Packing efficiently is an art form. Taking what you need on a trip is important, but dragging an overstuffed bag around can really put a dampener on one’s travels. A heavy bag will make transit a headache, especially if you’re walking long distances with a pack.

This means that balance is key! Find that (often elusive) middle ground where you’ve included all the essentials, but are not hauling unnecessary items around. There’s no right or wrong way to pack, but there are plenty of ways to pack more efficiently. 

Travelling with a smaller, lighter bag is liberating, which is exactly why we think it’s important to know how to pack light. And we’ve got you covered with some effective packing tips.

Our Travel Packing Tips

Here, we’ve put together some of our very best tips on how to pack efficiently. The right travel packing tips can set you up for a smoother adventure, and save your back a whole lot of stress. If you’re wondering how to pack a suitcase (or a backpack), take note of these tips on packing light for travel.

1. Select the Perfect Bag

The first step, and probably the most important, is picking the perfect travel pack or luggage for your trip. The smaller, the better — though the size will depend on how many items you’re taking, how long your trip will last, and likely, the type of clothing. Take some time to think about how minimal you can be with your packing. 

The conundrum most people face is whether to opt for a pack or wheels. It goes without saying that a 10kg backpack is going to be easier to transport than a 30kg suitcase, but sometimes we need (or want!) to take more than just the bare necessities. Backpacks are a great option for navigating multiple modes of transport and rougher terrain like rocks or even cobblestones. If you do find that you need to take a large number of items, consider opting for wheeled luggage. There are also a number of hybrid wheeled backpacks available that can provide the best of both worlds.

2. Pick The Right Clothing

Choosing the perfect clothing for your adventure will depend largely on the climate and activity.

Winter clothing tends to be bulkier, so for a cold-weather jaunt, you might find that packing space disappears quicker than expected. In that case, restrict yourself to as few items as possible. For example, just one big jacket, a couple of jumpers, and one pair of boots. As well as that, try to wear your bulkiest clothing while in transit if the weather allows.

The same strategy should be applied to warm-weather travel. If you’re heading to the tropics, try to take lighter clothing and short bottoms. However, keep in mind that just because these pieces are lighter and take up less room, that doesn’t mean you can take an endless supply of tees and shorts. Try keeping yourself to as few pieces of clothing as possible and bring only the essentials – you can always wash your clothes as you travel.

3. Roll, Don’t Fold

Folding clothing is the norm at home, but rolling items is one of the best ways to pack more efficiently. This travel packing tip will help save space in your luggage or backpack, allowing you to take other essentials or reduce your pack size.

It’s easier to roll tees, underwear, and trousers than it is to roll jackets, but try to compact everything as much as possible. If you’re carrying shoes in your luggage, stuff as many pairs of socks as possible into them to save space in your pack.

4. Choose Multifunctional Shoes

Last of all, shoes! The shoes you choose to take on your journey should be multifunctional where possible. That means shoes that are ideal for walking around town, but also perfect for some light hiking or exercise. We love trail runners as a great all-rounder option for travel. The more versatile each pair of shoes is, the fewer pairs you’ll have to take… and the more efficient your packing will be!

If you’re looking for more travel inspiration, check out our complete long-term travel packing list, or browse our travel range online.

About The Author


Some 80 years ago, a young bushwalker's dissatisfaction with the limited and heavy bushwalking equipment available prompted him to design and make his own. Before long, word spread, and Paddy Pallin's lightweight, functional designs were soon in demand among fellow bushwalkers. From its early days the company has concentrated on supplying bushwalkers, travellers and adventurers with the highest quality and most advanced products and knowledge. Since 1930 the company has grown to become Australia's leading supplier of specialist outdoor and travel gear. The company, still owned by the Pallin family, now has thirteen stores throughout Australia as well as online, mail order and corporate sales divisions. We are using our vast wealth of knowledge, and experience, to build an online community where we can share our stories, reviews and tech tips to help you research and plan your next adventure.