We all want to look our best on our honeymoon -- it's not just any old getaway. It's the trip where we celebrate the beginning of a new chapter of life in an exciting destination. We want to feel confident, comfortable, and attractive.
But you know what is not attractive? Getting sweaty trying to lug around an oversize and overweight suitcase full of clothes, shoes, and hair products. Big bags are difficult to travel with, challenging to maneuver, and most importantly, completely unnecessary. Traveling light avoids a lot of hassle. And sweat.
While the definition of "light" definitely varies from person to person, what is important is knowing how to pare down your packing list so your suitcase is filled with the things you need and nothing more. Here are my tips that have helped me go from a heavy checked bag to an easy carry-on, whether I'm going to Las Vegas for the weekend or to India for a few weeks.
Sometimes I am a last minute packer. I admit it. And whenever I do pack at the last minute, I end up bringing things I don't need and forgetting things I do need. I arrive at my destination and suddenly I'm mad at myself for not thinking about it more carefully. However, when I put some time and effort into my packing list, my bag makes me a lot happier.
In order to avoid packing regret, try writing out a packing list at least a week in advance -- either on a notepad or on smartphone -- and look at it a couple times per day. For each item, think about how you'll wear it, if it's the best option, and if you really need it. Chances are your list will end up shorter than it was at the start. It's also a good idea to pack your bag a day or two in advance and see how it feels. Is it too heavy?
Being creative with your outfits is a good way to minimize the number of items you will need. Here are few things to consider:
- LAYERING: Instead of a big heavy coat for cold destinations, think about wearing a few long sleeve layers, a thin coat, and a hat. I really enjoy Uniqlo's Ultra Light Down line as the jackets and coats all roll up into a ball and can be squished on the bottom of a suitcase or backpack or day bag. Also, adding a scarf or a hat can turn a somewhat-warm outfit into a warm one.
- RECYCLING: Instead of bringing 8 tops and 8 bottoms for 8 days of travel, try bringing half that amount and then mixing and matching outfits. It will help you feel like you are wearing something new without adding bulk and weight to your bag.
- ACCESSORIZING: Adding scarves and jewelry to simple outfits is the another way to increase your travel wardrobe. A bright blue scarf and some fun earrings will make a black dress look different than it does with only a simple belt and a simple chain necklace.
Being realistic about what you need is super important if you're going to have streamlined luggage. As you are picking things out, look at every item you plan to bring and think "Am I really going to use this"?
Am I really going to use that DSLR tripod?
Am I really going to wear four fancy different colors?
If the answer is "maybe" instead of "yes" for any item, put it on a "maybe" pile until you've gone through everything. Once you are done, pack all the "yes" items into your suitcase and see what it looks like. Is it full? If it is, walk away from the suitcase and call it a day! If there is room, go back to your "maybe" pile and do the same thing all over again. Now that you know how much space you have left, you can be more realistic about what goes and what stays.
Most importantly, bring things that make you feel comfortable and confident and are cultural appropriate -- and don't bring items because you think that's what you should wear on your honeymoon. Not every honeymooner dresses up for every meal nor do they need to dress like a backpacker. Remember who you are and pack for YOU.
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