As the minimalist in my family, I've always erred on the side of less is more. And when travelling - I like to take that to a whole new level.
In my 20s and 30s I did the whole back-backing through Asia thing and my nickname at home was snail because I was always taking off hiking or camping or travelling.
But, a few years ago I happily graduated to a sensible "grown up" bag with wheels & these days (at least with 2 kids in tow), I'm content to save my shoulders for napping toddlers.
My hubby nailed it by gifting me with an awesome carry on size bag with wheels - and it has been the best size. I mastered the art of fitting all that I need into that bag - depending on travel plans I either take that as carry on with my handbag - or check it through if I'm not in a rush. Last year I travelled to Boulder CO for 5 weeks and that's all I took. It holds enough for a week of clothes & work-out gear and 3 pairs of shoes. The trick is to ROLL everything up when you pack.e
The secret I've found is to pick your absolute favourite items, then mix & match a similar colour palette & try to only use items that double up. Minimalists will have no trouble with this - but fashionistas might have to ditch the impractical items.
Some of my favs for our upcoming trip to California over summer...
Crochet top by Tree of Life. I love this top because I can dress it up or down and change the whole look by wearing different coloured singlets underneath. It also doubles as a cover up for around the pool.
Sandals - I'm a sucker for flip flops, but these are great because they also look great with a cute summery dress.
Teething Necklace by MammaBubba. Although my kids are past the teething phase - Mamma Babba do a great range of fun jewellery items that double as teething toys. Some people think that's gross - but when you're on a plane something like this looks cute and saves that toy dropping on the floor for the whole trip. I'm still wearing mine and my youngest is now 2!
Federer Hat. I've got that kind of crazy hair that can either be straight - or curly. The problem is it takes maintenance either way - so for the days when I'm hopping in and out of the pool on holidays - or just can't be bothered with a hair straightener - the hat provides an instant fix for bad holiday hair!
But there are some tricks to nailing the art of packing lightly, so here they are:
1. Make a list - consider what you will be doing on holiday & the weather.
2. Get all your washing up to date. Make a pile - YES, NO, MAYBE. Separate your 'yes' pile into categories (tops/bottoms/sports/etc).
3. We wear 20% of our clothing 80% of the time, so accounting for special events that might require a formal dress or particular item, scan your definitely & yes pile and then cull it down to no more than five items for each category. Three if space is really tight - or if you are backpacking.
4. Use double ups! Look at what's left and plan out a few outfits - get rid of anything that you can't use twice. Consider your colours - any items that don't go with anything else - ditch. Pack items that you can use/wear for multiple purposes.
Consider the humble sarong: it's a towel, a privacy barrier, a shawl, a babywrap, a babycarrier, a skirt, dress - it's pretty awesome right!
5. Grab all your toiletries and downsize the non-essentials. If you are staying in a hotel or AirBNB - you can probably leave basics like towels, soap, hairdryer at home. Downsize your bottles into travel packs.
What are your favourite travel tips for packing light?
What are your favourite travel tips for packing for kids?