By Rita Wilkins
The Downsizing Designer

Have you ever returned from vacation and realized there were things in your suitcase that you lugged around with you for your entire trip, but that you never wore? You ended up wearing the same clothes over and over again.

If you are anything like me, you might also be guilty of throwing things in your suitcase at the last minute… “Just in case you might need them”.

If so, you are definitely not alone! On some level, we might all be guilty of over-packing and stuffing our luggage with things we won’t need or won’t use… those extra shoes, toiletries, two mini dress outfits.

All of these…

  • Can weigh you down
  • Can add costly baggage fees
  • Can make your travel more cumbersome and less enjoyable

If this sounds familiar, a cluttered and overstuffed suitcase is similar to a cluttered home with too much stuff that we don’t use and don’t need.

Read related blog article: Enough Is Enough! I’ve Had It with All This Clutter!

Before you head out on your next vacation, try decluttering your suitcase before you go so you can…

  • Enjoy more quality time on your vacation.
  • Waste less time looking for stuff in your suitcase.

Not only that but if you bring only what you need and love (ala Marie Kondo), you will also have more time to focus on your vacation and creating new adventures.

Read more: Are You “Dueling” with Clutter? How to Win the Battle and Get Your Life Back

In an effort to provide you with some extremely valuable minimalist packing tips, I reached out to a special friend who is also a senior flight attendant for a major international airline. For the past 10 years, Elle has learned to live well out of the suitcase while globetrotting around the world.

Who better to ask than someone who has so much experience in packing a bag for short or extended trips?

Do you want to stop over-packing so you can enjoy your travel more?


Elle’s Top 10 Recommendations for Traveling Light and Maximizing the Minimal Space in Your Suitcase


1.   Check the weather for where you were traveling to and plan accordingly.

  • e. Jacket and sweater? If not needed, don’t bring it.


2.   Determine the length of your stay and the activities you will be participating in

  • Make sure to have the appropriate clothing and shoes but also take one extra dress, a pair of slacks that can be dressed up or dress down for those unplanned activities.


3.   If you have a perfect outfit that you’ve successfully traveled with before consider taking it again

  • e. That black dress that fits perfectly in all occasions or that hat and glasses that can be paired in all attires.


4.   Bring comfortable walking shoes and footwear

  • People tend to pack a lot of footwear that takes up room in your suitcase. Pack comfortable flats that go with most outfits and a good pair of sneakers for hiking or sporting events.


5.   Bring your favorite workout gear

  • e. Yoga pants or swimsuit. It’s possible to continue your workouts while traveling.

Free Download: 5 Step Guide

Lose The Clutter, But Not The Memories


6.   Roll your clothing (ala Marie Kondo)

  • Rolling your clothing saves space and it helps you to easily distinguish your outfits without having to root through everything.


7.    If you are staying in a hotel that provides toiletries skip bringing extra

  • Don’t clutter your suitcase with additional shampoo, conditioner, and soap if it’s going to be provided at the hotel.


8.   Ask if they have a washer and dryer where you are staying

  • This allows you to pack less and re-use your clothing multiple times.
  • Make sure to bring Ziploc bags that can be used for wet swimsuits, dirty clothes, and organizing.


9.   If you wish to disconnect on vacation do you really need your laptop and all your devices?

  • Bring only one device i.e. your cell phone, it can do it all, including using it for e-books.


10. Remember, the bigger your suitcase the more you will bring… and the more you will have to carry.

  • Consider bringing a smaller suitcase that has only what you need and what you’ll use.


And don’t forget to declutter your suitcase as you go.

When everything has a place and when there is just enough to suit all of your travel needs, you’ll have more time for making those new memories!


Check out my online course “Wake it Up Shake it Up: 5 Day Challenge”

Learn more: Secrets to Living a Vacation Mindset Everyday


I hope this helps you as you are packing for your vacation remember to declutter your suitcase before you go!

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