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Lighten Your Load
By Lynne Christen

Tired of arriving at a destination without what you need and too much of what you don’t need and won’t wear? Hate paying airline checked baggage fees and overweight baggage fees? It’s time to lighten your load. Take this advice from a well-dressed former flight attendant turned travel journalist who travels the world with only a carry-on bag.

Build a travel wardrobe around a three color scheme using both prints and solids and stick to it.  Combinations such as red, black and tan or blue, grey and cream work well. Become a mix and match expert.

Invest in sturdy, lightweight luggage with wheels, preferably four “spinners.” Also be sure to check the weight. The more a bag weighs empty, the less you can pack before exceeding airline over-weight baggage limits and forking over fees.

Limit shoes. Shop for shoes that will go with everything you wear. One pair of dress shoes, walking shoes and slippers should take care of travel for a week or more. 

Leave heirloom jewelry at home. Never travel with anything you can’t afford to lose. Accessorize with scarves and inexpensive, eye catching costume jewelry.

When traveling to cold climates, think layers, not bulk. For outerwear, go Gore-tex. It’s surprisingly lightweight, yet amazingly wind-proof and waterproof. Wear bulkiest clothing from sweaters and pants to shoes and a sports coat/jacket on flights to conserve packing space.

Compact hang-up toiletry bags and travel-sized toiletries keep necessities close at hand to freshen up in-route and when space is limited. Since 3-1-1 zippered bags for liquids and gels are here to stay, make products do double-duty. For example, shampoo makes great laundry soap.

There’s nothing like good books to banish boredom during extended hours in the sky and long airport waits. Ditch heavy traditional books and go for a Kindle or iPad loaded with the latest best-sellers and classic novels.

Microfiber and lightweight knits are made for travel. They take up very little space in your bag. They are both stylish and comfortable. As well, they are washable, dry quickly and never wrinkle.

Make packing a breeze. Create a detailed checklist for travel clothing, accessories, important papers, comfort items and toiletries. Print and laminate a copy to keep in your luggage between trips.

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