Your “One Bag” Travel Tips

TOM BIHN Tri-Star
Over on Facebook, we asked you to share with us your top “one bag” travel tips. Here they are:

Steve: “Loosen up, recognize when something is nonessential, and temporarily abandon it.”
Angie: “i got nothing..i’m a ridiculous over-packer…”
Chris: “Take only one bag.
(sorry)”
William: “Travel warm places and try not to be 2+ meters tall. Much easier to pack normal sized warm-weather clothing than things I wear during temperate/cold weather.”
Fawn: “Layer, layer, layer.”
Teagan: “Ummmm, owning an Aeronaut.”
Lisa: “Wear your bulkiest items / extra layers on the plane!”
Alexandra: “yeah, an aeronaut helps. My main tip is to separate everything you need and then remove all the items you think you “might” use…”
Carl: “Wash underwear and other clothes nightly in hotel sink. Significantly reduces amount of clothes needed.”
Frances: “roll. Also, be okay with wearing things over and over again.”
Matt: “No one cares if you wear the same shirt twice when you’re on vacation. Only bring a couple of tops/bottoms & wash your own stuff at the end of the day. Need something else, buy it there. I never take more than I can carry on.”
Beers & Beans: “I second the roll!”
Dale: “Packing Cubes
Miles: “Don’t pack the Kitchen Sink – use travel size items – buy at destination if possible.”
Natalie: “Capsule wardrobe – all tops shoulf be able to be worn with all bottoms. All shoes should be able to be worn with all outfits.”
Steve: “Learn from each trip you take. If you didn’t use it/wear it on your previous trip, leave it at home this time.”
Matthew: “Make sure that most things can be mixed and matched with all of your outfits. Don’t pack items that stand out on their own (example: orange and black shirt with crazy pattern) but wear items that can easily be worn multiple times.”
Terri: “Do not bring anything “just in case”.”
Matt: “Putting everything you’re planning on taking in a pile, then get rid of half of it”
Mendi: “Merino wool t-shirts and pullovers! No stinkies, so you can wear it then air it out and wear again before having to wash it. Great brands with styles ranging from sporty to casual are Icebreakers, SmartWool and Ibex.”
Cameron: “Have a selection of gear specifically for one bag travel; don’t attempt to shoehorn every day gear into something this specific; I use icebreaker almost religiously for this”
Chris: “One pair of shoes and wear your jacket.”
Adam: “Don’t bring 3 oz. of any one toiletry. That is a months worth of shampoo! And the Aeronaut with packing cubes is amazing!”
Nels: “Just because it worked for someone else doesn’t mean it’ll work for you.”
Jeff: “I’ve routinely done weeklong trips with nothing but a 1,600ci Western Flyer. Leave the laptop at home if you possibly can- the only electronic item I’ll typically bring is a smartphone. I’ve had great success using the bundle-packing method and packing cubes. Bring light, well made travel friendly clothing like anything by Ex-Officio. Plan to sink wash which takes no time at all, give you more daily what-to-wear choices, plus keeps you from accumulating dirty laundry. Laundry tip- when done sink washing, wring as much water as possible into the sink, then finish wringing by rolling wet clothes in a towel, applying pressure to wring out most of what remains, then hang dry ( I like the clothespin-less Rick Steves clothesline-)”
Christin: “If you consider travel clothing a fashion downgrade bring fewer items that you wear everyday and love. For me this includes some long sleeve merino wool tops, but beyond that I just a few staple pieces that complement the weather in my destination. Simply bringing less has allowed me to live out of a Synapse backpack for a month or more.”
Heather: “I use travel detergent sheets. They are a little bigger than those breathmint strips & come in a little plastic case. I buy them at REI.”
Aaron: “Roll everything tightly to the exact width of the bag.”
Tracey: “I forgot where I got them, but woollite has singles.”
Warren: “Trash bags and a vacuum = Redneck Space-bags… You’d be surprised how readily a hotel will provide both if asked…”
Mary: “Compression bags”
Rita: “Bring more money, fewer clothes.”
Brett: “Roll baby! Mail purchases home.”
Deanna: “Bundle…even better than rolling.”
Easter Cat: “You only need 1 pair of good shoes. If your shoes don’t fit 95% of what you’re doing (walking, night out, business), you need a new pair. You can add light weight flip flops if necessary.
Pack (this doesn’t include what you wear) 1-2 pairs of underwear and socks, 1-2 pairs of pants, 2-3 tops and lightweight sleepwear (e.g., t-shirt and shorts). Bundling is the best minimizer, but it requires practice. It’s all about washing every night. If you shower at night, you can wash your clothes then or put them in the sink. If you have to pack for cold weather, you need thin layers–not bulky clothing. The layers won’t add too much to your load. I have to bring my own toiletries b/c of allergies and I can pack a 12-13lb bag.Check out onebag.com for a comprehensive guide. It’s where I got my start.”
JP: “Don’t have kids ;)”
Dinielle: “Two sets of shoes was a must for me. My feet are sad when I don’t switch it up. Ballet shoes on plane, nice sandals in the bag. Layered clothes work! Leggings under maxi skirt make a warmer skirt or two warm weather bottoms. A tank top and 3/4 sleeve sweater does the same thing.”
Eric: “Before a trip lay everything out and then be very critical. For every item ask do I need this, if so is there a smaller/lighter version? Can I get something that will replace two or more items etc. After you come back, repeat the exercise adding, did I use it? Don’t buy a great bag then fill it, work out what you need to take, then buy the smallest bag you can get away with.”

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