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How do you pack lightly? Is it possible?

How do you pack lightly? Is it possible?

Old May 1, 19, 8:41 pm
  #451  
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 1,668
My current packing light challenge is winnowing down my non-clothing items. I recently used a different ~ 20L carry-on bag with flatter pockets and realized how much my "etc" category really weighed as I corralled contents into various pouches. I have portions of Office Depot, Sephora, and the Container Store all in there (or a lot of Muji + tech gadget gear). I think I'll start working on shape uniformity so things fit together better like toiletries in the same bottle shape and avoiding candy bar shapes when packing mostly flat items.
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Old May 2, 19, 1:54 pm
  #452  
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Programs: Delta Gold (2020)
Posts: 2,024
For sure my medicine bag is too heavy! Going to look at it in detail for Asia trip at the end of summer - need to pack light for that (internal flights weight limits + want to be able to carry stuff around easily) and I know I can be light on clothing & shoes- but those extras add up quickly!! Let me know what you've been able to pare down ;-)
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Old May 2, 19, 4:05 pm
  #453  
 
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 503
I have found mini-zip bags (about the size of a credit card) to pack pills and I can write on the packet. I may reuse an empty pill bottle to hold vitamins and maybe stuff one of the min-bags into the bottle to cushion the pills.

I found the tiny breath-mint "leaves" holder (a flat case) can hold flat pills! I will write on the label re contents.

I almost dumped my old contact lens containers: they are easy to use for few days worth of medications. In another "travl tip" thread: the lens container are good for creams, too. Leak proof.
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Last edited by 8dimsum; May 2, 19 at 4:07 pm Reason: clarify
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Old May 2, 19, 7:07 pm
  #454  
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Programs: Delta Gold (2020)
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My husband does the baggies for his daily vitamins & pills but I haven't wanted to do that for bulk pills. I am looking at smaller containers (much of what is in the medicine bag is ziplocs with blister pack parts in it - bandaids, stomach remedies, muscle aches, sleeping pills, etc - so it's not like it's full of bottles. But there ARE bottles in there and I might have too many other things. I've got the little baggies and the contact lens cases (husband switched to glasses only a few years back but I saved all his old cases...) and some other small tins as well....I'm sure I'll have much fun repackaging everything :-)
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Old May 3, 19, 12:10 pm
  #455  
 
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 503
One more go at packing our bags for hot & humid & wet Asia and then Alaska's 50's temp. Yes , there will be laundry services on the cruise, but I do hand laundry most of the time...my quiet time. No ironing and if need be, will try "touch up" or send out the clothing. Will continue to pare down, too.

Fortunately, our prescribed medications are few (3); it is the supplements, etc that add up. Our travels aren't exotic so I take fewer first aid items. ---The time I fell in Beijing and fractured my wrist, I had a long silk scarf that I wound around the hand and looped into a sling.
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Old May 5, 19, 6:34 am
  #456  
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 134
I have a lot of medicine and find the Schick razor cartridges containers are perfect and hold enough pills for weeks. The ziplock bags with the wide bottoms hold much more and take up same space.
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Old Dec 18, 19, 6:54 am
  #457  
 
Join Date: Oct 2016
Posts: 6
First, jersey or knit clothes work best for light travel. I have a light wrap that is a thin knit cocoon that works on the plane as a shoulder warmer and then as a coverup for cool days or churches or what ever. I wear it on the plane but it's pretty enough to work even over an evening cocktail dress (which is generally a black knit dress.) Also I bring a very light gathered below knee skirt, very thin material (I'm assuming summer travel here) and with a tee or a tank, it works for dinner with strappy (lightweight!) sandals or into churches where covered knees and shoulders are required (with that wrap.) I also prefer knit pants to jeans, lighter weight. Or lycra skinny jean leggings if I must have jeans.

The heaviest items that give me trouble are boots for hiking. You could wear them on the plane....but if you loosen up your shoes aboard a flight, that's not comfy. There are hiking shoes that are like heavy track shoes, those go well on the plane and in luggage.

Makeup I pare down by using palettes; I found a few by Benefit or Tarte that have everything or shadow and blush and they work for the entire trip with a few brushes. Sample size moisturizer, toothpaste, face wash, mascara. Save these up and toss when you are coming home.

If I don't wear a piece at all on a trip, I consider I've packed too much. I bring more tops than bottoms as one tends to perspire and the tops need rinsing out or they get stinky (laundry can be an issue.) I sleep in light yoga pants and a tee, I do wear clothes to bed as I have had to make a quick exit in emergencies from hotel rooms and being dressed is just easier.

Purse: I bring a lightweight nylon crossbody or something like that in a snakeskin print or black. I use a hidden passport-money belt for going out, the purse has non-essentials and a bit of quick cash.
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Old Dec 18, 19, 6:55 am
  #458  
 
Join Date: Oct 2016
Posts: 6
You can buy mini zip loc bags for pills, set up a trip's worth and put them into a bigger ziploc. Mark with sharpie on them.
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Old Dec 19, 19, 9:29 am
  #459  
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: GRR
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I use for pills

For longer trips, like cruises and such, where we want some ibuprofen, decongestants, etc. I use this:
https://smile.amazon.com/gp/product/...?ie=UTF8&psc=1

It holds lots of pill containers and bottles and is slightly padded. Very cheap. Mine actually has the word "Blows" misspelled which I find strangely endearing.
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Old Jan 22, 20, 12:00 pm
  #460  
 
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On this last trip, I found that I still love my Naked 2 basics palette for eyes (I love the cool tones for everything, including eyebrows and as an eyeliner). I really like Charlotte Tilbury's Smokey Eye palette (the bronzer and highlighter are cool-toned and can be applied with a very light hand on my oh so fair skin, the eye colors give me an entirely different eye look). Hourglass ethereal glow cheek color on cheeks, a travel sized mascara, a lighter, glossier lip color for day and a darker, silkier lip color for night, a few make-up brushes, and I was all set. I finally realized that palettes are a game-change -- they save space in my personal item and save time in my morning when I travel.
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Old Jan 24, 20, 2:12 pm
  #461  
 
Join Date: Sep 2016
Posts: 19
I love this thread and am so glad to see it's still going. So much good information!

I do a lot of international long haul travel for work that often involves changing cities every few days. I loathe packing/unpacking/repacking every time I change hotels, so I like to travel as minimalist as possible to make the repeated rounds of packing/unpacking as painless as possible. I wear a lot of black, and I don't bring a piece of clothing unless it's something that works with multiple other pieces and can be used as part of multiple outfits.

Here's what works for me:
  1. On trips to colder climates, lightweight silk thermal underwear (LL Bean/Lands End or similar) weighs practically nothing, takes up hardly any room in your bag, and doubles as pajamas. They're easily washed and air dry quickly.
  2. I like Magic Cloths for makeup removal rather than bringing a bottle of remover/cotton balls or a package of disposable makeup wipes. These remove your makeup using just water. I've even seen smaller travel-size ones for sale. I find they work really well, but you will want to wash them every few days. Soap and water in the hotel sink is fine; they dry overnight. They're usually branded as some variation of Magic Cloth, Magic Makeup Remover, Makeup Eraser.
  3. I like simple back dresses paired with different colored tights. The tights take up no room, weigh almost nothing, and the same dress looks so different when worn with black, nude, red, yellow tights. I usually bring a few scarves that include the colors of my tights, too.
  4. I always bring at least one colorful 140 cm scarf. I like the cashmere/silk blend ones. These can be worn in so many ways, and depending on the color/pattern, can look like a different scarf depending on how you tie/wear it. I've worn the same 140 cm scarf with the same black outfit as a shawl, tied as a sort of infinity wrap/shrug, tied around my waist as a maxi skirt (useful for visiting religious sites with requirements about no bare legs), and of course, tied multiple ways as a traditional scarf. (I usually bring a few 70 cm and 90 cm scarves, too.)
  5. I'm a big fan of merino wool. I have some of the Chico's Travelers pieces but I find I'm only comfortable wearing them in a narrow temperature/climate range. Probably 75% of the clothing I travel with is merino wool. It works for the climates I tend to visit. Obviously, it's not what I'd bring if I was going to do 2 weeks in Fiji!
  6. Lately, I've been bringing a pair of metallic leather Tieks with me for trips when I need a slightly dressier shoe. I have metallic gold and metallic rose gold ones that I alternate between, depending on the color palette I'm using that trip. They also are nice as an option to slip on for stuff like trips to the ice machine or quick trips to fetch coffee/breakfast in the morning. (I did find they took some time to break in but I learned you can stuff the toe box with wine corks for a day or two and that helps!). I find they don't have enough support to wear all day (I know some women do this!) but I'm fine in them for a few hours, and I do appreciate having something a bit dressier that doesn't take up too much room. My trips often involve at least one dressier dinner or cocktail-type function, so they come in handy.
  7. I try to keep my jewelry minimal. One pair of diamond stud earrings, a watch, my engagement ring/wedding band, and one necklace. This all fits in a tiny travel jewelry box if I ever need to take any of it off (I don't like to sleep wearing jewelry, for example.)
  8. You can make a tiny deodorant by using an empty container for baby sunscreen. The one I used was Neutrogena baby sunblock, it's in a tiny deodorant-like package. You can melt deodorant quite easily - melting point is around body temperature. I cleaned out the sunblock stick container (which is essentially a super small deodorant-type container), removed the deodorant from a travel size stick, and melted it in a double-boiler setup. (not on the stove, i just used hot water and 2 bowls on the counter top). Once liquified, you pour it into the container and it solidifies pretty quickly. The baby sunblock contained is about half the size of the travel size deodorant and holds much more. Pic shows full size, travel size, and the repurposed baby sunblock container. This is helpful for trips where every ounce and square inch counts.
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Old Jan 24, 20, 2:40 pm
  #462  
 
Join Date: May 2013
Location: JFK
Posts: 318
Originally Posted by WryMartini View Post
I
  1. You can make a tiny deodorant by using an empty container for baby sunscreen. The one I used was Neutrogena baby sunblock, it's in a tiny deodorant-like package. You can melt deodorant quite easily - melting point is around body temperature. I cleaned out the sunblock stick container (which is essentially a super small deodorant-type container), removed the deodorant from a travel size stick, and melted it in a double-boiler setup. (not on the stove, i just used hot water and 2 bowls on the counter top). Once liquified, you pour it into the container and it solidifies pretty quickly. The baby sunblock contained is about half the size of the travel size deodorant and holds much more. Pic shows full size, travel size, and the repurposed baby sunblock container. This is helpful for trips where every ounce and square inch counts.
OK I am totally going to go do this, how clever! I have been using one of the round Secret travel deodorants in an effort to save some space but I find it awkward to handle.
My toiletries tend to take up a good portion of my luggage in spite of my streamlining, multi purposing and travel sizing. While I always manage 1 bag for domestic travel my goal is to get it down to one carry on bag (+ purse) for international.
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