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How to pack light – 8 Minimalist travel packing tips, hacks & essentials

How to pack light

How to pack light? 

Eight minimalist travel packing tips, hacks & essentials.

We travelled from Edmonton, Alberta, Canada to Houston, Texas, U.S.A. for five days attending a wedding. 

No need to overpack and no need for check-ins. 

I will also provide helpful tips for packing for a wedding / special event throughout the blog. 

Spend, stress and pack less!

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1) Travel packing cubes (Availability in other countries)

    Travel packing cubes (North America)

2) Marie Kondo’s tidying up book OR Marie Kondo’s tidying up book (Manga version)

Tip 1: Bring carry-on, personal item and CATSA/TSA approved bag

What you really need are a carry-on luggage, personal item bag and your CATSA / TSA approved liquids bag for a short trip, which is what’s typically allowed for free on a flight (except for budget airlines). 

By having these items with you already you don’t have to stress paying checked bag fees or losing your bag if it were checked-in. 

Also ease of transport – I can put my personal item bag on top of my carry-on luggage.

Tip 2: Pack clothes that are multi-purpose

Bring clothes that are versatile and can be layered or paired multiple ways. 

Pack one of each for the weather – at least one long sleeve shirt, one short sleeve and one sleeveless and one dress. 

Reuse clothes at least twice. 

If you’re near a washer and dryer, feel free to wash your clothes.

Don’t forget about shopping for clothes too!

Wedding / Special event tip: Bring a dress that doesn’t crease when folded. My dress was made of fabric that was 92% polyester and 8% spandex.

Tip 3: Apply KonMari style of folding clothes

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If you prefer a more visually illustrative “Coles notes” version of Marie Kondo’s famous book, check out the manga fictional version of it! 

~ I enjoyed looking at the illustrations. ~

Marie Kondo best selling author of the book “The life-changing magic of tidying up” taught me how to pack clothes in a way that they stand on their own, are easily to see from a distance so I know what I have in one glance and to maximize space by using her folding method.

Wedding / Special event tip: Fold men’s suit jacket so it doesn’t crease as much. We saw this other method on YouTube (see video below), tested it out and it worked well. There were not too many major creases to the suit jacket. Don’t forget to bring a portable heavy-duty hanger to hang your formal outfit.

Tip 4: Use packing cubes

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Travel packing cubes 
(Availability in other countries)

You can fit all your clothes in a smaller space by putting them into packing cubes that allow clothes to be compressed, compartmentalized and organized.

Tip 5: Waterproof jacket

No need to bring a bulky umbrella or a poncho just bring a waterproof jacket with a hood and inside pockets if it’s rainy at your destination.

Tip 6: Comply with CATSA & TSA restrictions


If you’re bringing a carry-on only, you will be required to pack less liquid, gel, aerosol, cream or paste items based on restrictions dictated by CATSA in Canada or the TSA in the U.S.A.

This especially applies to toiletries such as toothpaste, hair conditioner, hair spray etc. 

For Canada, it’s a maximum 100 ml or less per item to all fit into a 1 L bag. 

In U.S.A., it’s a maximum of 3.4 ounces (100 ml) or less per item to all fit into a 3.4 ounces bag. 
Here are links to CATSA and TSA for updated information on these restrictions:

TSA liquids rule 

Use smaller refillable labelled bottles to bring what you want.

Various travel sized shampoo/conditioner bottles with quick dispenser head

Don’t forget if you’re going to a hotel you may not even need to pack some toiletries.

Ladies, don’t forget lip gloss is considered a liquid put this in your CATSA or TSA approved liquids bag. 

Don’t forget to bring a make-up bag.

For a short trip charge your electronic toothbrush prior to going on your trip, so you don’t no need to bring your charger.

Wedding / Special event tip: Use sample bottles of perfume / cologne OR solid perfume (my prized possession from my trip to France – see below).

Tip 7: Keep things electronically accessible

Try to have what you can on your cellphone such as music, e-books and your boarding pass. No need to bring the physical versions of these items as they take up space.

Tip 8: Use small purse / wallet

Bring only important items in a smaller wallet that is easy to access and has everything you need.

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