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Arthur Prelle Don't OverpackIt’s easy when you’re headed abroad for a trip to want to bring along everything but the kitchen sink. Especially for international travel, you may be tempted to bring along everything you can fit in your checked bag “just in case.” The fact of the matter is you don’t need to go crazy. Bring just the essentials and follow these tips to avoid bringing too much. 

Plan Your Outfits: If you have no idea what you’re going to wear, you’ll be tempted to bring your entire wardrobe and all the accessories and shoes thereof. Take a few hours and think about the outfits you’ll really need. You likely don’t need 4 ballgowns, but depending on your itinerary, you may need one. Take your time, make a plan, and pack accordingly.

Bring more Tops than Pants: Even if you don’t have every single day laid out, you can ensure that you at least have a fresh look every day. A fresh shirt or blouse will make your outfit look new, even if you’ve worn the same pants for three straight days. Make sure you have plenty of shirts so that you can stretch just 3 pairs of pants (jeans, khakis, and maybe leggings) for the extent of your trip.

Make sure all your clothes go together: Your wardrobe will feel infinitely bigger if you can mix and match every single item you brought into a fresh outfit. To that end, bring clothes that are all generally plain and go together. Don’t bring a shirt that only really looks good with one pair of pants since you’ll only be able to milk one outfit out of it. Instead, opt for lots of simple items so you can play with the combinations.

Go Light on Electronics: Not only are devices and electronics heavy, but you likely won’t need to be spending a lot of time on them. You’ll be too busy exploring the new territories and cherishing your time with the people you’re traveling with. As far as DVD players, bulky computers, and other cumbersome items, leave them home and load up your phone or tablet with the necessities instead.

Tiny Toiletries. Instead of bringing along big heavy bottles of shampoo and lotion, opt for travel sizes or get creative in the packing. One tutorial demonstrates how to use smoothie straws and a lighter to pack soaps and the like. Not only will you save yourself space and weight, but you can leave them behind when you leave to make more room in your suitcase for souvenirs etc.

Check the Weather & Climate: Don’t bother bringing an insulated coat or rain boots if you don’t have to. As your trip gets closer, check on the likelihood of rain or other meteorological happenings you may have to plan around, and where you don’t have to bring extra items, forego them.