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How To Pack Extra Lightly For A Long Haul Flight

I like to think that I’ve perfected packing my suitcase when it comes to flying long-haul. With a 5 day countdown left until we head to Las Vegas for my 5th visit and some SERIOUS Black Friday shopping my cabin bag is getting ready to be packed for a week in Sin City. Yes, that’s right, I’ve got a 46kg baggage allowance however I’m only packing a small cabin bag.

Why?

Simple, the cabin bag goes inside my hold case for flying out so that I’m only carrying the minimal luggage on my outward journey. And for my inbound journey, I’ll have 1 small suitcase and one large suitcase (for all my purchases) which is far easier to manage than 2 large suitcases.

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This is a trick we’ve been doing for years for visiting the USA, so consequently, I’ve now learnt to pack for a week into a cabin bag and I’m going to share my tips with you now. So the next time you travel long-haul, you too can pack lightly.

Capsule Wardrobe

Firstly, work out a capsule wardrobe. You’ll probably hear fashion gurus talking about this religiously when it comes to simplistically styling your wardrobe with a collection of a few essential items of clothing which don’t go out of fashion, such as skirts, trousers, and coats, which can then be augmented with seasonal pieces. For travelling, we’re talking about creating a capsule wardrobe of items that can be worn together multiple times with a few additional pieces.

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For example, can you take one jacket or coat instead of multiple? Can you limit how many pairs of shoes to just packing 2 and wearing one? Can you wear your jeans more than once so you don’t have to take 7 pairs (those items are heavy)? Can you take items that can be mixed together to create different outfits? Lay all of your clothing out before packing and try and create a concise collection of staple items you can wear for the majority of your holiday with a few seasonal pieces added in.

Roll your clothes

This tip is like Marmite, you’ll either love it or hate it, but either way, it’s an absolute winner as far as I’m concerned. By rolling each item of your clothes, you not only prevent them from being crushed, but it is also actually far more space-saving than lying clothes flat.

Start with the bigger items and then work your way down packing smaller pieces of clothing. Each time making sure you’re making use of the space. You can also pack items that are easily broken such as perfume bottles into the middle of your rolled clothing for additional support. Finally, on the top of your case place your footwear and toiletries. This method of packing is the best way to save space so you can pack everything you need into a cabin bag. I’m able to pack 7 day outfits and 7 evening outfits with 1 spare for each in a cabin bag because of this method.

Be ruthless 

That’s right. If you want to take a pair of gold wedges for evening 1, a pair of nude wedges for evening 2 and a pair of red wedges for evening 3 then be ruthless with yourself and ask yourself do you really need to take 3 pairs of the same shoe in different colourways? Chances are your answer is no. Rationalise by only taking the nude wedges, which will go with everything and save yourself the space and weight of leaving the other two pairs at home!

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Similarly, for clothes, do you need that many tops, jackets, sweaters? Are you taking extra ‘just in case’? Check the weather forecast before you leave and if it happens to change while you’re there, layer up or down. You simply don’t need to pack your entire summer and winter wardrobe!  Only take what you need!

These are my top 3 packing tips for light packing when flying long-haul. Have you got any others? I’d love to hear in the comments below.

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