Packing Light

There’s nothing worse than heading off on a vacation already burdened with a heavy load. I’ve come up with just a few things that can make packing for a trip a little lighter.

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I love to travel. I love to see all the amazing places that are on this fantastic earth that God created. I love to meet all the amazing people that are on this fantastic earth who are really just my brothers and sisters. When I think about spending my time in a way that makes my soul light, travel is high up on the list!

That’s why I’m getting giddy as I think about leaving in just a few days for Maui. I absolutely love the slow pace of life on the Hawaiian islands and I can’t wait to immerse myself in it.

But first, I have to pack.

And I am keeping it light. There’s nothing worse then hauling a ton of stuff off on a vacation that is supposed to help you lighten up! Dragging a heavy suitcase through an airport, is a drag! Carrying a heavy suitcase up stairs or in and out of transportation, is heavy! Not to mention keeping track of all of that stuff when you really just want to be playing on the beach.

I’ve learned that I often need less than I think when I travel. I’ve learned to pack light and make my vacation a lighter one.

Here are a few of the ways I’ve figured out how to do that:

  1. Find a place with a washing machine. This means that you can pack half of the clothes for the week and just do wash once.
  2. With clothes, less is more. For the week, I have 3 sun dresses, 2 t-shirts, 1 shorts, 1 pants, 2 swim suits, 1 light coat, 4 sets of underclothes, and 2 pairs of shoes.
  3. Wear your biggest clothing items on the plane. I’ll be in my pants, light coat, and bigger shoes. (I get cold on flights anyway!)
  4. Keep the toiletries small. And share. One small toothpaste for everyone. 2 in 1 shampoo and conditioner. Put your vitamins for the week in a little container, don’t bring the whole bottle.
  5. Find out what will be available where you are staying. They may provide shampoo, or a hairdryer, or soap. Don’t bring items that will be there.

Another thing I am doing to keep it light, is combining suitcases. My husband keeps wanting to buy little rolling suitcases for the boys (which, I admit, would be cute) but then we’d have FOUR suitcases to keep track of. And two of those suitcase owners are not particularly reliable yet.

So, I pack the boys things and my things in one suitcase. That’s just one suitcase for me to keep track of… and two little boys (which is plenty!)

And finally, a few more packing tips I found to lighten the load of packing.

  1. Roll clothing. It fits so much easier.
  2. Wrap shoes in bags (so they don’t get their ickies on your clothes.)
  3. Bag all items that may leak. You’ll thank me.
  4. Pack a lightweight laundry bag for the dirty stuff.
  5. Take a picture of your suitcase before you go. Just in case it goes missing.

And while packing light is definitely about weight, it is also about soul. There are a few things in my suitcase that may weigh more, but are coming with us because they will make our trip a lighter one. I am bringing the sound machine and the baby monitor so the boys will sleep well and I can go sit on the beach outside our lanai when they are in bed. I am bringing a paperback book to read in quiet moments. And my little notebook for journaling.

Ahh, even after all that packing… I feel light.

And so I don’t clutter up my brain worrying that I might forget something I need, I write out a packing list ahead of time and check off the items as I pack them. A lighter brain too!

Once all the basics are ready to go, I can roll that light suitcase out the door and go focus on the amazing places I’m going to visit and the people I’ll get to spend time with. Lighter packing can mean greater peace on vacation. (Unless you’re traveling with twin toddlers. Kidding! Sort of.)

What do you do to pack light?

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