My Top Five Reasons For Packing Light

Top 5 reasons for packing light

We went to a party a couple of nights ago and as it always does, the conversation turned firstly to travel and inevitably to packing.

Our host on the evening is planning a three month jaunt to Europe with her hubby. It is their first big trip and it will be their introductory visit to France.

Now three months is a long time to travel, so I can see why she is thinking that she is going to have to pack a lot of stuff. But when she mentioned that she wasn’t too concerned because her luggage limit is 30 kilograms, I actually started to get a little panicky.

If you are a regular reader of Distant Francophile, you’ll know that I’m a big fan of packing light. Every trip we take I play a little game with myself, trying to see just how low I can get the number on the check-in scale. My current best is a little over 11 kilos for a three week trip.

But my desire to pack light doesn’t come from an attempt to amuse myself. There are some very practical, worthwhile reasons for limiting luggage weight, and while you’ll most likely have to track down accommodation with some sort of washing facilities, I promise it will be worth it.

My top five reasons for packing light when you visit France:

  1. There are stairs everywhere – and you can’t always count on lifts and escalators. Please take this point seriously if you are planning to travel by train or are taking some sort of bus tour. Even if you are being dropped right at the front door of your accommodation, you could still encounter stairs, and many places, hotels included, don’t have lifts.
  2. You’ll reduce the risk of injury. Unless you lug stuff around for a living, you are probably not used to carrying heavy things day in, day out. Even just moving heavy luggage around your room has the potential to harm your back, shoulders or elbows.
  3. And while I’m thinking of rooms, French hotel lodgings can be notoriously small. There is nothing worse than having your luggage dominate your sleeping space.
  4. The less you have with you, the less chance there is to lose your belongings. It is as simple as that.
  5. Starting out light will allow some room for any French goodies that you might like to take home. I try to back end my shopping as much as possible so as not to be carrying too much weight too early in the trip.

Stay tuned next week when I will share some tips on how you can actually plan your packing so you can travel as light as possible.

And until next time – au revoir.



About Janelle

I believe that everyone can bring French elegance and inspiration to their life, no matter where they happen to live in the world. They only need to learn a secret or two to be on their way. When you join the Distant Francophile community, you’ll have access to the secrets that allow you to bring the best of the French lifestyle into your everyday life. I’m talking about things like style advice, recipes and book reviews. And you’ll also receive regular doses of French inspiration, as well as travel and packing tips galore.

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6 thoughts on “My Top Five Reasons For Packing Light

  • merri

    Packing light is always an issue. Where/how do you find laundries in Paris? My husband paid a ton of money to have a few things washed (not ironed, just washed). The hotel sent his clothes out for him so that probably cost more.

  • Janice

    I also believe that packing really light gives you an opportunity to hone your personal style, and to “test drive” a smaller, more focused wardrobe. I found that after a 6-week business trip with one carry-on bag, I found that I neither wanted nor needed mountains of clothing. The idea made so much sense to me, I’ve pretty much built my entire blog around it!

    • Janelle Post author

      I agree with you about the wanting and needing. And I’ll definitely be pointing readers in your direction in my next post Janice. I always look to you when I’m planning my holiday wardrobe.

  • Claire

    Hi Janelle and Janice.
    A timely post. It wont be long before I start packing for a 4 week adventure.
    I’ve marked a couple of Janice’s posts that are relevant to me and my style.
    Our very first stop is an overnighter with family in Frankfurt. An opportunity to create more luggage space when toys, books, Tim Tams and magazines are off loaded.

    • Janelle Post author

      Hi Claire. I can’t wait to follow your adventures. Books are another killer. I love to read while I’m away but they are so heavy. Thank goodness for my iPad.