When we travel we always try to pack light. Between my husband, son, and myself, we usually pack in one suitcase and a small carry on. On our latest trip, to Canada, we were without a place to do laundry for most of it, so we decided to pack in two suitcases this time. The truth is that we still packed too much. We did however find the best carry-on bag, that will now be out go-to for all trips. The Catalina Deluxe, from Lo & Sons, was so perfect!
We drove from Mississippi to 90 miles north of Ottawa, in Canada, and stopped along the way, at different hotels each night. The Catalina was our one bag to bring in each night, so we didn’t have to lug in the suitcases and could get in, out, and back on the road quickly each day. I was able to fit five days worth of clothes, for all us, plus our dopp kits, into the Catalina. It’s so roomy, without being too big. The best part of the bag is that it has a zipper section that can be a pocket or serves to slide over the handle of a wheeled luggage bag. This is great because you don’t have to carry it over your shoulder and you can move through hotels, airports, train stations, etc… fully hands free.
So how we are able to pack so light? Here are a few rules we always follow and so far, we’ve been pretty successful at getting by with one or two suitcases, depending on how long the trip is and what form of transportation that we are traveling by.
- Don’t try new outfits on a trip. Sure, we love to buy new things to go places, but unless you know for sure you feel comfortable in it and have tried it out before the trip, nine times out of ten, you probably won’t wear it. Of course, if you are traveling for a special occasion like a wedding, then you probably need that new dress or whatnot.
- Only pack what you wear on a regular basis. So, if you find you wear the same four shirts all the time, pack them. You will wear them a bunch on your trip.
- You probably only need two shirts for every four or five days. And two pairs of pants. I once went to Europe for two weeks and only packed four shirts, two pairs of pants, and two pairs of shoes. Same for my three week trip to India. I had a small backpack. I also stashed a fold up duffel in the bottom of my backpack, incase I needed extra room. I still do this all the time, stash an extra bag, just in case. I’ve also mailed things home, in a small box, which doesn’t add up to much, when I’ve bought more souvenirs that planned.
- Don’t be afraid to support local businesses and buy a little something if you need it, on your trip. Packing light means you have room for a new, little something. I think that’s a fun way to remember a trip too, while supporting the community you are visiting. As a shop owner, I love meeting visitors from out-of-town.
- We hand wash when we travel, if need be. I pack a few travel packs of Tide. It’s easier than over packing.
- I pack three trash bags too, one for each of us, and all dirty laundry goes into the bag. This makes the return home really easy, since it’s all there and ready to go right into the washing machine.
Those are our go-to rules for packing light. I’m still trying to perfect the packing that we do, trying to get lighter with each trip. I’ll get there.
Another thing I loved about using the Lo & Sons Catalina Deluxe bag on our trip, was that it doubled as a great day bag for picnics and trips to the beach. We were able to fit towels, beach toys, and lunch in the bag. It’s made of quality cotton canvas that dries quickly and washes off well. These images are from a day we were heading out to explore, packed with a picnic.
I would love to hear your favorite tips for packing light. I’m always looking for more ways to look at packing and keeping it simple.
***Sponsored by Lo & Sons. The thoughts and opinions in this post are my own.