Less is more
Anne McAlpin, a packing expert and the author of the book Pack It Up: Travel Smart, Pack Light, thinks never checks in luggage – her recent three-week jaunt through Asia and the Middle East included – and says that travelling is much more convenient as a result.
She shares her tips so you won’t be bogged down by bag after bag on your next vacay.
1. Go for a soft bag
Stick to a soft bag versus one with a hard case, said McAlpin, because it has a bit of give.
“If you’re trying to get your bag into an overhead plane compartment, a soft one will bend a little to fit, but a hard one won’t, so you may be forced to check it in,” she said.
2. Pare down the toiletries
McAlpin advises minimising toiletries. “Take all your favourite products, but you don’t need large quantities of them for a week away,” she said.
A clear quart-size plastic bag can hold the bulk of your liquids, such as shampoo, conditioner and body lotion.
For liquids that you need a small amount of, such as face cream, she suggests using a contact lens container, available at any pharmacy.
She also relies on the growing number of travel-friendly non-liquid toiletries that are readily sold online and at pharmacies.
3. The magic number for shoes
Wear a pair of stylish and comfortable walking shoes on your flight and pack two more.
Men should take dressier loafer shoes to wear in the evenings, while women need a pair of strappy sandals or low heels that can go from day to night.
Both sexes can also take along sneakers, preferably a fashionable pair that can be used both as day shoes and to work out in, and a pair of flip-flops – because they take up minimal space.
4. Choose a colour theme
McAlpin recommends going for a dark shade such as black or navy because it looks more chic than a lighter hue, and packing no more than nine tops and three bottoms around this tone.
“The number of looks you can put together with these pieces is endless,” she said.
A pair of fitted jeans looks sharp. Women should also pack a pair of capris or pants, a skirt or dress that can be dressed up or down, a mix of long- and short-sleeved tops and a tank top.
Men should take a pair of slacks, a tailored button-down shirt, a zip sweater, a few polo shirts, a shirt with a fun pattern (like a colourful plaid) and a sports coat (wear this on the plane).
On a beach holiday? Bathing suits take up little room, so feel free to pack two.
From The Straits Times, 24 July 2016