1) Start by Making Up a Packing List
No matter how much effort it takes to put down everything that you're going to need on your trip on paper, do it!
List-making always pays, you know...
Because packing random without a checklist can be too risky.
Like for instance you're on a business trip and you forgot your business suit back home…
Then either you'll be buying one at your destination (extra costs) or you'll be attending your meeting in pajamas or jeans.
That's up to you!
2) Choose the Right Kind of Bag
Gone are the days when a traveler would be expected to drag large suitcases around on a vacation...
Today, there is no dearth of high-end, spacey small-sized travel bags on the market.
So, before you dust and ready your ten years old bag for your trip, have a look at the more modern and advanced-quality bags out there.
But make sure that you choose a 'small bag' if you want to travel lighter and smarter.
Because large baggage will automatically make you feel like stuffing them up with every item within your sight.
3) Pack Only What's Necessary
Did you know about 62% of Americans 'over-pack' when traveling? Really, why?
Just try to keep under the limit depending on how much weight you're allowed to carry on your flight.
Pack only the must-haves and leave out the nice-to-haves.
4) Pack One Week's Clothing
Yes, only a week's clothing even if you're going away for a whole year...
See, you can't be 100% sure about what clothes you'll be needing on your trip.
But keeping a week's clothes in mind can give you a good idea of what to pack and what to drop.
Safe to say that if you have got all week's clothes lined up for you, you can easily manage another week or two with the same stock of clothes.
The only issue would be washing.
You can hand wash your underwear, socks, light T-shirts and for the heavier items you could use cheap wash-and-fold services.
Usually, you can get your clothing laundered for around $15 to $20. Not much, right?
5) Pack Thin Clothes, Wear Bulky Stuff
The best way to pack light is by packing in layers and you can only pack in layers when the clothes are thin and smooth.
So, the idea is to pack all the thin garments layer upon layer while putting on the bulky wear.
Bulky wear includes jackets, coats, pullovers, and other things which take up lots of bag room.
6) Don't Go Crazy Over Shoes
Ideally, take only two pairs of footwear with you.
For example, sneakers and sandals or joggers and flip-flops.
So, the lighter ones you can wear in your hotel room or lobby and the sporty type when out wandering in the streets and sightseeing.
Or if it's a business trip then pack a pair of oxfords or whichever formal type you like along with some casual footwear.
7) Pack Limited Personal Care Items
As for toiletries like shampoo, conditioner and soap, bear in mind that if you're travelling by air any 'liquid' items will be confiscated during checking.
So, it's best to opt for solid toiletries like soap bars, etc.
Also, don't bother taking any medicine other than the prescribed ones because you can find drugs off-the-counter pretty much everywhere.
But, do your research on that!
8) Make Best Use of Your Carry-On
Finally, you won't be taking just one bag with you. Right?
You'll be carrying a hang-bag also and so make use of it to the best of its capacity.
So, the takeaway for you is:
Stuff all your necessary gadgets, toiletries, skincare creams, undergarments, and slippers in your carry-on bag.
The big things go into the big rucksack.
While wear and layer yourself up with heavy outerwear as much as you can.
That's it. That's how you pack light and smart.