When I was younger, packing for a holiday meant my whole wardrobe gets folded and stacked into a gigantic suitcase. It also meant that 60% of the clothings packed do not get worn, or is forgotten. Infact, it was a trip to Europe in 2013 that helped me realise my rookie mistake of bringing so much. It was then that I told myself I had to learn to pack light. To be honest, I think I might have gone to the other extreme of bringing the bare minimum that others often wonder if they would have to lend me clothes towards the end of the trip. That said, I like to think I have now mastered the skill of packing light. So, here are my 5 tips on what to bring if you have only got hand carry allowance.
1 100ml of liquid or less! I could not even count on my fingers the number of times I've seen people trying to talk their way out of having an expensive moisturiser or facial product confiscated. I understand that ladies in particular have a great deal of products in their skincare/beauty routine. Depending on how long your trip is and how much other stuff you are bringing, I would consider bringing the essentials only- cleanser and moisturiser. If you use a specific shampoo and conditioner, pack those into small tubes too. Don't forget deodorant- roll on is ideal.
Small containers and tubes can be bought from pharmacies, Daiso, Muji and random shops in HDB areas. I personally like the Muji ones as they are good quality and have a range of sizes and shapes. They do cost a bit more than others I have seen but they can and they will last you many trips you go on.
2 Depending on the climate you will be travelling to, determines what clothing you bring. If you are going to a cold country, one pair of jeans is enough. You do not need to bring several pairs in different denim washes, different styles or different colours. Just one. Your favourite basic pair that goes with most of your wardrobe. Denim is a heavy item and bringing a few will definitely weigh up. Going for a longer trip? Just turn them inside out and let them air out. Trust me- no funky smells!
In my opinion, avoid bringing jeans with studs, a print design on it or rips. If you were a pair of jeans with studded detailing or a print design, all your photos will look the same. People will notice you are wearing the same pair everyday. And rips- it's cold. Fashionable- yes, practical- no. Stick to being practical and comfortable when travelling light!
3 Again, if you are travelling to a cold country, one jacket/coat will do! My mistake when I was younger travelling to a cold country was packing 4-5 jackets. Different jackets to match different outfits. When I look back, I really only wore at most 2 of the jackets I brought- the warmest ones. Check the weather before you go, pack a coat appropriate for that temperature. Pick a jacket/coat with a neutral colour so that it goes well with all your outfits. I recommend black, navy gray; you can't go wrong with these. Jackets/coats do take up alot of space in luggage so to maximise space, bring only 1.
I do know that airplanes, restaurants, airports, etc. can get chilly but not as cold as outside temperature, so you can also bring along a lightweight cardigan or jacket to put on then.
4 Ok, a hot country- easy! If you are a girl who likes wearing dresses, you are easily sorted. Wear sundresses/ casual dresses instead of packing top and bottom outfits. It is the best way to be completely put together without taking up space. If dresses are not your cup of tea, bring basic bottoms- denim cut offs and comfortable shorts. You do not need to pack a pair of bottom for each day you are there. My rule is bring enough for half the amount of time you are there. For example, If you're going for 4 days, pack 2 pairs. For tops, because you sweat in hot countries, bring one per day you are there.
Think about what activities you might be doing on the trip. If you are going kayaking along Phi Phi Island, don't bring tops that are dressy. Bring items of clothing suitable for the activities you are going to be doing.
5 Shoes, shoes, shoes. They are heavy, bulky, irregular shape and a pain in the ass to pack. My rules for packing shoes will depend on the country you are going to and what you plan to do on the trip. If it is a shopping trip in Thailand with the girls, stick with just 1 pair of sandals. If it is a beach holiday to Bali, stick to a pair of fit flops. If it is hiking in Sapa, Vietnam, bring along something casual you can slip on around the hotel and town but bring a pair of trainers. If it is a party trip in Las Vegas, bring a pair of heels to change into for the night out after a day of lazing around the pool in flip flops. If it is a cold country, lets be honest- you won't be wearing sandals or flip flops. So either tough it out in a nice pair of enclosed shoes the whole trip or bring along a pair of heeled boots for a night out to a nice restaurant or bar.
There are my 5 tips of packing light for your holiday. This can save you the cost of buying check in luggage allowance and avoid having the embarrassment of taking things out at the counter for having an overweight cary on. Of course, these tips are just my personal opinion based on personal experiences so adjust it to suit your travelling plans and personal style. Happy travels!