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The truth about packing is - you don’t need to feel deprived OR weighed down; you just need to be efficient.  Efficient with your choices on what to bring and the way you pack them in your bag.  Let’s take a quick look at the top five ways to pack lighter. 

1. Get a smaller, lighter suitcase or rolling duffel. Having a slightly smaller bag than you’re used to is the first step towards packing lighter.  It will make you think twice before adding that fifth pair of shoes to your “must take” pile.  There have been great advances in suitcase design and materials in the last several years.  You can get a super light bag with so many ingenious pockets and expansion abilities that you won’t feel like you’re compromising at all.  eBags ( and Away ( are our two favorite places to find all the latest travel gear. 
2. Make a list of what you’ll need. We know this sounds like a pain, and honestly, we avoided this step like the plague for years.  However, if you take just 15 minutes to make a packing list, it absolutely makes a difference.  Not just in packing lighter, but also in helping you remember that special necklace your Aunt Harriet gave you when you travel to her 90th birthday party. 
3. Bring multi-purpose clothing items. This one is essential.  You want to pack clothes that can be worn multiple times, but don’t give the appearance of being worn multiple times.  How do you do this?  Bring basic, wrinkle-resistant black trousers.  (Ladies, a little black dress will do the trick as well.)  If trousers aren’t your style, blue or black jeans work too.  These form the basis for your travel wardrobe while keeping dirt from showing and reducing the variety of accompanying items you need to bring along.  Add shirts, tops and jackets that coordinate and match your weather forecast, and you’re good to go.  Scarves are also a fantastic way for women to change the total look of an outfit, and they take up almost no room at all in your suitcase.  Get creative and remember, all your other clothes will be waiting for you when you get home. 
4. Roll or Bundle-wrap your clothes. Either of these methods will save you a ton of room when packing and keep your clothes as wrinkle-free as possible.  If you like using a suitcase with square corners, the bundle-wrapping method or using packing cubes work beautifully.  (For a great step-by-step on bundle-wrapping, go to or watch Angel Castellanos pack his bag at
5. Make your own washing machine. Got you thinking on this one, didn’t we?  It’s actually a really easy and inexpensive way to save room in your suitcase.  Here’s what you do.  Bring several gallon-sized, zip-lock freezer baggies and a small baggie full of powder detergent.  When the socks and underwear you brought just can’t go another day, put them in one of the large baggies, add a little detergent and water, seal the top and shake that bag until you’re satisfied the clothes are clean.  Rinse with clean water and hang to dry.  If you want to get really fancy, you can buy a travel clothesline like the one shown in the picture for less than $10 on  This makes drying a lot easier and takes up almost no luggage room. 
If you need help planning your perfect group adventure, send an email to or call 833-FIT-TRIP (348-8747).



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