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5 Tips for Packing Light on Your Honeymoon

I remember my packrat days like yesterday: lugging around two suitcases, a carry-on roller, and a computer bag to the airport and quite literally dropping them at the check-in counter. My shoulders ached and my arms were so shaky. I prayed my bags would weight less than the 50lbs maximum and that I wouldn’t get overcharged. Luckily, they both barely made it, and I was off to my gate with just my carry-on and computer.

“Whew, it’d be nice to just travel like this!” I thought as I also sipped my first purchased alcoholic beverage as an adult, a mojito, at the airport bar. Yes, it was a few days past my 21st birthday, and I was off to take my first flight ever: to study abroad in France. As someone who had never flown before or traveled for longer than a week, I thought I needed everything in my closet to get through the semester. Oh how silly I was!


Sure, things went smoothly as I met up with my friend and roommate for the semester that packed only one suitcase and a carry-on. However, when we landed at the Paris airport and still needed to take the train three hours south to Grenoble, things got complicated. I barely could load the suitcases on the train and needed help. And finally, I trudged the suitcases to our apartment and was already dreading having to carry those back in five short months. Was I excited to have all of my things with me? Of course! Did I wear even half of it? Absolutely not! But I learned the biggest lesson ever in packing light that semester and I’m going to tell you all about it. Read on for all the tips!

black backpack with airplane pillow

Once I dumped my suitcases, I got a carry-on and never looked back!

1. Plan Outfits in Advance

While most toiletries that you use on a daily to weekly basis should probably be packed into your carry-on in small containers, the truth is, you probably won’t need your whole wardrobe. Honestly, you also probably won’t need many options either. The key to packing light is planning out your outfits and packing accordingly.

So start breaking out the pen and paper and list out the different outfits you can wear during certain days. Will you be relaxing all day, hiking, or going to a nice dinner? List out all of the occasions and pick outfits based on that. And you can re-wear some outfits too if you’re going to be there a while. It’s like going to the grocery store: if you make a list and stick to it, you won’t end up bringing home tons of things you don’t need.

2. This is the Time to be Basic.

Don’t bring every trendy outfit you can imagine. Layering and basics is key. Bring some solid colored tees, tanks, sweaters, etc. that can be mixed and matched. It saves extra space if you can wear it again. Bring maybe one or two cute and trendy tops or dresses, but keep the rest as basics that you can switch up each day into a new outfit.

Kat and Chris pointing at map to South Africa.

We traveled for two weeks in a carry-on to South Africa-including a safari!

3. Bring Things that can go From Day to Night.

Sometimes you just won’t have time after sightseeing to go back to your room and change before heading out for the night. That doesn’t mean you won’t be able to look great, but be sure to bring some clothes that can transition from day to night. A good example would be a maxi skirt or dress with some comfortable sandals or shoes that you can easily walk into museums/temples/markets and feel comfortable in but also grab cocktails at a rooftop bar or dinner at a nice restaurant that evening.

 

4. Let Go of Liquids.

 Shampoo, conditioner, hair creams, foundation, etc. If you’re packing a carry-on, these have to be small and limited. Luckily, most hotels provide shampoo, conditioner, and lotion, but if you want to bring your own, I suggest taking shampoo or conditioner bars from Lush. They come in tins that you can pack away and are small, aren’t liquid so you can bring them along no problem, they last for three months, and they lather up under water so you can wash your hair and go. They also have different kinds for volume, curly hair, etc. It’s great for limiting liquids and still having quality hair products.

Also, if you love your liquid foundation/BB cream/CC cream, but can’t pack the whole tube, get samples! Your local makeup store probably has samples for you to try, so just ask for samples and pack those along. If you’re big on makeup and trying to pack light, also aim for only one to two makeup looks versus multiple so you can downsize the amount of items you’ll be taking.

Kat with hands on hips and backpack on.

I highly recommend the Osprey Farpoint 40. It is carry-on sized and not heavy on the back. It’s so nice to carry around!

5. Get Organized!

We all know that shoving things in a bag last minute probably will leave you jumping on your suitcase to close it. That’s no way to live! Aside from learning the roll my clothes, I finally caved in and bought packing cubes and it changed my life! They’re cheap on Amazon and you can make each cube a different type of clothing: everyday clothes, nice clothes, pajamas and undergarments, etc. It keeps your bag organized and makes it super easy to just pull out what you need and go. You fill the cube up and place it in, allowing the suitcase to close easy. It also saves space as you can compress the cubes. Either way, it’ll be life changing for travel, and I can’t recommend it enough.

Yes, I learned about packing the hard way: trial and error. But that semester I learned most of these skills and was able to travel in a carry-on for all of my trips during that time and eventually led me to backpacking for 5 weeks out of a carry-on! It is definitely doable! This will make travel a little bit cheaper by saving on bag fees and you’ll have less of a load to carry around if you’re packing light. It is totally worth it to travel carry-on only.

Do you travel with a carry-on? What’s your favorite thing to do/use for packing light? Let me know in the comments! Also, if you love this and want more, sign up for my emails!