Pack Light to Leave the Stress at Home

What type of packer are you? When packing for a vacation, some people just gather a pile of clothes, and cram them all into a suitcase. Other people do a calculated job of it – checking the weather, and planning out everything they’ll need for their trip. Some people can fit everything for a 2-week vacation into a carry-on bag, while others take a stack of luggage for a 3-day jaunt. What’s your packing style?

How much luggage do you really need?
What’s your packing style? One carry-on or a stack of luggage?

Packing and stress
All vacations involve some stress. Will you make it to the airport on time? How long will the flight be delayed? How well can we get around without knowing the language? Are these restaurants too expensive? There’s plenty of uncertainty in travel, and uncertainty can breed stress. Add in some jetlag, and soon you’ve got anxiety and fatigue combined, which can raise tensions between travelers.

How can packing reduce stress? Lighten up
There’s nothing relaxing about shouldering a massive weight across an airport or parking lot, and dragging a hundred pounds of luggage around on your vacation can impede your happy-go-lucky holiday spirit.

Beyond the physical burden, heavy luggage can also cause a strain on your wallet. Airlines usually charge you now for first and second bags, and heaven help you with the fees if you have a third bag or anything over the weight limit. Lightening the load can save your back and your budget, too – both are stress relievers.

Versatility is the key
To keep your luggage light, don’t load it down with items you’ll only use once. You don’t need a different outfit and separate shoes for every day of the trip. With a little planning, you can have multiple looks with minimal weight. The key is to bring versatile clothing that can be worn different ways.

Plan your travel clothes before you start packing
Plan your travel wardrobe in advance, to avoid overpacking
Mix and match for optimal packing
Rather than bringing 7 completely different outfits on a week long trip, pack a smaller number of pieces that can be combined in various ways to give you different looks. A jacket can be worn with a t-shirt, collared shirt, or sweater underneath. You can pair any of those with jeans, dress slacks, or a skirt, to give you quite a range of looks. If you plan your travel wardrobe with coordinating colors and pieces, you don’t need to carry a lot of weight to get a lot of looks.

Pack easy wear, easy care travel clothes
Unless you’re really into ironing, don’t waste your precious vacation time standing with an iron at the hotel. Instead, pack easy-wear, easy-care items. Look for wrinkle-resistant travel clothes. If they’re also stain resistant, that’s a plus, too. Quick-dry fabrics are another excellent choice, in case you want to wash something out on the road.

Pack for comfort
Vacations are about movement – from your home to the airport, to another city, to a hotel, to all the sights you want to see along the way. You’ll be less stressed if you’re comfortable during those travels. Pack travel clothes and shoes that let you move comfortably, so that your focus can be on the wonderful experiences around you, rather than on your pinching shoes and sore feet. Being comfortable makes for less stress and more fun.

Don’t worry too much
When you’re packing light, you may not have the perfect pair of shoes for every occasion. Relax, and forget about it. Travel is about experiencing another culture or environment. Let yourself be immersed in the sights, sounds and smells of your destination. Enjoy the differences, and savor the flavors of travel. That’s what it’s all about. You can get back to shoes for every occasion when you get home.

The next time you pack for a vacation, think about packing light, with a focus on versatility, ease, and comfort. Challenge your over-packing tendencies, and avoid throwing in extra items “just in case”. Going light makes for less stress and a more enjoyable trip. Your travel photos may be a touch less glamorous, but at least the smile on your face can be genuine.

This article was written on behalf of the Los Angeles car accident lawyers at AA Accident Attorneys.

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