Travelling is undoubtedly one of life’s great joys. Unfortunately, the benefits of travel can often be overshadowed by the human propensity to pack for every contingency.

The “just in case I might need it” attitude has definitely been the undoing of many a stressed, irritated and irrational traveller.

At airports, I often see singles, couples and families alike lugging massive suitcases around airports.  Many times at check-in counters, I have had the same discussion with the staff – what holiday could possibly require items weighing up to 32kgs?

As a frequent traveller, there are many tips I have learnt from fellow travellers and my own mistakes that may help lighten the load of your next adventure.

Step One: Write a realistic list.
Regardless of the purpose of the journey or the destination, a key means to travelling light is making a list before packing. Every destination differs marginally and this list will ensure that you have everything you need and nothing you don’t.

Step Two: Be smart about choosing clothes.
When creating your list consider clothing that layers for warmth, is multipurpose, lightweight and tonal in colour. Remember you can wear the same items of clothing repeatedly. No one knows you or cares what you are wearing. I personally only pack black and white clothing. I always accessorise with jewellery or scarves. Ensure that underwear and socks are light and easy to wash.

Lay all your travelling items out on the bed and ensure that you can mix and match for multitudes of purposes. Warm clothing is essential for the plane trip and as the heaviest items, this will free up space in your suitcase.

Now put a couple of things back into the cupboard!

Step Three: Cut down your liquids.
Purchase a travel kit to decant liquids into 100ml bottles. You will need to obtain small toiletry items for on the plane such as toothpaste and deodorant. And, remember, at worst, you can always buy it at your destination. A small bag of washing detergent has always been one of my best travelling companions.

Top Tip
My single greatest purchase to date is undoubtedly ‘the world’s lightest suitcase’. Empty, this carry-on bag weighs only 1.2kgs. It is soft and adheres to the carry-on policy of all airlines.

By packing this single bag, I have avoided a myriad of travel dilemmas. It saves time and the annoyance of queuing and waiting for bags, it ensures I can pack up in a matter of moments and avoids backaches. It even saves money as many budget Australian airlines hit you with additional fees for checking bags.

By Linda OBrien