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The Art Of Packing Light: The 5 Carry-On Ground Rules

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You have no idea how many times I plan my trip, have gone on vacation and arrived at my destination, took one look inside my suitcase and immediately thought to myself, why did I pack that? Sometimes it’s taken until the end of my trip to realize that certain items were still unworn, folded in the bottom of my suitcase. What a waste of space and weight! The most satisfying feeling is being able to pack everything you need in a carry on and breeze out of the airport without having to wait for your luggage. After years of traveling, and lots of trial and error, I have it down to five simple rules. So what are you waiting for? Start planning your trip to Europe!

Popular itinerary in Metropolitan Europe:

1. Check the airline’s size regulations– You don’t want to end up with a bag that they won’t allow you to take on the plane with you and be forced to check it, watching your dreams of not waiting at the baggage carousel fade as your suitcase slides along the conveyor belt into wherever they take the bags.

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2. Make lists. This may seem obvious, but I like to make very precise packing lists, accompanied by my trip itinerary, calculating how many pieces I need to bring. Always bring spare socks and underwear.

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3. Roll, don’t fold. Most people fold their clothes for packing. I have learned through years of packing, unpacking and repacking, as well as Youtube videos posted by flight attendants, that the best way to maximize your space in your suitcase is by rolling your clothes rather than folding. Take advantage of every centimeter of space in your bag by putting smaller objects (cosmetics, socks, etc) into plastic bags and putting them in your shoes.

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4. Don’t wait until the last minute to pack. This also may seem obvious, but I have yet to pack early enough to not be pressured for time, shoving things into my bag as I leave the house, and making stops on the way to the airport for last minute things that I forgot. Don’t travel like that; it’s not worth it.

5. Keep it simple. Pack items that you can mix and match. Bring along a couple of interesting light-weight accessories (scarf or a statement necklace) to make your outfit unique, but stick to basics and layers that compliment one another.

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One last rule that I need to sneak in here:

DO NOT CHEAT. Don’t sneak any extra sweaters or dresses or boots into your suitcase – those cheating items will bring you from light weight happy packing to miserable over packer in no time.

Are you ready for your next vacation? Yes? Perfect! Then start planning your next trip to Italy!


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