Tips for traveling light

Q. I’m going to be traveling quite a bit over the next few weeks, mostly for long weekends. I’m really hoping to avoid the hassle of checking a bag, do you have any tips for fitting everything into a carry on?

A. You’re smart for wanting to avoid baggage claim and breeze through the airports as quickly as possible. Here are some packing tips to keep in mind to help you travel light:


1. Invest in a lightweight carry on bag. The ones with wheels may not be the cutest around, but they definitely win for ease of travel. Be sure to choose an airplane regulated size that fits in overhead compartments.

2. Bring a tote bag. Since you are allowed two carry ons, your second should be a stylish tote bag that doubles as a handbag during your trip. Pack only small clutches for the evening, recommends Mary Alice Stephenson, fashion expert and style ambassador.

3. Wear your heaviest items. A chunky versatile sweater, your favorite jeans, boots, and your coat take up too much room in the suitcase, so wear them on the plane instead.

4. Focus on tops and dresses. You can get away with just one or two pairs of pants during your trip, instead, pack a few interesting tops or dresses that take up little room in your suitcase.

5. Limit the extras. Stephenson suggests choosing a few pieces of neutral jewelry, like one chunky necklace or chandelier earrings, that can dress up all of your outfits.

6. Shrink your beauty routine. A versatile makeup palette and travel size bottles of your essential products should be all you need.

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