Packing light is more challenging for women than men. Men have basic needs while women have intricate factors to consider when travelling. But if you are a serious travel bug you should follow this no-nonsense guide to packing light for women and you’ll be on your way to a “pack-less-travel-more” adventure.
Choose one fashion style and stick to it
We women dress to impress and dress according to our mood. Sometimes, we’d feel like wearing a laid back sporty look while at times we prefer donning a feminine “kawaii” outfit. With backpacking, you need to stick to one style and to color coordinate. Make sure to match your shoes with ALL the clothes you will bring and that all clothes match color-wise. Choose dark and plain clothes like black, grey, burgundy and navy blue. They all look good together and camouflage dirt. White is definitely versatile and is also fine if you will be mostly indoors, i.e. visiting a museum and so will not likely dirty your top. As an example, this Nike cool breeze dri-fit top is perfect because it is sweat-wicking, wash-and-wear and weighs next to nothing.
2 pair rule
Bring only two pairs of shoes. Bring two and not a single pair because your feet need to rest from the other shoe. Ideally, one should be closed toe in case you need to visit sacred places like shrines where flipflops are not allowed. Both shoes should have arch support to avoid ankle injury during long walks. A great pair is this Fitflops Flora White – they are comfortable and can withstand long walks without causing blisters or muscle pains. Another great pair of shoes is the Columbia Newton Ridge in Crown Jewel, it is an all-around travel boots which provides support, stability and best of all waterproof.
Learn how to choose the perfect pair of travel shoes here.
Clothes that are multi-use allow for versatility. Women get bored with the same outfit more quickly than do men and so wearing the same set of clothes over and over for several weeks is going to be tiresome. A multi-way dress or top, however, allows for experimentation and can help get rid of fashion fatigue.
Jeans are fashionable but are bulky and heavy – the two most offensive words in the backpacking vocabulary! They are also difficult to wash and comes out wrinkled after washing. Instead of jeans, wear tights, leggings (Uniqlo leggings are a must-have on the list), shorts or skirt. Whichever you choose, make sure they go with your tops and shoes.
Makeup should also be versatile and multi-use. Instead of bringing lipstick and blush on, consider a cheek and lip tint combo (go here to help you decide) while a small contour set can double as natural eye shadow. And foundation MUST have SPF to make it in your backpack. Ditch the full on makeup bag and stick to the basics.
Unlike men, women need to pack bras as well as panties and we all know how delicate they are to pack! Pack them wrong and your expensive bras will end up deformed!
But with backpacking, it is best to bring soft unwired bras (Uniqlo makes it to the list again with Uniqlo Beauty Light !) that can be rolled together tightly. Make sure to put it on top of the bag to avoid it being squished down by heavier items.
Another great tip is to bring one pair of self-adhesive silicone bras. They are washable and quick to dry so you can wear them the next day. Wear them alternately with your regular bras to allow your skin to breathe and rest since silicone bras block your pores and trap moisture.
Ideally, you should pack 1 silicone bra and 3 normal bras and wear them alternately. That gives you enough to wear for one whole week. If you’re travelling longer, be prepared to do laundry which brings us to the next tip.
Regardless whether you’re travelling 7 days or 7 weeks, you should bring no more than what you need to wear for 7 days because the seventh day should be wash day.
Get a haircut
Having short hair has several advantages when it comes to backpack travelling. With short hair, you’ll need less hair products and accessories. Forget the curling mousse or styling wax. And don’t even think of bringing your hair dryer or curling iron which are bulky and heavy and you know how we hate those two words! With short hair, your favorite shampoo and a thin comb is all you’ll need to bring.
Also, having short hair means less time prepping in the morning so you can quickly hop out your room and see more sights!
Packing cubes are great for organizing but ziplock bags are a great alternative because not only are they cheaper, ziplock bags are sturdy and allows for airtight compression to save precious backpack space. Ziplock bags also come in small, medium and large sizes so you can use whichever fits. Use a small piece to hold your passport and another small size to organize chargers and tech stuff. Medium size is good for undies and socks while the large ones can be used for tops. If the item is too large for a bag, simply roll and tie with an elastic band to hold it together.
Have other pack-light travel tips? Share it below!