This week, Air Canada and West Jet have bumped their first-checked bag fee from $25 to $30 and second-checked bag fee from $30 to $50. Don’t we all want to avoid paying this added cost, as well as skip the overweight fees, frustration of dragging heavy suitcases, and worrying that airlines will lose your luggage? If so, you might want to try your hand at minimalist packing.

The first step to becoming a minimalist packer is to lay out everything you’re thinking of bringing on your trip, and then consider whether you really need each item. Are you bringing it just in case, can you live without it for a few days or will the hotel provide it? If the answer is yes, take it out.

Once you have all of your outfits planned, figure out what is the heaviest or bulkiest and wear these on the plane. Ideally layer up so that you not only save space, but can adjust to the ever-changing temperatures of air travel too.

I realize it can be harder to pack light on a long vacation, so consider doing laundry. Hotels often have a laundry service or you can find a local laundromat on your way to brunch. Alternatively, you can buy some detergent in destination and wash by hand in your washroom.

But I get it, not everybody wants to be doing laundry on vacation. In that case pack clothing that can be worn more than once- ideally in different ways. When packing, try to plan your outfits so that every piece goes in at least 2 outfits.

Accessories can really help with this too. You can rotate a neutral base for your entire trip and just switch up smaller items like jewellery, scarves, sunglasses or light jackets. I promise that no one will even notice!

And finally, the most simple but useful tip, just put out a carry-sized suitcase so you’re forced to only pack what will fit. I find that when we have the extra space of a full-sized suitcase, we’ll just keep filling it up. But when your space in constrained, you’ll find a way to make it work.

Packing light can save you so many headaches, so I would definitely recommend at least trying it out once.

What Do You Think?

Reasons to turn on your OOO

Claire's latest travel tips & deals, arriving directly into your inbox.

We respect your privacy.