One of the things I pride myself on is traveling lightly. I usually can fly anywhere for up to two months with only a carry on (and a husband to lift things). Not only is it easier to transport luggage from place to place but it avoids lost bags and my thrifty side is happy not to pay to check a bag. I have to break some of my frugal rules and buy some small specialized items of clothing or toiletries, but it’s worth it to me.

Top 10 travel tips that I’ve cultivated over the years:

  1. Cultivate “easy hair”, i.e. very short or very long
  2. Pack for 1 week, i.e. 8 underpants/socks and several versatile outfits. (Plan to wash clothes once a week)
  3. Ideally take everything in one carry on and a backpack/large purse.
  4. Wear your heaviest/bulkiest items, i.e. shoes and coat
  5. Ideally plan your trip for warm weather so you don’t need heavy clothes.
  6. Use scarves instead of heavy jewelry. They’re light and can make one basic outfit look like 4.
  7. Avoid umbrellas and simply take a fold up rain hat and rainproof jacket or coat.
  8. Color synchronize your wardrobe so most everything goes with each other.
  9. Try to limit shoes to 2 pair: one for heavy duty walking (These are the ones to wear on the plane.) and another that are still comfortable but dressier, i.e. sandals.
  10. Duct tape (for fixing anything)

    7″ purse

Wallet or tiny purse necessities:

  • Identification: drivers license (passport, and/or visa for foreign travel)
    (copy of passport packed separately plus one left home with a relative)
  • Tickets/Currency: some cash plus basic credit card
  • Information: A phone doubles as an address book, calendar, camera, map.
  • Health: vaccinations, Rx info, + Covid mask, menstrual supplies if needed
  • Backup info: itinerary to relatives, family photos, business cards
  • Miscellaneous: Pen & tiny notebook, comb, hair bands, rubber bands, safety pins, tweezers

Backpack or fanny pack toiletries:

  • Hand sanitizer
  • Sunglasses, sun screen, folding hat for sun or rain,
  • Scarf
  • Toilet paper if camping or in a 3rd world country

Suitcase toiletries & miscellaneous:
(Couples/Families: Unless you will be staying in separate places, combine toiletries)

  • Medications (+ aspirin, anti-diarrhea, sore throat lozenges, cough drops, vitamins…)
  • Health: Deodorant, a few Band-Aids, moleskin
  • Personal care items (shampoo, soap, wash cloth, razor, cosmetics, menstrual items)
  • Toothpaste, toothbrush, dental floss
  • Hair products (brush & accessories)
  • Laundry bag & washing product (example; Woolite)
  • Sewing kit basics
  • Mini-mirror
  • Phone charger
  • Host gifts