Pack right, pack light

packing light

Travelling with just your carry-on luggage seems to be the new standard for air travel these days.

With luggage going missing at a staggering rate and flights delayed and cancelled, many people don’t want to take the risk of checking in luggage, and who can blame them?

Some airlines are casual about carry-on weight limits – I was recently on a Virgin flight to Brisbane where the last people on clearly had too much carry-on – but others are sticklers to the point they will weigh your luggage before you board.

This can be a pain, as you will probably then have to turn around and check it in unless they are willing to do it at the gate.

So packing light is a must. Here’s our guide to travelling light, even if you are checking your luggage.

Layer up

Wear as many clothes as you will be comfortable with on your flight.

This should save you considerable suitcase space apart from anything else.

And plane temperatures can fluctuate wildly, so it’s not a bad idea to wear a few layers you can take off or on anyway.

That especially covers your shoes. If you are travelling somewhere that needs heavy footwear, wear it on the plane.

One couple I knew wore their ski boots in the middle of an Australian summer for a snow holiday in Japan. Sweaty for a bit, but then totally worth it.

Hire it

Can you hire it at your destination? If you are travelling to a specific destination or on an organised tour, can you hire anything you need?

Cold-weather accommodation and tours will often have clothing, at the very least outerwear, available for hire.

It’s also worth doing an online search for any hire companies at your destination.

When our children were small, we always hired a stroller or pram at the destination rather than lugging it through the airport.

Roll with it

Traditionally it was good form to fold your clothing flat before packing, but you can get a lot more in by rolling them.

A leisurely tour through YouTube should give you all the guidance you need.

The good thing about rolling clothes is that smaller items can be tucked into hard-to-fill gaps.

And clothes don’t tend to be as wrinkled if they are rolled properly.

Don’t forget ‘empty’ space that can be occupied, such as inside your shoes or any pockets on your luggage.


All clothes and shoes you pack should have a second purpose.

A T-shirt should also be a layer for colder weather, sparkly beach thongs should also be good for a meal out, a wrap should also make a good blanket on the plane or if your destination is beachside, a cover-up for the resort.

If you think you can’t wear it twice, or will only need it once on your whole trip, consider leaving it at home.

Do you try to pack light? What are your favourite packing tips? Why not share them in the comments section below?

Also read: What happens to your used soap when you check out of a hotel?

Written by Jan Fisher

Accomplished journalist, feature writer and sub-editor with impressive knowledge of the retirement landscape, including retirement income, issues that affect Australians planning and living in retirement, and answering YLC members' Age Pension and Centrelink questions. She has also developed a passion for travel and lifestyle writing and is fast becoming a supermarket savings 'guru'.

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