Pack light – save fuel and make things easy on yourself!
Packing light or travelling with only a cabin bag has many benefits, from easier travel to less climate emissions! With our clever tips, you can feel like a true packing pro.
When thinking of sustainable travel, packing might not be the first thing you think about. But it is worth giving some thought. In 2018 we calculated that if every passenger that year had travelled with one kilogram less, the savings on fuel would have covered twenty flights between Helsinki and Tokyo. When you pack five kilos less, the saving is five percent of your flight's carbon footprint.
Packing light doesn't only save fuel. It can save time and bother too. When you manage without larger luggage, you don't have to wait around the luggage belt in your destination (or when you come home exhausted and ready to get to bed). Lighter bags also mean that moving around the airport, or in public transport is much easier. Especially if you are changing between accommodations during your trip, a light bag is a blessing.
When you come to your destination, less time is spent unpacking and ironing. With better considered and fewer clothing options, finding a perfect outfit is less hassle too. So next time you travel, use our tips, and see if you can become an expert in packing light.
Planning is everything
When thinking of packing light, you need to plan with precision. No more throwing random things in the suitcase! Count the days you are going away for and the number of outfits you need. Consider if you would be happy to wear the same outfit several times.
Lay out your clothing options and think of packing like you are creating a capsule wardrobe. Everything should go with everything. If you are not sure, try the outfits on in different combinations. Make sure you only pack pieces that you love and are comfortable with. If you don't wear something at home, you won't want to wear it elsewhere either.
When you have chosen your outfits do another scan. Is there something you could still leave out? Do you really need two pairs of shorts? Can you do your morning run in your city sneakers?
Do the same thing with cosmetics. Think of the products you are sure to use daily. After you lay them out, see if there are products you can use in multiple ways. Lipstick as blusher? Day cream as night cream? Choose little tester sizes of products or transfer your products into smaller bottles.
Take only what you need
With a lot of things, you can save space and weight by taking only what you need. Want to take your daily vitamins? Great, but only take the 7 pills you need for the week in a little bag. No need to carry the bottle. The same thing goes for things like Q-tips, tissue paper, or even snacks; do you really need a pack of ten muesli bars – probably not.
Also consider what you are planning to do. If you are not sure you are going to the beach, maybe not take that towel and flip flops with you "just in case". In most places of the world, you can buy most things if you really need them.
If you are travelling with kids, teach them to pack smart too. Have them pick out the toys and gadgets they know for sure they are going to use. The rest of the stuffed animals will be fine waiting for them at home.
Packing with precision
Once you know what to pack, you need to figure out how to pack. The best space saving option is to roll the clothes - preferably in small stacks rather than one by one. To make the rolls tight you can use rubber bands or hair elastics.
Pack your bag by placing the heaviest items such as shoes at the bottom of the bag. If you are carrying a laptop, make sure it is on the side of the bag, so you can easily slip it out for the security check. Place your cosmetics at the very top for the same reason.
If your tiny bag is really bulging and things are hard to squeeze out, use your pockets or a smaller handbag for things you need all the time such as your phone charger or refillable water bottle.
Different tips for different trips?
The above-mentioned advice applies to all trips, from a six-month sabbatical to a short city getaway. If you are staying for a bit longer, here are some additional tips you could try out.
Get comfortable with washing your clothes on the go. You can bring sachets of hand washing powder or just make sure your accommodation has a washing machine. Using a launderette can also be an option.
Leave your shopping to your destination. If you feel like you are low on socks or T-shirts, consider getting them once you are in your destination. You will save carrying them one way as well as make some fun and useful finds perhaps.
If you are travelling with a friend, make an agreement on who takes what. One of you can pack the shampoo if the other one brings toothpaste. Maybe you can share some of your electronics or reading material too.