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Sunday, April 14, 2024
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How to Pack Light for Travel

Recently, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has been struggling to meet surging travel demands. This has led to lost, delayed, or even stolen luggage. These difficulties have resulted in more individuals choosing to travel solely with carry-ons.

By doing such, individuals are facing a  new dilemma, as there is limited space available in their bags. To resolve this issue, travelers are learning about the effectiveness of establishing a travel wardrobe.

By creating capsule wardrobes for different climates, traveling light is more attainable.

How Do You Develop a Capsule Wardrobe?

The best way to pack light is to establish a capsule wardrobe. This capsule should consist of about ten pieces that are easily interchangeable, multi-purpose, timeless, and good quality.

First, establish your base color. While your wardrobe at home may include more colors and variations, traveling light requires fewer options. Typical base colors are usually darker, like black, blue, brown, or dark gray.

After selecting your base color, you will choose coordinating and neutral colors. These colors will build off of your base and are also easily interchangeable. These colors will include your base color, but additional selections might include gray, white, nude, and light blue.

Many individuals will find that they already have these color combinations in their traditional wardrobe, and may be drawn to a couple of them. This should make it easier to establish your travel wardrobe.

When selecting your clothing, remember to keep the colors in mind. You should select 3-5 bottoms, 3-5 tops, a jacket, a reversible belt, and 2-3 pairs of shoes. Whether you pack a coat and additional items will be determined by the length, time, and location of your travel.

What Attire Should You Invest In?

Knowing what color combinations you are working with and drawing from your selection can be easy when you’ve invested in a few key wardrobe pieces.

  • Bottoms. Typical bottoms for men should include a nice pair of slacks in their base color. The reason for your travel will determine whether or not these will be paired with a suit coat. Additional bottoms to consider, based on the purpose and location of your trip, would include jeans, chinos– which are a little dressier than jeans, shorts that can double as either pajamas or workout attire, and classic cargo or chino shorts.
  • Tops. It’s important to pack at least one nice formal button-down shirt. Even if you aren’t traveling for business, a button-down shirt can be dressed up for a nice evening out or dressed down. Other tops to consider include a polo, a t-shirt, a middle layer like a sweater, and an outer layer like a jacket or coat.
  • Shoes. You typically only need to travel with 2-3 pairs of shoes. A nice pair of men’s leather boots can complete a look for business or casual attire. Also, pack a pair of sneakers as well as sandals depending on your location.

How Do You Pack?

Now that we know what items you need, figuring out how to pack everything into a small space can be difficult. Remember, your body can wear the bulkier items on your day of travel, which frees up more space in your carry-on. This includes wearing your boots and jacket while traveling.

Additionally, utilize the space in your shoes by packing your socks tightly in them. Use packing cubes, as they can help keep you organized and reduce the space in your bag. If traveling with a suit, remember to have a garment bag, and quickly hang it up in the bathroom when you arrive at your destination. The steam from your shower can help to release potential wrinkles from your travels.


Establishing a capsule wardrobe makes it easier to pack lightly for your travels. Multipurpose pieces, in addition to coordinating colors, can help elevate your travel attire and cut down on wasted space in your small suitcase.

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