Lighter Luggage 2: Reducing your load:

Today, I want to challenge you to reduce your luggage load by 25 kilograms (55lbs). This follows on from my last blog post where I encourage people to switch to carry-on only.

  1. Take less Clothes because in reality, you don’t need everything you want to take. My rule is to pack and then reduce by half the number of clothes you have packed. The reality is most people overpack.
  2. Choose clothes that will all combine. eg for men, make sure your ties and shirts will all work together. Taking 3 shirts and 3 ties creates 12 combinations. Most conferences and business meetings I have don’t go for more than 2 days. No one will see me wearing the same shirt again and if they do, with a different tie, it can look like a different shirt!
  3. Plan to wash. I aim for a weekly wash. I either wash in a hotel/motel with laundry facilites or find a laundrette or plan to stay with family or friends at certain times. Thank you to friends and family across that form part of the Aussie laundrette service…am thinking of Nikki in England, Geoff, Mike & Steve, John & Alison in the USA, Mum when she was in NZ. I owe you guys. I therefore pack a week of clothes. NB missing a wash can mean a tricky situation! I avoid getting my hotel to wash clothes for me-thats way too pricey.
  4. Take quick drying underwear, socks and t shirts. I find them at camping stores. They are great because you can hand wash them in a sink, leave them to dry and most times they dry overnight. They are not cheap or very fashionable but 2 pairs means a lot less conventional underwear is needed.
  5. Buy clothes as you travel. When I travel to the USA or an asian country, I reduce my clothes dramatically and buy stuff there. I also visit charity stores as part of my journey. If you can buy a t shirt for $2 and a business shirt for $5 to $7, you can buy stuff and leave it for another charity shop
  6. Take fewer shoes. One walking, one dress up and one sports is enough. Synchronise your shoes to match your clothes. I have now managed to combine my walking and my dress up shoes by buying eccos
  7. Wear bulky stuff on the plane- I have boarded Melbourne airport in full summer wearing a jumper (sweater/jersey) and a winter coat heading to Minnesota which is in full winter. My gloves and scarves were in the coat pockets
  8. Reduce your electrical items-I use my phone as my alarm clock, camera, and watch. Ditch the electric toothbrush and razor. Reduce power cords. I have one multiple electrical adapter that works in every country. DVDS can play on a computer
  9. Buy less souvenirs/smaller gifts When buying souvenirs, think: do i really need this? I now let me luggage dictate what I buy. Too heavy? Then I forget it or get it sent
  10. Ship stuff  home -with the dropping of seamail, this has become expensive but can be useful
  11. Buy books second hand at discount bookstores.  I read them on the flight/train and then at the other end I donate the book or sell it at another bookstore or leave it for someone to find (  I have made a profit a couple of times buying a book in one country second hand and selling it at the other! Buying books as you go reduces your weight. Too many people take 4 or 5 books  of which they end of reading one. I take one book – sometimes two. I choose books that are lightweight. I have stood in shops weighing them
  12. Take small toiletries with you. All of my toiletries fit into the regulation carry on size ( -and if you are staying in a hotel, remember they will usually be giving you shampoo and conditioner but some will also supply moisturiser, toothpaste, shavers, shaving cream, mouthwash. If you are going away for two weeks, you do not need a 1 litre mouthwash. Newsflash: -most places in the world sell toiletries
  13.  if you are buying duty free,  see if you can buy it on your trip home so you dont have to carry it for you. Best method is to have it waiting at your home airport for you.
Next Post,  I will reveal where to get info re airline baggage rules. Comments?


  1. OK, here goes:Reducing your luggage BY 25kg may or may not be a challenge, depending on how much you pack. Here's the REAL challenge: travel around the world with LESS THAN 7KG TOTAL. Yes, that's a seven; no, there should NOT be another digit in front of it. And, yes, I verify it by taking it to the local pharmacy and having it weighed at 6.9kg. :-DI have travelled around the world (literally!) with less than 7kg. As far as I'm concerned, there are two kinds of luggage: carry on, and lost. At the end of a 14 hour flight, the very *last* thing I want to do is stand around a luggage carousel hoping that my bag actually made the trip with me. Instead, I'm straight out the front gate, ready to catch the cab/train/bus to the city.It's just a matter of discipline, really. And stuffing the pockets of your trenchcoat…

  2. Hi Steve I am with you. See my post from a couple of days ago about only taking carry on. So, I am in full agreement with you–except I allow myself up to 8kg because I have yet to see an airline with the 7kg rule panic. On one occasion, they asked me to take something out and wear it!Out of 80 flights this year, I have checked in twice.

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