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Young woman traveler sitting on the bed packing her suitcase preparing for travel on summer vacation

Holidays are amazing, but lugging a heavy suitcase around in this heatwave and paying overpriced additional baggage charges is less fun.

As well as generally reducing the number of clothes we own to create a sustainable and stylish capsule wardrobe, we’re looking to reduce the number of items we take on holiday.

Here, we tackle the ultimate guide to downsizing your holiday wardrobe – so much so that you can even get away with only taking hand luggage on your next vacation.


Build a wardrobe on colour or outfit

One of the reasons you might overpack for your holidays is outfit decision fatigue, and it can be tempting to think that we need an entirely new outfit every day. However, that’s definitely not the case – your beach cover-up kaftans can be worn on multiple days, and the same goes for shorts and skirts.

One common packing tip is to put together your clothes into different outfits before they go into your suitcase. That way, you can ensure you have enough clothes, and you’ll also know that your separates go together. To minimise your outfits even more, why not choose a colour palette and stick to it?

Cosmopolitan’s July issue recommends choosing clothes all in one hue or picking a palette of complementary colours, like pastels, to build out your holiday wardrobe. This can not only reduce your decision fatigue – because all of your clothes will complement one another in one way or another, so you can reduce the number of clothes you take.


Pack versatile bags

Hands up if you’ve ever taken a different bag for every different occasion on holiday. We get it – you want them to match your outfit and your activity. But instead of packing a tote, evening handbag, backpack, and beach bag, why not consider a multi-tasking bag?

You have a few options here. You could take a foldaway tote that can double as a beach bag and a day out bag, or you could opt for a small crossbody bag that works for the beach, days out, and evening events – with some, you can remove the additional straps to turn it into a shoulder bag or handheld piece.


Downsize your shoes

Having shoe options is a must, but they take up heaps of space in our luggage. As well as packing your suitcase effectively and using the inside of your shoes to store items, there are ways you can ensure you take fewer pairs and that they take up less space.

For a shoe that can take you from the poolside to the restaurants and bars, choose a chunky platform. This meets the best of both worlds – they’re elevated for an evening look, but not heeled, so they won’t hurt your feet as you wander around the beach or pool all day. You can also fit in a flat pair of foam flip-flops for transitioning in and out of the water, as they won’t take up much room.

If your holiday involves a lot of walking, it’s sensible to take a pair of trainers. A pair that’s stylish but robust will give you extra options for your outfits and makes for a comfortable airport footwear option.


Pack an eBook reader

We never read as much as we do at home as we do on holiday. When we’re sunbathing away from the TV and playing on our phones less, it gives us the perfect opportunity to get stuck into a good book. One of the best things about planning for a holiday is picking out your summer read! But it’s easy to rinse through books quickly on holiday, and they take up a lot of space (and weigh a lot).

Now is the time to invest in an eBook reader or turn your tablet into a multi-use device. With these devices, you can load as many books onto them as you’ll require without adding heaps of weight to your suitcase. If you’re making use of your existing tablet instead of buying a dedicated eBook reader, you could get an anti-glare screen protector to make sure the glorious sun doesn’t stop you from enjoying your novel.

We’re downsizing our wardrobes, and our  weekend   are getting the same treatment. Whether you want to literally pack light or you’re looking to avoid extra baggage charges, there are plenty of ways you can reduce the number of items you take on your trip. An efficiently packed bag is the best type of bag.