What if there was another way? If I told you that you could take everything you need, even for a week, in a carry on bag, would you believe me? Probably not, and I wouldn't blame you. Sounds crazy.
So next time you go on holiday, take a look at what you're packing. Then take a note of what you actually use, don't use at all, and most importantly, use more than once. What really earned its place in your bag?
I haven't been on any week-long holidays since I started decluttering (I'm going to New York for a week soon, so I can test this theory; watch out for the blog detailing my packing adventures on that trip) but I just went on a weekend trip, and only took a small bag. The contents were:
- my toiletries bag
- my pyjamas
- a jumper
- two tshirts
- enough underwear for a fresh set each day
- a light cardigan
I was wearing a pair of jeans, a tshirt, trainers and a heavier cardigan. I reckoned I didn't need a spare pair of trousers, shoes or any other clothing. It helped, of course, that our activities list didn't include any formal occasions. It also helps that I don't wear makeup, or get really bothered about drying my hair in a particular way (there was a hair dryer in the room, as it turned out).
I'm not telling you to stop wearing makeup, or cut all your hair off (when I had long hair it would have been a different story with the hair dryer, but that's one of the reasons it all had to go). But previously, I would probably have packed about twice as many clothes (just in case) spare shoes, etc.etc. What did go in had to earn its place. It turned out to be rubbish weather (drizzly and windy) but I just hung up my heavier cardie at the end of the day, and it was aired out for the next day. I also had a waterproof coat in the car, which helped. The only thing I didn't wear was my light cardie, which was a shame, mainly because that meant the weather didn't justify it.
- You don't need a complete change of clothes for every day. Take clothes that won't rumple easily, and you can air out overnight.
- Everything has to be used at least twice. Otherwise it doesn't earn it's place, and why should you lug it around?
- Perhaps a little bag of washing powder would earn its place in your bag more easily than a change of undies for every day on longer holidays?
- Make sure you only pack sandals that you can walk in, to prevent the embarrassment of being unable to take part in impromptu excursions.
- A sarong can be used for many different purposes, from a cover up to a bag; it will really earns its place.
- Invest in refillable travel sized toiletries. In the long run it will save you space and money, and everyone uses too much shampoo anyway; see how long you can eke it out for, you might be surprised.
- Invest in a multi-charger, or a gadget that can take the place of several others (I might blog about gadgetry next week; it's certainly enough of an obsession of mine).
- Travel in your heaviest clothes. Although, this is a bit of a cheat, since the point of this post is to persuade you that taking less stuff is the way to a smaller bag.
Discovering that you can live with fewer things on holiday is all part of discovering that you can live with fewer things full time. It really is very freeing when you know you can have a great time without worrying about what you forgot. If you really really need them, most things can be bought while you're there. And just think of being able to walk straight past the depressing queues at the baggage claim!
Thanks for reading,