17 Travel Necessities — Pack Lighter and Having More Fun!

Want to pack lighter? Carry less? Enjoy your trips more? This list of 17 travel necessities makes ALL the difference!

17 Travel Necessities — Pack Lighter and Having More Fun from North Carolina Lifestyle Blogger Adventures of Frugal Mom

One of the best ways to enjoy your trips more is to pack less. Don’t lug heavy luggage on your next international journey. You’ll save money on checked luggage fees and prevent wear-and-tear on your back when you pack just the necessities for your adventure.  We’ve talked about how to create a frugal yet fashionable wardrobe. Carry that frugal mentality with you when preparing for your next vacation. How can you know what to pack for international travel when you want to pack less? Here’s our list of 17 travel necessities for your next trip. 

1. Think One Week

Even if your trip includes one of these tours in Italy during a month-long adventure, think and pack for only one week. Plan everything you need to get through one week of clothing. Then, plan to wash clothes toward the end of your first week away.  Wash your clothes yourself at a local washateria. Or pay a local service to launder your clothes while you continue to enjoy your vacation. 

2. Leave the Extras

Leave behind anything you think you “might” need. If you aren’t sure you’ll use it, don’t pack it. Don’t take valuable space in your suitcase with your travel umbrella. If it rains during your trip, support the local economy and buy an umbrella while you’re there.  

3. Make It Work

A frugal trip doesn’t have to be your most fashionable event of the year. Choose clothes that you can mix and match. Bring a couple of pants and a few shirts that go together with no matter which combo is clean during your trip. 

4. Choose Shoes Wisely

You don’t need a pair of shoes for every outfit. Choose a pair of shoes for comfort and daily walking. Bring another pair for evenings out.  Your feet will thank you for putting comfort over high fashion when packing for international travel. Learning how to pack your shoes properly will also help you save on your luggage space.

5. Make Two Lists

When making your international travel checklist, make two packing lists. One list is everything to pack. The other list includes items you can buy when you arrive and as your trip continues. Toiletries and other conveniences can wait until you arrive. Don’t waste suitcase space for these items. 

6. Embrace Travel-Size

There’s no need to pack your full-size bottle of shampoo. Start your trip with travel-size toiletries. You’ll enjoy how long a travel-size tube of toothpaste lasts. Plus, travel-size is carry-on friendly. 

7. Choose Lighter Luggage

Roller bags and hard-sided luggage can get heavy. When traveling light for an international trip, lightweight luggage is one of your travel must-haves. Find carry-on luggage that’s easy to carry over your shoulder or converts to a backpack. With soft-sided luggage, you’ll also have more flexibility to fit your essentials into your bag versus inflexible hard-sided luggage. 

8. Use Packing Organizers

Sometimes, space is the barrier to packing those last essential items. Use luggage organizers to keep liquids away from clothing. Organizers also help compress things like clothing to save space inside your luggage. 

9. Plan for Layers

Packing light for a trip to a colder climate can be a challenge. Instead of packing one big coat, pack thinner layers. Thermal shirts and leggings give you the warmth of bulkier clothing without taking as much space in your suitcase. 

10. Choose Multi-Function

Unless you’re traveling for your professional photography business, leave the extra camera at home. Your phone is a camera. It’s also a flashlight and your boarding pass. Pack items that can do more than one thing during your trip. 

11. Go Paperless

Long flights or quiet afternoons on a beach are the perfect times to catch up on a good book. Leave the paper volumes at home. Opt for an e-reader or your tablet device to bring your books on your trip. Use electronic versions of travel books and paperwork. 

12. Lay It Out

Seeing is believing. As you begin packing, lay everything out on your bed or a flat surface. Before it goes into your luggage, ask yourself again if you need it. If you can do without it on your adventure, leave it behind. 

13. Use the Kids

If your kids can walk, they can probably carry something. When shuffling between flights, give your kids a small bag to roll or carry on the plane. Use the space in their carry-on luggage for less important travel items. Save valuable space for essential items in your own luggage. 

14. Don’t Accessorize

Leave valuable jewelry at home. It’s heavy, takes up space, and you risk losing something sentimental. Bring a versatile, inexpensive accessory or two to dress up an outfit. Pick up a local souvenir bracelet or scarf while you travel. Otherwise, take a break from accessories while you enjoy your international trip. 

15. Condense Your Medication

Don’t forget your meds! But don’t bring a bulky bottle. Use a pill organizer to save space in your luggage. Count out only the doses you’ll need during your trip. Add an extra day or two worth of meds in case of flight delays or other emergencies. 

16. Start Early

When packing for international travel, start early. Begin gathering your items a week before your trip. Packing ahead of time helps you streamline how much you pack. You’ll also have time to grab another organizer or adjust your must-pack list before it’s time to leave for your trip.  

17. Don’t Overthink It

In most cases, packing less than you think you need is the perfect way to pack light. Most international destinations have everything you need for the perfect getaway. If you forget something, it’s often less expensive to buy it in-country rather than pay extra fees for baggage to bring it with you. 

Less Is More When Packing Travel Necessities 

When packing travel necessities, don’t forget the most important thing: have fun! There’s no room for stress in your luggage. Have a more enjoyable trip when you aren’t worried about checking heavy suitcases or planning a different outfit for every day of your trip. 

Did we convince you to leave the extra camera behind? Your phone takes amazing vacation photos and fits in your pocket. Read our article about taking better photos with your smartphone camera!

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