Here’s My Very Best Travel Advice: PACK LIGHT!

I recently had to hop over to Oahu for a day and just passing through Honolulu International Airport was enough to remind me that people over pack when traveling. Why in the world would a young honeymoon couple need four huge suitcases coming to a place like Hawaii for a week? After all, T-shirt and shorts are de rigueur here all year ‘round. And I see the same thing at every U.S. airport: too many people struggling with way too much luggage. 

Last summer I traveled for just over a month all across Europe and Asia with everything I needed packed in one suitcase that’s small enough to fit in the overhead bin on a plane.

In addition to the obvious toiletry kit, I pack underwear, socks, and a pair of light rubber slippers. There’s one pair of shoes and they’re on my feet. Shoes just take up too much room in the suitcase. I wear a pair of jeans, and pack one decent pair of slacks. I take only wrinkle-resistant shirts and every one has to go with both the jeans and slacks. I pack a lot of shirts … at least eight, and more if I can fit them in my suitcase. That’s the key to packing smart and light. You can skimp on everything else, but you can’t have too many clean shirts.

Since I travel by train almost everywhere, I pack a soft pair of gym shorts, and a T-shirt. I sleep in them on the train because it can be chilly and I don’t have to fumble into my clothes in the middle of the night to use the lavatory down the corridor. (That’s what the rubber slippers are for, by the way.)

Oh … and I try to make sure there’s an extra day in my schedule along the way so I can get some laundry done if necessary.

Bottom line: You must be absolutely ruthless about what goes into your bag. If you are, you will rejoice at the absence of hassle every single day you’re away.
Travel writer/expert Rick Steves said it best, “There are only two kinds of travelers – those who are traveling light, and those who wish they were.”