Whether you prefer backpacks or rolling suitcases, airline luggage limits force us to reign in our pack rat tendencies. In addition, there are a few things as annoying as getting across the world to realise that you will never wear or even use half the stuff you just packed from home. So, when I set off for a month-or-more-long trip, every item in my luggage has to be vitally important, or I'll leave it behind.
With the average checked baggage weight allowance being around 50 pounds, you want to have below that when you depart. Worry not, you'll fill up that extra white space with things you will certainly buy during your travels and adventures.
The key thing is finding and packing multi-functional clothing, items and gadgets.
1. Pack Light in Lightweight luggage. If you don't already have one, purchase some high quality lightweight luggage that is easy to transport - depending on the type of travel you are doing, choose either a backpack or a suitcase. And stay in a budget hotel. A few more cocktails or a fancy dinner on the Riviera didn't hurt anyone.
2. Learn about your destination. Take into account weather conditions, typical local standards of dressing, some things about the social culture (what you can or you can't do in public) and what items can be purchased at a reasonable cost at your destination.
3. Rolled clothing takes up less space than folded clothing. You may also wish to investigate "bundling" techniques when packing. Pack smaller items in ziplock bags, then press down to remove any excess air. Thus making more room.
4. Choose basic colours, and make a unified colour scheme for your clothing. E.g., choose bottoms in black, navy-blue or khaki, with a matching sweater or jacket if appropriate. This will allow you to take fewer clothes. Choose matching tops for all your bottoms- tops are usually lighter than pants and you will be able to pack a few more without adding too much extra weight. Three bottoms (black or khaki cotton pants, dress pants, and jeans) should be enough, with a jacket, three long sleeved shirts, one or two sweaters, and some t-shirts to layer your under clothing, if you plan on trekking.
5. Carry Less Supplies. If toiletries or any other kind of item that you need are readily available at a reasonable price at your destination, consider buying them there, and only take a few days' supply with you. Cash and credit are lighter than things.
And a special bonus tip for you: Remember that trips are meant to be fun and relaxing, not stressful! Don't fret too much over organising and planning. Go with the flow! Have a travelling agency plan your voyage if you just want to enjoy the ride. Sites like tripadvisor.com or lonelyplanet.com can help you find reviews of places, hotels, restaurants, and airlines as well as good seats and the best bargains.
There you go, 5 simple tips for you to pack most efficiently for a longer trip! Have a happy journey. :)