Guest post: Text and photos by Kristen Yates
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I’m going to be honest: I’ve been living abroad for over two years and packing for travel – either long or short-term trips – is still the bane of my existence. Trying to prepare for any and all weather conditions, social occasions, outdoor excursions and unexpected events can be mind-boggling (not to mention time consuming!) If you dread the airline baggage weigh-in the way I do, know you’re not alone- but there are some great ways to simplify your packing so you can travel lightly (because lighter is happier, I promise!)
Focus on Basics:
When it comes to shirts, pack solid color tops you can wear casually or dress up with a few accessories. Think something you can wear with shorts hiking or with a skirt out at dinner or a bar later with a cute necklace or scarf.
Bring a Sarong/Scarf:
Not only is this great for dressing up your basic tops, but you’ll need to cover up your shoulders and legs when visiting holy sites (so bring two- they’re light!) You can also use them as a beach cover-up/light blanket/ground cover.
Don’t bring too many shoes:
Seriously, ditch everything but a simple (and comfortable!) pair of sandals, sneakers, and flip flops. Gladiators are great because they’re cute, light and match virtually anything, and flip flops are vital for hostel showers. Leave the heels at home, ladies!
Ditto with make-up/toiletries:
If you’re not sure if you’ll need it, you probably won’t- or if you do, you can grab one on-the-go. Use 2-in-1 shampoo/conditioner in a travel bottle, ditch the shaving cream and just use soap or conditioner, bring a simple foundation, mascara and lip gloss- simple is the way to go, rock the natural look in a travel-chic style!
Put on those accessories!:
A chunky necklace or pair of awesome earrings will dress up a simple outfit and you’ll save the space and weight of bringing extra clothes. Even better, save the packing space and buy some cute jewelry on the road- it’ll double as a souvenir!
The key is on the layers:
Be prepared for any temperatures, bringing a light sweater or button-up and jacket (or more, depending on your destination.) The point is, just bring one of each layer and you’ll have a variety of outfits and stay warm.
Convertible Pants are Great:
There are plenty of convertible pants out there- and the best part is you don’t have to pack pants, capris and shorts, because you can get them all-in-one! Great for hiking trips or camping because you’re covered for hot daytime and cool evenings- and plenty of them have built-in sun protection and quick drying material.
Wear it on the plane:
If you can deal with being a little cozy at check-in, why not wear your bulkiest/heaviest items on the plane! Throw on your heaviest jeans, shoes and a few shirts, and you might find that you save yourself some weight (and money!) in that checked bag.
Don’t forget the laundry soap packs:
You can hand-wash anything that gets dirty or stinky, so you don’t need to bring as much with you- and these little packs take up virtually no space.
About Kristen Yates: Kristen is a 20-something solo female traveler with a thirst for seeing the world! She has been traveling alone for over two years, and after a stint in Prague, she is now based in Thailand, teaching English and learning about living in a new land. She writes about traveling around the world and searching for delicious food in her blog Roamalicious.
Want to know more how to travel alone as a woman? The Art of Solo Travel: A Girls’ Guide by Stephanie Lee is ideal for the woman traveling alone for the first time but has no idea how to go about it. The guide answers all the questions that you have on traveling alone as a woman – from saving money for your travels, to advice on relationships and health on the road and even advice on how to deal with dream crushers. Get it now and start crafting your own journeys!