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It’s summertime, and travel is easy. There is no need for heavy coats, waterproof shoes, hats, or gloves. So I’m issuing a challenge to my LLT readers. It’s time to take your packing to the next level by sizing down.

  • If you take a full sized carry on and personal item, travel with one bag only
  • If you take a full sized carry on, travel with an international sized bag and personal item
  • If you take an international bag and personal item, travel with an international bag only
  • If you have an international size bag, travel with just a personal item

Over the next few weeks I’ll be posting strategies for reducing the bulk and weight of your carry on. I know that it took me several years of downsizing to get to personal item travel. I’ll admit that I’m not a super light packer like Brooke from Her Packing List. I could never travel with a 12 L bag because my travel style is quite different from hers:

  • I have to bring my own toiletries because I have nasty allergies
  • I always go hiking at my destinations, so always carry a day pack, protective outer wear, and good walking shoes
  • I have to take a full coverage swim suit (previous melanoma)
  • I am a curvy older woman, so never use leggings as pants. I don’t wear tank tops without a covering either. Just….no.

In spite of these limitations I can still get my gear into a 16 L backpack. I think that you’ll be able to downsize too. I hope to give my readers some shortcuts by showing the techniques I used to travel with a 16 L backpack.

In closing, I’ll bring up the Song of Solomon which states that the “little foxes spoil the vineyard” (Song of Solomon 2:15). It’s true! All the seemingly innocuous little things can slowly and quietly eat away at our later success. The concept is also true for packing. An ounce here, a cute dress there, and all of a sudden we have a big heavy suitcase. I’ll be showing you how to stamp out the little things that keep you from packing light.

Will you join me on this journey?