light luggageWhy has it taken me so long to discover the delightful ease of not checking luggage?

It was such wickedly, good fun to carry everything I needed on the plane for my last speaking engagement. Even with brochures and product samples, I was able to get through security with ease, save money and lots of time by rolling everything along with me. There was no, ‘Darn, I packed that in the other suitcase’ regret. At the end of the trip, I just breezed out to meet my family without the long wait at baggage claim and didn’t have to worry about lost luggage. Traveling with light luggage is a huge win-win.

Here’s some travel packing tips I’ve gathered from miles on the road:


  • Don’t leave packing for the last moment. Pack a day or two ahead and allow yourself time to really consider what you will and won’t need. Doing it all at the last minute will inevitably lead to impulse and heavier choices.
  • Zip the case up and see how it feels to lift. You don’t want to get on the plane and find it too heavy to get up and into the overhead rack. You also want to avoid straining your back or shoulders, not to mention ‘beaning’ any other passengers as you struggle to get the case stowed.
  • Use the right travel gear, like packing ‘cubes’ . These light, durable, zipped containers come in a variety of sizes, or use heavy duty clear plastic bags. (Eagle Creek has several packing options with solid guarantees).
  • Wear your heaviest shoes on the plane and carry a pair of lightweight slippers or flip flops for comfort in a plastic bag. Tuck them, with warm socks, into your briefcase or purse.
  • Put your other shoes in one cube/bag and place them in the lowest section of your suitcase, where they won’t crush the rest of your clothes.
  • Favor clothes that are made of durable, light weight fabrics (micro fibers for cold/new fiber blends for wicking in hotter climes). Layering is the secret and down jackets/vests can be flattened easily.
  • Stack carefully folded clothes together in the largest cube or secure near the top of your case.
  • Roll items that won’t wrinkle and pack these along the sides of your other items.
  • Lay out one long pair of pants and stack other clothes on top, then fold the pant legs/waist over them to keep them from getting wrinkled.
  • Keep your work-out clothes together for easy access and to keep from polluting the cleaner clothes.
  • Women – always carry a pashmina (or that style) shawl to use as a blanket on the plane or as quick warm up thrown around your shoulders.
  • Bring two other scarves to vary your outfits and to use as a head wrap or around your neck.
  • Take items that all work together for variation. Ioften go with a packing color scheme. It’s easier in the long run.
  • Use a Scottevest (or their great looking trench coat) to carry small items and electronics. I was given one at the last Travel Bloggers Conference (TBEX), ( Thank you very much) and made good use of it on my way home. The vest is organized with a dedicated place for most everything you can need at a moments notice and will help you get through security quickly. They also spare your shoulders from a weighted shoulder strap and allow you to carry another carry-on or go without a purse.
  • Resist the urge to pack one more thing in. You probably won’t use it and that extra space will come in handy for souvenirs or another travel bag that you may need later.

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