Here are some bright ideas to help save money and allow you to travel light(er):
Always think “multi-use.” It’s tempting to pack that one extra sweater or jacket because it’s so great. But are you going to wear it more than once? Does it go with the pants or skirts you’ve packed? What inevitably happens is that you wind up packing other things to go with that one extra thing — and that’s how over-packing starts.
Use a Photo App. Some fellow travelers of mine like to use SmartCloset. This app functions great and works on your smartphone. It serves as an electronic clothing organizer. But, let’s say you don’t want to use an app, here’s an old school method I use. I snap photos on my phone of each article of clothing (shirt, pant, skort, jacket, scarf, etc.) and then print them. Afterward I lay the photos out and mix and match to see how many combinations I can achieve for each article of clothing. EVERY piece of clothing must be worn in several combinations. If it doesn’t work in multiple outfits, then “out it goes!” Find clothing and shoes that are easily layered and versatile. Accessorize with light, easy-to-pack things: knit hats, neckties, scarves, fabric belts that can be worn in several combinations.
If you must bring bulky things, don’t pack them — wear them. While this can be an admittedly uncomfortable option if you’re traveling between two very different climates — it still is easier than over-packing for the one perfect outfit. Bulky jackets, long sweaters, men’s dress shoes, knee-high boots, shoes with chunky heels, big purse and hiking boots — these are great candidates for wearing rather than packing. They take up a lot of room in a suitcase. Plus they can be unusually heavy and they’re not worth the extra heft and money.
Do a little laundry. Rather than packing a separate outfit for each day, consider bringing a few ounces of laundry soap and washing a load for a second round. Depending on the trip, this could allow you to even get all your clothes packed into a carry on. I often wash undergarments in the shower and hang them to dry overnight.
Use technology to your advantage. You likely know that you can bring a library’s worth of books and magazines on an e-reader or iPad. A tablet can also house handy travel apps making your trip more efficient and it can store vital information. For example, you can scan your travel documents and email them to yourself for easy access in case they are lost or stolen. I’ve invested in special software for my RLX Travel Group clients where I upload their itinerary, airline information, copy of their medications, vouchers for excursions and maps for their trip. Prior to each trip, they receive an app to download to their smartphones. This app allows them to have instant access to their itinerary and documents without using Wi-Fi.
Use a luggage service or mail items to/from your hotel or cruise ship. This might sound like a pretty kooky suggestion, but if you’re going to be staying in one place for a while – let’s say, 10 days at a resort or something like that — consider mailing items to/from the resort. I offer RLX Travel Group clients a luggage service that picks up luggage from home or the resort and delivers it to your destination. (If you ever need information about this, please contact me. I have some gift cards.) It is very convenient service to have at your fingertips! They ship suitcases, golf clubs, bikes, skis and snowboards to name a few! They can ship directly to a hotel/resort or cruise ship. Caroline Costello from SmartTraveler.com noted recently, “It costs $39 to ship a 15-pound package from Boston to Los Angeles if you use an Express Mail Flat Rate Box from U.S.P.S. Comparatively, a third checked bag on a domestic flight can cost as much as $150.”
Ready to try out your new packing skills? Where will your next journey take you?
Contact me at Melissa@RLXTravelGroup.com and let me know how I can help you plan your next journey!