It’s about time to take off for an adventure on the road.  You may have that ‘come as it may’ attitude but the unknown is likely to have a few twists and turns in store.  To curb anxiety and keep things light (so you’re not sweating the small stuff), learn how to pack right and light.

Bring Accessories Not Extra Clothes

Why bring a ton of clothes on a short excursion?  Normally, we can wear whatever we want; all it takes is a trip to our home closet.  Yet, we don’t have the luxury of visiting our closets while on the road.  Sure, people do their best to bring a closet-worth of clothes with them, but that warrants added baggage and hassle.  Rather than extra clothes, choose a few neutral-colored, semi-formal clothes and bring accessories.  You can continuously modify your appearance without having to wear an entirely different outfit.

Choose an Audio Book

When driving in your regular automobile, you may have satellite radio, a family of CDs, or listen to a number of Internet-based radio options like Spotify or Pandora.  You’ll probably have your phone with you, but listening to the radio via apps drains the battery. You could bring your charger, but it’s an extra need that you’ll have to pack (and could lose during the trip).  Rather, listen to an audio book; it will help time pass and you won’t have to worry about bringing extras.  Plus, less fidgeting with devices keeps your eyes on the road.  If you do have a collision with another car, be sure to seek the counsel of an experienced law team.

Roll Rather than Fold

Traditionally, we fold clothes before stuffing them in our drawers and atop our closets.  Space is not a big concern at home.  But on the road, you’ll need every inch you can get.  It’s space efficient to roll clothes rather than fold them into the suitcase.  However, rolling does make items more prone to wrinkles.  Place the bulkiest of items at the corner of the bag – roll and insert your informal wear in the middle – and, fold and place your formal wear on top.

Opt for Trial Size

Toiletries are a necessity but you need a small amount of shaving cream, moisturizer, toothpaste, etc while on the trip.  Invest in trial size toiletries.  You won’t get hassled while going through the airport, and you can keep the bottles and refill them before your next trip.  Plus, do away with a toiletry bag; they are bulky and take up too much room.  Place your toiletries in side pockets of your suitcase or on top of your clothes.

Read Forums

Some of the best ideas come from experience.  Read forums filled with questions, answers, and suggestions from other travelers.  Get practical pointers about packing, ‘needed’ items, how to save on car rental charges, and more.  If you’re proactive, you’ll sign up and ask pointed questions a few weeks before you leave, giving members time to get back to you with thoughtful replies.

Janette Pena is a frequent traveler, both for business and pleasure, and has become an expert at packing light, and getting the best deals around. She shares her tips and tricks in her articles which she usually writes on long plane journeys to while away the time.