had been making lists and checking out items to bring– adding and removing things from it. I even made a schedule which clothes to wear and when to wear them so that I’ll have enough clothes for the entire trip.  After repeating these steps multiple times, I thought I was packing my stuff wisely… but I guess not. So here are the things that I learned from that trip:

1. The road to a stress-free trip is to pack light

Who wants to carry a heavy luggage all over the town? Most especially when you’re going to places where you have to hop in and out from different transportation means, it is best to leave the extra weight in your bag.

During my last two days in Bulgaria, we had to move from Haskovo to Sofia so that we can add “a DIY sight-seeing” in our itinerary without risking our flights. And to tell you, getting to our hotel in Sofia was a nightmare! Me and my boyfriend had our own luggage and backpack that we had to drag along with us from the taxi to the bus and getting inside our room. For me, the thick winter outfit also didn’t help because at some point, the scarf started choking me and my beanie kept on slipping off my head. Again, it was a nightmare. I felt my spine complaining from all the heavyweight. #ScoliosisAlert

2. As much as possible, leave the toiletries behind

Unless you’re going to a remote area where you’re sure that you can’t find stores selling shampoo or whatever thingy that you need, I think it is better to leave the toiletries behind. If you’re staying in a hotel room, pretty sure you’ll be getting free shampoo and soap. What about renting in AirBnB? Well, in my experience, most of my hosts were providing them.

But why did I say “as much as possible”? Some of you might have a doctor-prescribed product that’s difficult to find in other places. If so, you can use travel-sized containers and fill them up with the product. You’re still saving space this way and a little extra space is greatly appreciated.

washing laundry while traveling

3. Don’t be lazy, Do the laundry

This is the ultimate hack to pack light when traveling. In fact, this is why I was not able to use half of the clothes I brought to Bulgaria. We regularly wash our clothes every 3 days. If you’re too lazy to handwash your clothes, you can check ahead of time if there are washing machines in your hotel. If not, maybe consider spending an extra buck for the laundry service?

4. Invest in a good bag

There are bags that are already heavy on its own and that’s without all your stuff inside, yet! Also, there are bags that look small but has enough space for your things. Dimitar had one of those which he proudly calls a “vintage” suitcase and he said that it’s the best of its kind. Basically, the goal is to find the best travel bag that won’t let you down in the middle of your jet-setting dreams.

5. Invest in high-quality and versatile clothes

Bring clothes that you can wear whether it snows or shines. When visiting places during winter, high-quality heat-tech undergarments are definitely your best friend. This way, you won’t have to worry how many layers of clothes you have to wear to keep yourself from freezing. If you’re worried about your OOTDs, you can still pack light without sacrificing your passion for fashion. You just need to find the perfect pieces.

The art of packing light is a skill that must be acquired by every backpackers out there. Most especially if you travel to distress, then why stress over these heavy pieces of luggage? If you have anything to add, feel free to comment your suggestions down below. How do you pack light while on the road?


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top 5 tips how to pack light when traveling



author avatar

I am a 20-something Software Engineer who loves to travel, explore places, experience different culture and chase dreams. Apart from my 6 to 9 job, I dance ballet as a hobby. Born, raised and currently living in the beautiful Philippines but will soon travel the world.. one baby step at a time.


  1. Agree with you, packing too much makes no sense especially when most toiletries etc. can be bought locally. Also, it’s amazing how much less stressful it is not having to deal with bulky bags!

  2. “Versatile clothes” ftw! When I studied abroad in Japan in 2003, I packed two or three pairs of cotton pants that zipped off at the knees turning into shorts. They were amazing! They meant I didn’t have to pack shorts and pants, saving space in my luggage for all my souvenirs, and were versatile in changing weather. Also, since they were cotton, they were easy to wash and air dry. I miss those pants! Does anyone still make pants like this?

  3. Great advice. I travel with my husband pretty often and I am always trying to pack as light as possible. I try to pack a lot of black and I try to only bring a carry-on and make-up bag (even when we travel internationally). The less I can bring and have to haul around when I travel, the more I enjoy my trip!

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