Heather Rome has worked with large international companies such as DAI (Development Alternatives Inc.) and during her time as a global businesswoman, she has worked in, traveled to or lived in dozens of countries. International businesspeople like Rome often value the ability to pack light so that their trips are easier to manage with less room for lost baggage.
Whether you’re embarking on your first trip out of the country for a vacation or, like Heather Rome, you work with organizations as global as DAI and others that make world travel a must, learning to pack light can make your international travels more enjoyable. The tips below can help you have better experiences with less baggage:
Pick the Bag(s) First – After examining your airline’s baggage policies, you can decide how many bags you want to bring. By choosing your bags before you pack, you place a limit on yourself that cannot be exceeded.
Pack Densely – Arrange your clothes and items to be tightly packed so that they take up less room. Rolled clothes, for example, are smaller than folded clothes, and they can be rolled with items like toothbrushes in the center. If you think in terms of density, it’ll be easier to stop yourself from crumpling something into the corner of your bag at the last minute.
Follow the Rule of Threes – The rule of three refers to bringing three of each item you need; three dress shirts or three pairs of socks, for example. If you pack three of each item you need, you can wear one, have one ready to wear, and one in the wash/dry cleaner at all times. The more versatile the clothing pieces, the better the rule’s functionality.
Avoid the “What If” Game – If you play the “what if” game while you pack, you’re liable to bring half of your belongings to prepare for the off chances that you may need them. Doing this will thwart your efforts to pack light. Assume that anything other than ordinary needs can be handled at your destination.
Value Items by Their Functions – The more functions an item offers you, the higher priority you should place it on your packing list. For example, a neutral-colored t-shirt can go under a business suit and a business-casual outfit or a basic top to wear out for a night on the town. Likewise, a sarong can serve as a blanket for the beach, a swimsuit cover-up, a towel, a privacy barrier and even a quick bag, if needed.
The above guidelines aren’t the only secrets that pros like Heather Rome DAI use when they travel for companies such as DAI, but they’re a good place to start. If you travel frequently, you will likely develop personal strategies for keeping your baggage to a minimum.