10 Tips for travelling light

Taking a big hefty suitcase to Europe is not a pleasurable experience. Just because you can take 22kg … doesn’t mean you should! Here are my top tips for a lighter load on your next OS trip … or any trip for that matter.

Remember when you leave your home you have the convenience of being dropped at the airport. You have trolleys assist you to check-in, but once you move beyond the airport things are different.

You will need to pull your bags up and down train station stairs because the is no lift or escalator, especially on the London Underground and the Paris Metro. I had to do this once and it was a nightmare!

Travelling light is an uplifting experience. It’s easier to be organised. You can manage yourself and your luggage with finesse and style. You feel light and mobile, like anything is possible!

Here are my top 10 tips for travelling light:

1. If you don’t wear it regularly at home, don’t pack it! Because 9 times out of 10 you it will not see the light of day on your vacation. Take clothes that you feel really at home in. If you can master this point alone you will save loads and loads of space. At the end of any trip away I used to unpack my suitcase and sort everything into two piles. One pile for the clothes I wore, and another pile for the ones I didn’t … guess which pile has always been larger? I did this to give myself a good visual of what was really going on … and that helped me pack better next time.

2. The Scarf. I love my scarves because they are so versatile. They serve as a jacket when it’s a little cool, a light blanket on an aeroplane or train journey, a picnic rug a beach towel .. the list goes on. Most days I never leave the house without one. I buy scarves that go with a few different tops and wear the scarf various ways to mix things up a little.

3. Shoes, socks and slippers. It’s so easy to over do things in the shoe department in attempt to cater for every possible social scenario. Priority needs to be comfort, but that doesn’t mean it needs to be boring. You’re going to be doing a lot of walking so first things first, you need comfy walking shoes. I always take my Dianna Ferrari sneakers and a pair of ballet flats. I used to always take a set of heels ‘just in case’ and never wore them. Take a pair of socks or two. They really come in handy and can be of great comfort on the aeroplane or in bed at night if its a bit chilly. And those free hotel slippers that are probably sitting unopened in your wardrobe, pack’em. They are an essential comfort while travelling and a courtesy if you are staying at someone’s house. Plus you will be the only person walking around inside barefoot, Europeans don’t do that.

4. Umbrella & Raincoat Find a good quality collapsible umbrella for your handbag before you leave if you can. No matter the season you will get much use out of it. After having a number of crappy umbrellas I went in search for the best quality, smallest collapsible umbrella, with the widest diameter when open. The winner was Oroton’s Signature O Jacquard Small Umbrella. I would go as far as to say don’t come to Europe without a raincoat, again no matter the season. I have a simple black one myself that folds very flat in my suitcase.

5. Trousers & Pants: 3 pairs is all you need. One casual pair for day and another that can be dressed up for evening. My preference is jeans, one light blue pair and one black pair. The third is a real comfy pair lounge pants you can slip on at the end of an adventurous day when you get back to your accommodation. Then you can relax comfortably and revive for the next days adventures.

6. Tops & Blouses: You probably have five or so tops that you really love wearing in your wardrobe, the rest are ‘okay’ but not as lovely to you. I say pack those five tops and leave the rest.  As in all cases of ‘wardrobe management’ I believe if it doesn’t make you feel amazing then purge it. If that means you are left with next to nothing than so be it. Better to have a couple of tops you really love than a dozen that you feel average in. Leave space in your suitcase to ‘call in’ a couple of gorgeous new pieces to take home with you!

7. Long Sleeve T-Shirt: About 6 years ago I bought four long sleeve t-shirts from Target and boy have they served me. I bought two white and two grey. I wear them under other tops if it’s a bit cold or at the end of the day I pull one on with my comfy lounge pants.

8. Phone Apps: These are the apps that I recommend you downloading before you leave. Citymapper (best app for navigating any city), Uber (awesome if you need a driver), Currency+ (best currency converter app), Eurostar (so you don’t need to print your tickets) and Tripit (your full itinerary in one place).

9. Power sources and adapters: Obviously you will need a power adaptor, in addition I suggest you take a HPM 4 Outlet Power Board so you can be charging multiple devices at once. SmartPhones lose power very quickly when traveling due continual use of camera and browser so bring a portable charger to have in your handbag, that way you can recharge on the go.

10. Travel Tissues: essential for your handbag ladies to avoid having to drip dry when you find the toilets out of loo paper.

Happy travels! Dani x

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