Everyone’s been there: you’re desperately attempting to finish packing before a trip, trying as hard as you can to get that carry-on bag to close with every last thing you need crammed in it. Opening it up again at security? Forget it. Wouldn’t it be great to just pack light, without feeling like you’re leaving your essentials at home? It’s not just a pipe dream… Here’s how:
- Start with a smaller bag.
Your beloved Rimowa might be great for two weeks in Europe, but for a shorter trip, nothing beats a smaller leather or canvas bag. We swear by a classic duffle. Gone are the days of your middle school camp-era canvas, as high-end designers like Thom Browne and even perennial road warrior favorite Tumi have started making sleek, highly portable bags in a variety of colors and materials. A bag like this has just enough room for plenty of clothing, an extra pair of shoes, a liquid carry-on bag, and portable in-flight entertainment in the form of an iPad or a magazine. Carrying it around the airport is a breeze and you don’t have to worry about wrestling a giant hardshell suitcase into the overhead bin—a soft-sided duffle can squeeze almost anywhere.
- Dress smart.
Putting just a little extra thought into your “plane outfit” can save lots of headache later.
The micro-climate of a plane can range from Arctic tundra to a Saharan desert across the span of one flight and your outfit should reflect that. Our favorite fail-safe: a basic, neutral sweater or T-shirt with a leather jacket or wool blazer, depending upon where you’re traveling, and a scarf that can double as a cover-up. Pairing this with dark jeans and your heaviest pair of shoes means you’ve likely already “packed” the most versatile outfit of your entire trip.
For guys traveling on business, wearing a suit on the plane gets rid of the hassle of carrying a garment bag and flash back to a time when people dressed up to fly.
- Forgot it? We’ve got it!
Staying with Kimpton will make your travels even lighter. If you forgot your hair dryer, flat iron, a makeup mirror or even a whole bag’s worth of liquids, every Kimpton hotel has an entire packing list full of items you might have missed—or never even considered, collar stays and contact lens solution included.
Do you have any tips or stories for traveling light? Tell us below!
Photo Credit: Quirk Creative
— Ryan Smith
Ryan is New York-based freelance writer and photographer. He has worked in the hotel and restaurant industry for nearly a decade. His work has appeared in the New York Times, GOTHAM Magazine, Eater, Elle Korea, Selectism, Food & Wine, InStyle.com, and more.