Men’s luggage tends to be heavier than women’s, and there are a variety of reasons for this. First, men’s clothes and shoes are usually bigger, and thus heavier. Second, there are certain hygiene essentials that you can’t just buy at your destination, such as electric razors and nose hair trimmers (you can, but it’d be a waste of money if you already have them at home).
Lastly, a lot of men tend to pack at the last minute. Of course, this is not always true. But let’s face it, most guys wait until it’s time to go out the door to pack their bags. The result? An overly packed luggage and probably a few things are forgotten, like ties or a charger.
If you’re sick of packing in a panic and ending up with a bag that’s too heavy (and probably incomplete), here are some light packing tips that you should keep in mind.
1. Start packing early
We cannot stress this enough: pack your bags at least two days before you leave. Procrastinating is not worth it–unless you want to end up with too many shirts and not enough socks at your destination. Make a list of all the things you would need for the trip and start packing bit by bit. In this way, you have enough time to organize your stuff and remember anything that you may have missed.
2. Pick the right bag
If you want to keep your luggage light, the best way to do this is by picking the smallest bag you can get away with. Using a larger bag tends to make you overfill it with stuff that you may not need, and if you’re traveling by any other means than a private car, lugging a huge bag around is no fun.
Pick the right bag based on the length of your vacation and your mode of transportation. For instance, if you’re only traveling for the weekend and traveling by air, pick a travel backpack that has enough room for two days’ worth of stuff and is easier to carry around than a duffel bag. If you’re traveling for more than a week or so, a suitcase with wheels is the best way to go.
3. Bring multi-purpose clothes
The key to packing light is to bring as few clothes as possible. However, this doesn’t mean you have to show up to a formal dinner wearing a t-shirt and some pants. Bring a few pieces that you can use for different occasions. For example, pack a shirt that is comfortable enough for the speakeasy but sharp enough for a formal dinner. If you’re attending a business meeting, choose a blazer that is easy to pair with anything and can dress you up for other special occasions, such as weddings or formal parties. The same goes for shoes. Pack a pair for regular activities, and another pair for anything more formal than that. If you wear one pair in transit, you’ll only need to make room for the other pair in your suitcase.
4. Buy the essentials at your destination
…but make sure that they are available. Many big-name brands of men’s products are available at most stores. However, if you use any special or hard-to-find products, definitely bring those with you on the trip. For everything else, such as toothpaste, hand soap, and shaving cream, buy them at the Changi airport shopping mall when you get off your flight–or perhaps the grocery store nearest your hotel.
5. Bring laundry supplies
If you’re going away for a long time but want to bring fewer clothes, you most probably have to do laundry at your destination (or use the hotel laundry service, but who wants to pay for that?). Bring small bottles of laundry detergent and fabric conditioner in your luggage, or better yet, just buy some at your destination. Aside from helping you reduce the number of clothes you bring, having laundry supplies handy makes it easier to clean clothes that you’ve accidentally soiled.
6. Fold delicate clothes to the width of your suitcase
Fold your dress shirts, blazers, and slacks in a way that they take up the full width of your bag. Doing this reduces wrinkling and makes it easier for you to unpack them when you arrive. When you get to your destination, unpack these delicate items right away to cut down on wrinkling.
Packing light can be a challenge, especially for those who travel infrequently. However, it doesn’t have to be a panic-inducing nightmare every time. If you want to travel light for your next trip, these are the first things that you should keep in mind.