Years ago, I went on a cheap trip to Europe. It was a last-minute deal, and I was ecstatic. Everything was included: flights, hotels, and most meals. I was on a tight budget, so the pre-paid itinerary made this an ideal adventure for me.
When it came time to pack, I did something I had never done before. I packed a single carry-on for several days of international travel.
For some of you habitual light-packers, this may seem like nothing. But for me, packing several days of clothes, for day to night, sleeping and lounging; toiletries; makeup; and other necessities into a single carry-on seemed like an utter inconvenience and impossibility.
So why did I do it? To save money.
That’s right. I realized then what I have believed to be the truth ever since then: packing light saves you money. And here’s why.
1. When you bring 1 small suitcase, there is no room for any purchases.
Seems simple, right? With a small suitcase packed to the brim, there is truly no room for any shopping, for souvenirs or otherwise.
Yet, we are so conditioned to shop on vacation, for ourselves or for loved ones back home, and that subconsciously “leave room” for our future purchases, giving no thought to how unnecessary it is. Trust me when I tell you: your loved ones care more about your financial stability than souvenirs from a faraway museum shop!
When you’re stuck only with the items you brought on vacation, you will be less inclined to shop for more…simply because you can’t bring anything home.
2. Packing light forces you to make decisions about how you will spend your days—and your money.
When you pack light, you are effectively creating an itinerary, whether you have one or not. This is because you are planning ahead for X amount of dinners or Y amount of nights on the town.
By planning ahead with your wardrobe in a compact manner, you are forcing your future self to make smart financial decisions—and stick to them.
Thus, if you bring one nice dress for one nice dinner, guess how many nice dinners you will spend money on? One, and no more.
3. With 1 carry-on, you will pay zero baggage fees.
Last, but certainly not least: when you only carry on, you will (most likely, depending on the air carrier) pay nothing in baggage fees. This is a huge deal, especially now that most airlines will wring you dry to check even one bag.
Are the extra outfits really worth an extra $25, $50, or $100 in baggage fees, roundtrip? Definitely not, especially when that extra money can be better spent on experiences you will remember forever…or simply socked away for a rainy day.
Hopefully, by considering the 3 reasons above, you will consider packing light on your next journey, and saving some money in the process!