How to travel light, pack smart and stay stylish

Lifting your luggage can be part of your cardio workout, but if you want to breeze through the airport in style here are our tips on how to travel light.


How to travel light, pack smart and stay stylish - one medium suitcase

The thought of travel is romantic and exciting, but there’s nothing romantic about building up a sweat hauling your bulging bags around the world.

We’ve put together some of our favourite methods we use to travel light and take the ‘lug’ out of luggage!

How to travel light, pack smart and stay stylish

How to travel light, pack smart and stay stylish - Lake Iseo, Italy

Get to the airport early

This is just my personal mantra, but getting to the airport really does reduce the stress of travelling.

Our home airport, Sydney Airport, offers so many different places to eat and drink, it’s worth arriving early for so you can settle in and relax for your trip.

You also don’t need to worry if you forgotten anything because you’ll be able to pick it up at any of the 70+ shops there.

And with the international terminal dedicating more than 9,000m² to tax-free shopping, there are over 28,000 products across 800 local and international brands to choose from.

How to travel light, pack smart and stay stylish - Sydney Airport #wortharrivingearlyfor

Check your bag

Some people might preach about how good it is to travel with carry-on only, but nobody wants to lug a heavy bag around the airport.

We prefer to carry on a small backpack and check in the majority of our luggage so that we can walk hands free through the airport. This also makes it easier for browsing and shopping.

It makes getting through security much quicker too – especially if you can put your liquids in your checked luggage.

How to travel light, pack smart and stay stylish - shop smart Sydney Airport #wortharrivingearlyfor

Shop before you fly

Did you know you can do all your duty-free shopping online before you even get to the airport? We love to order our favourites to pick up on our return trip home.

This tip definitely makes our baggage lighter and we don’t need to worry about any liquid content in our luggage as well.

You can shop Heinemann Tax and Duty Free online here to collect and take on your trip as you pass customs, or they’ll have it ready for when you get home. Perfect for gifts and duty free specials.

How to travel light, pack smart and stay stylish - first, Champagne

Pick a colour scheme

To minimise our luggage, we pack our clothes to a colour scheme.

Jim’s is mainly navy (of course) and mine is a mix of black, grey and denim. It’s not the most exciting colour combination, but it allows me to mix and match everything in my bag. I can always add colour with accessories and scarves.

The bonus is this leaves a lot of space to buy souvenirs while we travel.

How to travel light, pack smart and stay stylish - Sydney Harbour Bridge to Sydney Airport #wortharrivingearlyfor

Mix and match

Although as a couple we take our separate bags, we always pop an outfit in each other’s bag – just in case luggage goes missing on the trip.

It means there’s no stress at the final destination no matter what happens along the way. If you have space, it’s good to have a couple of extras in your hand luggage too.

How to travel light, pack smart and stay stylish - sunnies at Sydney Airport #wortharrivingearlyfor

Check the weather

Before your trip, check the weather of your destination. You can see a two-week forecast and can pack accordingly and minimise any unnecessary extras you probably won’t wear anyway.

How to travel light, pack smart and stay stylish - Lake Como

Choose your luggage wisely

Switch out those old bulky cases for new, super-light cases.

Jim’s a fan of a two-wheeler but personally I love a four-wheel hard case. It’s so easy to move through the airport and wherever we’re going.

How to travel light, pack smart and stay stylish - Sydney Airport #wortharrivingearlyfor

Use packing cells

I wasn’t sure about these at first, but they really do help to organise your suitcase and streamline your packing.

They make it a breeze to see what you’ve packed, and you can keep everything in order while you’re on the road. These are not the space bags you vacuum by the way. These are zip-up mesh bags that separate your clothes.

However, you can get travel versions of the vacuum space bags that your roll up to squash the air out of rather than using a Hoover. They’re perfect if you’re packing big coats or jumpers that take up space but aren’t too heavy.

How to travel light, pack smart and stay stylish - Sydney Airport #wortharrivingearlyfor

Anchor your case

Place the heaviest items at the bottom of your suitcase.

This might seem obvious but it really does make a difference when manoeuvring your luggage as you travel.

Whether you like two wheels or four wheels, making sure that the majority of the weight is at the bottom makes your bag feel lighter. It also stops the lighter and often more delicate items getting squished.

Weird things to pack to make your trip more comfortable

How to travel light, pack smart and stay stylish - weird things we always pack

Although this post is about packing light, here are some unusual items that you will always find in our bag.

A power pack

There are never enough powerpoints in hotel rooms, or they’re in weird spots. We travel with a power pack with a couple of USB points. This means you can leave some heavy adaptors behind as well.

An ice cube tray

Not always the first thing you think of, but when we’re staying in an apartment somewhere hot, there’s never an ice cube tray.

An ice cube tray is light to carry in our bag, and means we can enjoy some refreshing cold drinks on our balcony whenever we want.

Eye masks

If you’re someone who loves a dark bedroom, always pack an eye mask.

It can also help while you’re travelling to make sure you rest well and arrive feeling great.

It’s especially good for when you’re on the flight. It’s often surprisingly bright on the plane, even on overnight flights. And there’s always someone who doesn’t know how to turn their reading light off.

Throat spray

We swear by ArmaForce tablets and now they make a throat spray as well. Since we’ve been using it, we’ve never been sick on the road. Touch wood – I think it’s working.


I’m obsessed with my cashmere travel wrap and cashmere cardigan – you can shop it here. These two items roll up to nothing and are lightweight but are incredibly warm. They’ve seen me through cold Swedish weather when I’d only packed only for a beach holiday in the south of Italy.

They are also perfect for the air-conditioning on a plane, which can be unpredictable and unescapable.

I travel light but these items always are in my bag.

How to travel light, pack smart and stay stylish - champagne to start #wortharrivingearlyfor

I once read a “How to travel light” tip which said ‘don’t bring a bag’ – how ridiculous! It’s the most pointless bit of advice I have ever read and not at all relatable to real people.

Hopefully some of our tips will actually help you pack a bag that will have all the things in it you need and will make your trip more calm, comfortable and fun.

And would you believe I am writing this post sitting in the airport sipping on a glass of champagne? We’ve checked in early for our flight, picked up some little treats at the duty free shops and now we’re waiting for our flight to be called.

We’re calm, relaxed and ready for the next adventure.

How to travel light, pack smart and stay stylish

You might also like these posts:

37 tips for flying in style

Insider’s guide to Sydney Airport

How we get through airport security as quickly as possible

We’d love to know your tips for traveling light. And do you order your duty free ahead?

Check out the Sydney Airport website for more tips on how to make your travel experience more special.


  • Reply October 6, 2018


    Love your tips. I’ve been thinking about investing in cashmere for travelling and you have just tipped me over. Any hints on where to buy? Hope to see you in Brisbane soon.

  • Reply October 6, 2018


    Loved all your advise! The best tip is packing heavy things at the bottom of the case. What a great tip. Now my case won’t tip over all the time! Thank you. I think you guys have cracked it.

    • Reply October 7, 2018

      Mr Romance

      Hey Jean! Thank you! So glad you’ve enjoyed this one. Yeah, how annoying is it when your case tips over all the time?! Nearly squashed a child in a queue at the airport once. That would’ve been embarrassing, wouldn’t it? Jx

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