I am one of the first people to admit I am not the lightest packer. I am not the worst and I've gotten better over the past few years but how much I have depends on where I'm traveling from and to.
For instance, when I leave Alaska in the winter and head to the contiguous states, I usually have a huge extra suitcase because I have to store my winter boots, snow pants, winter grade coat, gloves, and scarf.
If I started from a large city, I could dump all of it in the car and leave it until I get back but because I fly from a small village where I have to stand outside waiting for the plane, I must have all that gear on or I could freeze. Sometimes I overnight at a hotel who will allow me to store the suitcase until I return. Otherwise, I have to take it with me and that is one of my allotted suitcases.
If its summer, it is much easier but I usually try to pack a sweater and jeans, just in case they are needed due to cooler weather. I add in both shoes and sandals just to be prepared for anything. My mother always taught me to pack it all just in case.
I'm sure there are others who cannot travel for multiple days with one small carry on. In honor of those of us who cannot, here are some tips to help us travel lighter.
1. The top suggestion is only take small carry on bags so you don't have to pay luggage fees.
2. Head only to warmer places where you don't need any bulky clothing.
3. Mix and match light weight clothing which can be layered.
4. Choose clothing that can be worn multiple times without washing every day.
5. Pack no more than 7 days worth of clothing and visit laundromats if you are gone for longer.
6. Use rubber bands to tie up your clothing to give more room in the suitcase.
7. Pack underwear in your packed shoes.
8. Buy your toiletries when you get there.
9. Bring only what you know you will use. Don't pack for "Just in Case".
10. If you have to take bulky items, wear them so they don't take up suitcase space.
11. Pack colors that are easily worn together.
12. Plan on wearing layers.
13. Pack the heavier items at the bottom near the rollers.
14. When in doubt do not pack it.
I hope you like these tips. I need them and on my next trip, I'm going to try to get everything down to a carry on. I'll let you know how it goes. I'd love to hear what you do to pack lightly.