As a blogger, you might expect me to travel with multiple oversized suitcases, filled to the brim with amazing clothing, fabulous shoes and beauty products galore. While that is certainly true for many bloggers out there, I am in fact the polar opposite when I travel. So much so that normally when I show up at airports for press trips, friends and colleagues are shocked to see me with only carry-on luggage, often asking: “That’s all you’re bringing?”. We travelled a lot as a family while I was growing up, with extensive trips that included backpacking through Central America for six months when I was 9 years old, and a road trip across the U.S. and back through Canada a year later. When I go to pack now, all I can ever hear is my mother’s voice saying “Pack lighter! You don’t need that!!”, and now, at 29, I think I’ve mastered the art of travelling light. Packing light isn’t easy, but it’s worth it if you can do it. So, if you’re looking for ways to reduce the amount you travel with, here are 10 tricks I use to pack light for stress-free travel.
1. Bring Carry-On Only
Not only does carry-on luggage (only) allow you to breeze in and out of an airport without having to deal with long lines at luggage drop off or the long wait at luggage collection, you can also enjoy the peace of mind that your luggage will not be lost in transit. Remember, you are allowed to bring one piece of carry-on luggage and one personal bag. Normally, I push this a bit by bringing two carry-on sized pieces of luggage such as one rolling suitcase and a small duffle bag to place on top.
2. Wear a Wallet on Chain
Ok, so your ‘Wallet on Chain’ doesn’t need to be a Chanel (although props to you if it is), but, I always find it essential to have a small purse on me while I travel that can fit my most valuable items such as my passport, phone, and wallet, to have on my body at all times. Not only does this make it safer and easier for you to get through an airport without dropping everything and rifling through big bags, but the same bag can be used throughout your trip, and even double as a clutch at night. Personally, I don’t count this as a personal bag because it can easily be thrown into one of your larger bags if someone complains that you technically have three bags for your flight.
3. Use a Travel Credit Card
There is truly nothing worse than being in a foreign country and having your credit card frozen due to a fraud warning. Although I do appreciate the precautions that companies take to keep your money safe, for someone like me who rarely carries cash, not having access to my card is a total nightmare. Having a great travel credit card is essential, especially if you travel a lot, and I’m incredibly excited about the new CIBC Air Canada AC Conversion Prepaid Visa Card. This game-changing new card allows you to spend in 10 different currencies using only 1 card. That’s 10 currencies, 45 countries and 1 card. With the CIBC Air Canada AC Conversion Prepaid Visa Card you can pay in the local currency at hundreds of locations worldwide, including making purchases online, over the phone, and by withdrawing at ATMs (one free withdrawal per month per country) – wherever Visa cards are accepted!
4. Pack Double Duty Kicks
Attempting to travel in style while wearing high heels is just ridiculous. Yes, have a pair packed in your carry-on for fancy dinners and nights out, but, when you’re running through an airport, trust me, you’re gonna wanna be in your best kicks. My advice? Wear a stylish pair of runners that you can wear as a walking shoe on your trip, and still use to hit the gym or go for a run at your final destination. Plus, they’re the best for slipping on and off in-flight, and a comfier option for when you land with swollen feet.
5. Multi-Purpose Clothing Only
Packing light when it comes to clothing is all about strategy. You really have to plan and think about what you truly need in advance. I like to pull out all of the pieces I want to bring, think of some outfits, then start to eliminate one by one. Eventually, you only want to pack items that are multi-purpose and you know for sure that you will not only wear, but wear more than once. Do you have dress that’s perfect for the pool or beach as well as a daytime outfit? Can it be transformed for a night out when you wear it with a pair of heels? Bring it. Bonus points if it can be rolled up into almost nothing. If heading to a cooler climate, it’s all about smart layering. I always like to travel with a leather jacket that I can wear with a long sleeve shirt, light sweater and a blanket scarf.
6. Bring a Blanket Scarf
Ah, the blanket scarf. Probably my favourite thing to travel with! As mentioned in my point above, this is a great piece to have to keep you cozy in cooler temperatures, and is also the best thing ever to have on a plane when you want to get comfy and catch up on some sleep. Normally I like to travel with a cashmere blanket scarf, but, if heading down south a sarong can also do the trick!
7. Pack Travel Size Beauty
How many beauty products does one truly need when travelling? Even if your answer is “A lot!”, you can almost always find travel-sized versions of your favourite products, or buy travel bottles from your local dollar store to make your own. Just like with everything else, I try to pack beauty products that pull double duty. Coconut oil is a great product that can be used to moisturize your skin and your hair, and can even be used as mouthwash or toothpaste in a pinch! One of my favourite beauty hacks is using coffee grinds from the coffee maker in a hotel room to create an amazing face and body scrub when combined with your favourite face wash, gentle soap, or even coconut oil! Another product I never travel without is face wipes. They’re fantastic for keeping your hands clean on the plane, and refreshing your face at any point of your trip.
8. Bring a Reusable Water Bottle
Speaking of beauty, one of the most important things for your beauty and health while travelling is staying hydrated. I don’t know about you, but being on a plane makes me crazy dehydrated, and I always need more than the dinky little cup of water they give you once an hour (if you’re lucky) on a flight. Avoid paying $10 for bottled water at the airport by bringing an empty reusable bottle with you that you can fill up once you pass security. If you run out of water in-flight, simply ask an attendant to fill it up for you. Plus, a reusable bottle is always handy to have on you throughout trip to minimize waste.
9. BYO Headphones
Although not every flight charges for headphones, you’re almost always guaranteed to receive a low quality product that hardly works, whether you paid for it or not. One of the most important things for me to pack for any flight is a great pair of over-ear headphones so I can actually hear what I’m listening to whether it’s a movie, music or podcast. If you don’t have a pair that folds, I would recommend the investment. Seriously, you’ll thank me later.
10. Invisible Sleep Kit
I’ve never understood people who travel with full-sized blankets and pillows for a plane ride. Let’s be honest here, nothing you can do will ever replace the comfort of your own bed – sorry! However, there are a few things you can pack to make sleeping in-flight or in a new bed easier. My “invisible” sleep kit packs so small that you can always find room for it, even when you’re going carry-on only. It includes: 1 sleep mask, 1 inflatable neck pillow, a small pack of natural sleep aid or Melatonin, individually packed sachets of chamomile and lavender tea.
I hope these tips will help you when prepping and packing for your next trip! For more information on the new CIBC Air Canada AC Conversion Prepaid Visa Card please visit HERE.
*please note that this post has been brought to you in partnership with CIBC*