Travel Light….Pack Smart

What in the world are you taking?

Stuff, stuff and more stuff!!  We all have so much stuff.  And it seems we think we need it all to travel.  Trust me….after many, many trips, I am taking LESS STUFF!  I don’t need it!

After realizing that I didn’t use even half of my stuff I packed for my first international trip I found the way to pack with Rick Steves’ guidance.  See explantion in “My Story” on this site.

After my first trip I never travel internationally with more than a carry on and a personal item (large purse).   I have survived well on 3 week trips.  My husband has travelled this way on a 6 week trip to the Philippines.  Most of the trips I find that I don’t use all that I take!  Proof I can travel even lighter!

What do you really need?

I am going to give you the basics.  Pack these essentials and then add what else you think you “need”.   Take inventory on your trip of what you actually use.  You will be surprised!  Next time, leave behind those items you could have done without.

If you are carrying a backpack, pack the essentials, then pack other items you “need”.  Go on an hour’s walk with the pack.  If not comfortable start taking out the extra items you feel you can do without.

Example list of items I am taking as essentials to Italy:

Wearing on plane: Light weight top, light weight sweater, skirt, scarf, comfortable dressy casual walking shoes, one set of undergarments, over the shoulder hand bag

In backpack:

3 light weight tops (quick drying)

4 light weight vest or sleeveless tops (to go over light weight tops)

1 light weight jumper-style dress (for dressier occasions)

2 skirts (basic colors that will mix and match with tops and vests)

1 sleep shirt that will be decent if fire drill called

1 set of undergarments (quick drying)

1 pair Croc sandals for house shoes and showers (flip flops work also, I like Croc support)

1 pr socks for hiking

1 3/4 length waterproof rain jacket with hood  (super light weight)

1 scarf (will buy at least 2 in Italy!)

2 headbands that double as neck warmers if need be

Toiletries: (travel size)

1 shampoo

1 conditioner

1 toothpaste, toothbrush and floss

1 sunscreen

2 non aeresol hair sprays

1 hair gel

1 razor with gel stick built in

1 underarm deodorant stick

1 lip balm with sunscreen

1 tweezers

1 finger nail clippers

Pharmaceutical and First Aid:

Prescription Drugs if currently taking any


Antibiotic for Severe Diarrhea – Azithromycin was prescribed by travel clinic


Muscle Relaxant

Anthihistamine (non drowsy)

Polysporin (small tube)


Blister Pads

Other required stuff

Toiletry bag  (quart size clear)

*IPhone/Charger (with lots of memory for pics)

Travel size Sewing Kit (with safety pins)

**Money Belt

Day pack/tote bag  (will pack a over the shoulder bag for day trips)

Clothes line and sink stopper

1 plastic skirt hanger  (I use the light weight ones that come with skirts I buy)

1 plastic shirt hanger   ( I use the light weight ones that come with tops I buy)

Passport and Nexus/Global Entry Pass

Extra set of reading glasses

Cash/ATM Card/2 Credit Cards

Adapter plug (European 2 prong)  Mine has two USB ports on it


Small travel umbrella

Small collapsable water bottle


*On my IPhone: Guide Book, Audio Tours, Phrase Book, Credit Card Theft Notification Phone #’s, e-mailed copy of passport and credit cards (front and back), travel insurance info, Alarm, Camera,Video, Flashlight app,  E-mail,  Social Media Apps, and much more!

**Money Belt.  See “Dollars and Cents” on this site for my preference on the type of money belt to use.