The Social Planner's Secrets to Packing Light

By: Joe Thompson
6.13.2011

Airport-luggage Summer is prime travel season, which means longer lines at ticketing, security, and baggage. And the key culprit to causing these lines?

Poor planning and all that annoying luggage.

The Social Planner knows that unless you're going on a long trip, you probably don't need multiple bags. In fact, the lighter you pack the easier it will be to navigate the airport, the flight, and getting off the plane at your final destination.

So with that in mind we turned to Gay.com's resident social butterfly, David Jedeikin, for some tips to make packing and planning that much easier.

AllGearCU1. Lose the Wheels
All that extra hardware means extra weight, reduced space inside the bag (and your room), and a tendency to over stuff. So don't take one. Jedeikin advises, "Go with what long-haul budget travelers have been doing for eons: a backpack. Yes, that piece so often associated with grimy hostels and even grimier backpackers actually makes for a suitable companion on long trips, evenly distributing weight around your body and allowing you to [navigate tight spaces] with ease."

Bags with zip ups around the front like regular luggage ensure that your duds don’t arrive looking like last week’s laundry.

PackingCubeClosed2. Cube It
Stuffing your bag at the last minute leads to forgotten items or an inability to find anything (rubbers) when you need it. "Fortunately, a number of luggage vendors sell packing cubes in all shapes and sizes, allowing organization of shirts, slacks, socks & undies. These can be found at the same stores that sell backpacks (such as REI), as well as online."

3. Limit Your Denims and Shoes
Denim weighs a lot, is bulky, and takes forever to dry. One nice pair of jeans and one other pant can be combined with plenty of shirts to make new looks all the time. The same rule applies to shoes: a comfortable pair for the gym/sightseeing, and one nice pair for parties and dinners. Fight that inner vanity and go for simplicity.

4. Consider the Season
It's summer! Bring one long sleeve shirt that can be tightly folded, one nice suit coat if you're dressing up, and plenty of shorts and T-shirts; those will be your primary wardrobe, and they can be bundled into neat rolls that reduce wrinkling and save space. You only need one, maybe two swimsuits. Seriously. Even a Speedo takes up space.

5. Ship Stuff Home
Shop all you want, but don't lug the stuff back. Says Jedeikin, "There’s nothing wrong with... shipping home what you don’t need. You can send your stuff back relatively inexpensively... and you get to enjoy a little retail therapy."

4web1345271576. Think Light and Double Your Fun
Gay events often ask you to dress up—in costume, in suits, whatever. But unless you're a drag queen you shouldn't have a ton of bulky changes. Choose outfits that can be packed small (Spandex or short-shorts, anyone?) and don't require lots of props. Also consider ways a regular clothing item can get double or triple usage.

For example, Diesel jeans and a T-shirt for cocktails out, with a suit coat for dinner, and with a harness for the leather party.

 

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With some simple forethought, you'll save yourself a ton of space and stress, letting yourself have more on your global adventures.

Top image: Cruise Critic
Gay cruise costume images: Village Voice.

BlueSweater72dpi683x1024 A native of Montreal, Canada, author David Jedeikin came to America in search of fame and fortune, but ended up finding greater fulfillment as a software engineer. Wander the Rainbow is his chronicle of a unique round-the-world trip. A nomad even before this journey, Jedeikin has lived in Toronto, Los Angeles, Lansing, Michigan, Chicago, and Boston. For the moment, he’s laid down roots in San Francisco… but the lure of further travel is never far from his mind.

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