How to Buy and Pack Lightweight Travel Clothing for Cheap Lightweight Travel

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Keep bulky, heavy shoes to a minimum when traveling.
Keep bulky, heavy shoes to a minimum when traveling. (Image: Stockbyte/Stockbyte/Getty Images)

With the advent of hefty luggage fees on airlines, lightweight travel is more important than ever. Not only will you often be charged for your bags, but you can expect additional fees if they exceed a certain weight. A light bag also makes it easier for you to transport your suitcases in and out of cars, trains and throughout hotels. Your choice of fabrics and the way in which you pack both affect how easy it is to maneuver your luggage.

Fabric Selection

Fabric selection is the most important factor when getting lightweight clothing. Polyester, nylon and silk are among the most lightweight fabrics available. Nylon and polyester will dry quickly and are more forgiving to wrinkles and stains. Cotton, also relatively lightweight, is soft, but won't dry as quickly as polyester. Consider a cotton and polyester blend if you want to take cotton-based tops. When it comes to pants, cotton and khaki slacks are lighter than denim.

What to Take

In order to keep your suitcase light, think about what you really need duplicates of. For example, since denim is heavier than most materials, pack only one or two pairs of jeans and multiples of lighter bottoms like cotton skirts or khakis. Similarly, include only one jacket in a neutral color that will match several outfits. Lightweight cotton T-shirts and tank tops are good to take in multiples for fashion options and use little space in your luggage.

Packing Strategy

Rather than folding your shirts and pants by doubling them over and stacking them on top of each other, roll your clothing. Rolling lets you tuck clothing into the tightest nooks and crannies of your suitcase. You can also distribute the weight of your suitcase more evenly this way. After your clothes are rolled, place the heavier items throughout the suitcase and not on one end.

Considerations

Keep your luggage lighter by purchasing items that are easily laundered, such as cotton shirts that rarely have special washing instructions. The more you can launder while you are traveling, the fewer items you need to pack. Instead, you can do a load of laundry and wear everything more than once. Another way to keep your suitcase light is by taking more than one lightweight tank top to wear under the same cardigan or sweater. You can vary your look every day without eating up luggage space.

Tips & Warnings

  • Buy light clothing for travel that will actually save you weight. Don't waste your money on lightweight clothing that you don't really need.

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