Traveling Light

When I travel, I often see people carrying gigantic suitcases overloaded with stuff they probably don’t need for a weekend trip to visit relatives. When I ask them why they travel with so much stuff, they usually reply “I want to be comfortable”. This, to me, seems to be a paradox. Because, honestly, these people genuinely do NOT look comfortable. Carrying heavy bags up flights of stairs, fitting them into overhead compartments on trains, waiting 30 minutes or so for their luggage to come into the baggage claim areas… I don’t understand. If you are backpacking in the woods by yourself for a week or two, I can appreciate the boy scout mantra “Be Prepared”. But even backpackers have to carry all their junk with them!

I can pack for an entire 3-day weekend trip in my medium purse. What’s inside?

  • 2 shirts (rolled up around toothbrush case)
  • 1 PJ pants or shorts
  • 3 panties (lightweight or lacy ones hand wash and dry really fast)
  • 1 lightweight wrinkle-proof skirt OR denim shorts
  • 1-2 pair of socks (if necessary)
  • 1 toothbrush in clean travel case
  • 1 bar of deodorant (perfumed ones can eliminate the need for separate perfume below)
  • small container for bare minimum makeup (1 mineral makeup, 1 eye shadow palate, lipstick, and minimum brushes)
  • 1 quart zippered bag (if flying by air and there will be no toiletries there) containing:
  • 1 venus razor head (no handle unless there is room)
  • 1 travel toothpaste bottle
  • 1 shampoo/conditioner <100 mL
  • 1 bar of soap or liquid soap <100 mL
  • 1 bottle of face soap <100 mL
  • 1 trial-sized bottle of perfume
  • any liquid makeup required for event (mascara/foundation) <100 mL

Now, if the event I were going to required a bit more beauty, I might include a straightener and I MIGHT need to upgrade to a backpack or small carry-on, but I cannot imagine needing a checked bag for less than a week (with the exception of strollers and sporting equipment, etc). What do you think you might need?

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