When you are going on a long trip and planning to carry a pack throughout parts of it, it is essential to bring only what you need.
My tricks to packing light are;
Pack things that match; pick a central color scheme, all clothing should be able to be worn together. This trip I choose white, ocean blue and a hint of orange/pink.
Pack multi use pieces; pants that can be pulled long or scrunched short, a dress shirt you can wear as a beach cover and at night tied in a knot. Leggings that can go under shorts and dresses and also be worn as pajama pants and on long flights. Tank tops that are easy to rewash and wear, sandals that go from day to night. Wear your sleeping top on the flight and then its pjs fr the rest of the trip. An under seat carry on bag that is lightweight and can be used as a beach bag as well.
Do not bring anything ‘just in case’; if you end up needing something it is easier to buy it then carry it around for days and days. Some examples of what you DON’T need could be; bandaids, advil, extra socks, a rain coat or hoodie (weather dependent), a new shirt for everyday (wash and rewear instead). My only exception to this rule is I bring two bating suits, it is more comfortable to alternate then put on a wet suit ick!
Bring things you can leave behind; why not bring a few pieces you do not love so that you can donate to charity as you go, or if you are really keen and not worrying about fashion *gasps* you can wear pieces that are starting to fall apart and throw away as you go. I brought my yellow sarong planning to leave it behind when I acquired a new one. The reason being that yellow seems to attract all our Canadian bugs and I just don’t want to use it! Someone else on the Isla is now hopefully enjoying it.
Do a couple of edits; pick up your pack onto your back and remind yourself that less is more. EDIT! Take out one more shirt (maybe two), one less pair of socks and shoes (do you really need them?), hair products and makeup that is non essential LEAVE IT. Every ounce counts.
Don’t go too bare bones though; this is a holiday after all. Add a few things that will make you feel more comfortable and happy; a piece of inexpensive jewelry that makes you smile, a well worn favorite book, aromatherapy rollers, good quality hair or body products in trial (or should I say trail) sizes.
Here is everything I brought to Isla Mujeres.
Wearing; one tee shirt, one long sleeve shirt, harem pants, only bra, only tall socks, trucker hat and feather weight runners. Carrying important docs, cards and cash in waist belt.
Sarong, four tank tops, two bathing suits, two pairs of sandals.
Two pairs shorts, one pair leggings.
Pink paisley silk top, h&m mens dress shirt (which turned out to be oppressive in the heat, even when soaking wet) and my favorite piece, an ocean tie dyed mullet dress.
Fancy foot jewelry, feather necklace.
Three sets of earrings (never even wore these!).
A few bangles (originally I had planned to bring an armful but I pared it down).
These sandals will make for amazingly tan lined feet.
Not shown; three pairs socks, five pairs underwear, dry laundry soap and clothes pins, toothbrush, paste, floss, sage aromatherapy roller in peppermint, sunblock, mascara, tinted and regular chapstick. two small books, sudoku, two pens, ipod and headphones, sleep mask, ear plugs, vitamins, mini bike light, sunglasses, plane snacks (too many almonds, granola bars, tea), gum, waterproof camera.
Pack Weight is 11 pounds, not bad for a nine day excursion thou in the future I’d like to streamline even more. This trip I tried to pack only what I do need, nothing is packed ‘just in case’ other than the two pairs of sandals… as I didn’t have an ‘amazing’ pair I choose to bring two in case one pair doesn’t work well in the hot hot heat. And I could definitely bring less tops and wash as I go.
What tips do you have to add? Leave it in the comments.