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The scenario: you’ve booked your trip. You’re already picturing yourself there. Exploring a new environment, trekking the new land, trying new foods. But then reality hits and you’ve got to get packing.

The possibilities are virtually endless.

7 continents on earth.
7 wonders of the world.
7kgs of carry-on luggage… gulp.

Where do you start?

Here’s where Below7 weighs in.

We’ve compiled a list of 7 tips from the one-bagging community to keep you treading lightly:

1. Start with a good foundation

Don’t make the mistake of starting with a heavy bag, it’ll be over before you even begin! Invest in a light, good quality carry-on bag.

2. Plot a capsule wardrobe

Pack smart and do your research on the place you’re going and dress in the style the locals wear. Choose clothing items that can go from day to night, and are interchangeable so you can create new combinations every day. Work with neutral colours like black, grey, navy and khaki. If you want to make sure the clothes match the other items, try things on before you pack and make sure they go with at least half of the wardrobe.

3. Select your shoes carefully

Shoes are the heaviest things you’ll pack, and take up heaps of space too. Choose a pair of shoes that can be worn for different occasions; like nice dinners and walking around town. If you’re planning on hiking, find a pair that are waterproof yet stylish. For casual activities, pack a lightweight pair of sandals. Wear the heaviest on the plane and pack the others.

4. Minimise your toiletries

Don’t think that the 100ml liquid restriction means you should take 100ml of everything, it’s going to add up. Decant your toiletries into smaller containers, or simply buy these at your destination if it’s possible. A good tip is to ask the store for small samples, which are the perfect travel size. Using soap and shampoo bars also take up less space and is kinder to the environment as you’re cutting down on plastic packaging. Don’t stress if you forget an item if you can’t carry an item in your carry-on, or you can’t find a travel size. You can often purchase the product when you arrive in-country.

5. Ask yourself “Is this multi-use?”

Items should have more than one use on your trip. For example, a tinted moisturiser that also acts as SPF sunscreen, a sarong that can be used as a cover up, towel or sheet, a nice toiletries bag that can be used as a clutch, shoes that suit casual and dressier situations. Be resourceful and get creative with your items.

6. Get smart with your electronics

Charge all your electronics via USB if possible. Replace cameras, books and maps with your phone. If you want to read, you can even download the Kindle App on your phone for free. Keeping electronic copies of all your documents on your phone also reduces the stress of carrying and losing bits of paper, and keeps all your files stored neatly in one place.

7. Use a small handbag or backpack

As well as your 7kg carry-on, you’re also allowed a small personal item. Make use of this and pack some of your heaviest items in there, as it’s not often weighed. You can also pack the things you need easy access to in this smaller bag.

Packing light and packing under 7kgs are two different things. You need to be ruthless and realistic about what you actually need. There’s no “just in case” packing. Be realistic and say no to things you won’t need. “Maybe I’ll take those jeans, just in case.” Just in case of what? J

Remember the most important thing. Travelling light should be about feeling freedom. To explore, observe and engage with a fresh environment. By filtering out what’s not important, you can learn to live in the moment instead.

Don’t stress too much about what’s going in your carry-on. Focus on what you’re going to get out of the amazing experience.