Traveling light can reduce the stress and anxiety of the trip

Traveling light is becoming more popular these days partly because of the weird and whacky way the price of flying keeps changing and evolving.

Taxes and fees can exceed the base price of the ticket and since baggage costs are assessed at check-in it’s almost impossible to predict the total price of the flight.

Even the first bag costs $25 on most airlines these days and so one way to control costs is to avoid extra baggage 

We toured Europe a few years back and we were keen on traveling light. We didn't want back packs but we didn’t want to be lugging around a collection of huge bags either.

It wasn't a guided tour and our itinerary was mostly self-planned. Our luggage had to be as compact and well packed as possible.

In our quest for traveling light we signed up for a packing seminar at a local travel store. I was skeptical at first but I soon realized the value of this information.

Several space saving techniques and products were demonstrated.

Pack it

The ‘Pack It' system for shirts, blouses, skirts and slacks is a clever design for keeping clothes wrinkle free without unpacking and hanging them.

It holds between ten and fourteen items so it encourages you to limit the number of these clothes. I often find I take too many and never use some of them.

Pack it

Key to the packing is a hard plastic template with folding instructions clearly written on it.

It ensures all items are carefully folded and stacked so they won't crease.

When full, the case is firmly tightened with the aid of Velcro strips.

When an item is needed the template is carefully inserted over the garment and the items above it are lifted out. After removing the item, the plate is placed back over the remaining pile without disturbing the clothes.

Another simple but highly effective technique is T-shirt rolling.


Folded inwards twice in the long direction, the T-shirt is rolled up and as it progresses, the loose end is held and the rolled end is tugged a few times in between rolling.

The finished compact roll is held together by friction and won’t come un-rolled.


Because it’s tightly rolled it will not wrinkle, it doesn’t need hanging and looks freshly ironed when used.

The tight rolls pack in nicely using minimum space and this technique can be used for most tops.

One tip I liked was always take about a meter or so of duct tape wound around a pencil. It’s very useful for a host of problems for example if shoes are causing blisters duct tape on the area of the skin can provide temporary relief.


In a hotel in Florence there was a bright green flashing light in some kind of alarm on the ceiling above the bed. A small piece of duct tape carefully placed over the light had me drifting off in no time.

I think packing efficiently and traveling light added to the value of our trip. It took some stress away from having too many bags. We appreciated it because we knew where everything was and the pre-planning exercise resulted in us including many useful items we may have otherwise omitted.

It also helped us avoid duplicating items or packing too many. And who knows, it may have saved us extra baggage costs!

Some more travel tips:-

  • For hotel safes wipe down the digital touch pad with a damp cloth and dry it before entering your code. It's been known for light oil or powder to be placed on the keys so that the numbers used are revealed under a special light. The combinations for these few numbers can quickly be tried.
  • Take older clothes that can be discarded along the way. This makes room for bringing purchases home and some people may be pleased to get these cast-offs.