Packing light these days means the difference between the cost of your trip being reasonable or ridiculous. It can cost a small fortune if you have more than one or two bags. Packing light has now become a necessity to save money. Truthfully, if most people do a soul-searching review of their luggage they would find most of the items aren't needed. There is a difference between need and want and knowing the difference is how you can pack lightly.
First, determine where you are going and for how long you will be there. The type of weather matters also. Will you be meeting the same people or will you go from place to place meeting different people? This is important because if you are meeting different people then you don't need different outfits. If they haven't seen the outfit before you can cut down on the items you bring. If the weather is cold, layer your clothes instead of packing them. You can also peel off an item or two if you get over heated.
Decide what is necessary and what is not. A must is a toothbrush, medication, and important documents. A blow dryer isn't a must especially since most hotels provide one. Several pairs of shoes are not necessary either. One pair of comfortable flats and maybe a pair of pumps to go with a business suit is all you need to take with you. You can wear the flats on the plane and pack the pumps.
For men, the options are better because they can literally do with less. They don't have to worry about a change of clothes like women do. A change of shirt and tie is all that is really needed.
Think mix and match. A white blouse can get more use than a red one. Neutral colors work best. For instance, beige, brown, and black pants can be worn again with a different top. These items don't draw attention and thus can be worn again without you feeling self-conscious.
Finally, review and scale down some more before packing. Ask yourself, "Will I need this item?" Pack your carry-on bag with the only items that are needed. Keep it light and necessary. And just remember, If there is a doubt leave it out.
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