Jul 03, 2017
Posted by: Daniel Walker

How to pack smarter: 6 tips for packing more efficiently for your next overseas trip

Travelling overseas means packing just a small portion of what you own. Choosing what to take is difficult, but to travel more efficiently you need to travel as lightly as possible. On my first overseas trip in 2014, to New Zealand, I packed way too much. I didn’t end up wearing, or even touching most of the stuff I took with me. Since then, I pack as lightly as I possibly can. Here are my packing tips. How to pack smarter: 6 tips for packing more efficiently for your next trip.

How to pack smarter

Smaller bags

Start with a smaller bag. The smaller the bag, the less you can physically pack and the more ruthless you will be when it comes to leaving things behind.


Do you really need every toiletry item? Some things you can make smaller or just leave out altogether. Use smaller bottles of shampoo and conditioner if you intend on taking them. If you are staying in hotels, toiletries are usually provided, combs, toothbrushes, toothpaste, disposable razors and soap. If you aren’t staying in hotels you can buy all these things at a local supermarket, they may even be cheaper where you are going.

Roll your clothes

When packing clothes, don’t fold them, roll them instead. This will greatly increase the amount of space in your bag. Your clothes may get a few more wrinkles, but it won’t hurt you.

Related Post: 10 items you should always have in your carry on luggage

Plan your outfits

Plan your outfits beforehand. The easiest way is to only take neutral colours. Whites, greys and blacks are the best because it is easier to mix and match. Taking less clothing is very important, this is usually what takes up the most room in a suitcase. To reduce weight, wear the same clothes more than once. Try to avoid taking more than one bigger item like large coats and jackets. Instead, layer your clothing for colder climates. Layering lots of thinner items will greatly lighten your load. For example, wear thermals under a long sleeve shirt and a jumper.


Shoes take up a fair chunk of space in your bag, limiting the number of shoes you take will greatly reduce the weight of your bag. When deciding what shoes to pack, think of what you will actually use. For most trips, you won’t need more than 2 pairs of shoes and one pair of sandals or thongs/flip flops. Pack shoes first and put them in the corners of your suitcase, then stuff them with smaller items like socks and underwear.

Half it

Lay out all the clothes you think you will need, then half it. You never need as much as you originally thought. Re-wear the same clothes more than once, or mix and match them, plus, you will probably buy clothes overseas, I have purchased new clothes on every overseas trip I have ever taken. Another option is to wash your dirty clothing along the way.

Thanks for reading our post, how to pack smarter: 6 tips for packing more efficiently for your next trip. What are your favourite tips for packing smarter and more efficiently?


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Daniel Walker - Author

Daniel Walker is an Australian landscape photographer, blogger, outdoor enthusiast and travel addict originally from western Sydney, now residing in Melbourne, Victoria.

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