I’ll start out by saying that this is not a fashion blog. All views and opinions expressed in this article are solely for the purpose of efficient travel. The main objective is to fit all of your belongings into a normal sized backpack/ carry-on. No selfies were harmed in the making of this post.

Packing too much stuff is a common mistake that can literally weigh you down and make travelling more difficult. Here are the five space-saving items that I always pack to save both money and peace of mind.

  1. The Little Black Dress

The little black dress is the most versatile piece of clothing that a girl could own. Throw it on in the morning with flip-flops and get out and explore some old stuff; transition to afternoon cocktails on a boat; throw on a belt or coat and head out for a night on the town; and dare I say it, you can even smack on some lipstick and heels and have dinner with royalty. Play it up or down, the LBD gives you the most “bang for your buck” and rolls up into a tiny little ball inside your backpack. (There is a $15 t-shirt dress available at H&M that I have literally worn thin.) It’s a must.

2. Cheap Glasses

I have lost glasses in every corner of the world. Some have been sacrificed to the sea, others have been abandoned in public toilettes, once a monkey swiped a pair after a sordid affair involving a suspension bridge in the Japanese alps (crafty monkeys). Needless to say, the more expensive the glasses: the less shelf-life they have with me. The solution? Cheap glasses,  glasses frames, and prescription sunglasses There is a great brand called the GlassesShop. If you use the special coupon code GSHOT50 you will get 50% off on eyeglasses and sunglasses with free lenses (sale frames excluded). That means that the next time you are in a hot-air balloon cruising over the Champagne region and your glasses suddenly jump off of your face and fall into a heap of grapevines, the loss won’t sting quite so bad… and it’ll free up some cash for more wine.

3. Old Kicks

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What do you do with your old shoes? I bring mine travelling. Give your old sneakers one last hurrah, and then discard them at the end of your trip in the most socially and environmentally responsible way. That way you don’t have to carry yuck shoes home with you and it will free up some backpack space for gifts, souvenirs, and the red panda you stole from the zoo,… you know, whatever. The same goes for old underwear and socks. Wear them, chuck them, and buy new ones when you get home. Because, when they open up your bag in search of contraband, you don’t want all of your dirty undies et als. to come flying out.

4. A Small Purse

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It’s a well known fact that putting a purse or backpack under your chair in a cafe screams, “Come and steal me!”  Throw your phone/ camera, wallet, keys into a small bag and keep it on your lap. Unless you are the one person that can rock a fanny-pack, go for a crossbody strap to free-up your hands for taking pictures and high-fiving randoms. Remember: the less money you give to thieves, the more money you have for your own shenanigans.

5. A Wicked Sense of Humour

Chances are, bad things will happen when you travel. Like filling your gas tank up with diesel because someone doesn’t know the french word for gas; or, getting lost in the Fjords and spending the night squished in a Hyundai parked next to a glacier; or, “accidentally” falling (getting pushed) off of a chairlift… you know, the bad things that at the time seem awful, but in retrospect are actually funny because you didn’t die. Travelling isn’t all fun and games… or is it? The difference between a disaster and a hilarious anecdote is time and perspective. The quicker you can laugh at something, the quicker you can move on.

Ernest Hemingway said, “Never travel with someone you don’t love”. You become much more invested in a relationship when you forgive someone you love, and laugh about it later on. Even if they did push you off of a chairlift.

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Written by Elyse Kishimoto

Elyse Kishimoto is a regular girl with an extraordinary sense of adventure. She's done everything from hiking up volcanoes in Iceland at midnight, to sitting down to dinner with royalty. She's climbed Mt Fuji and the Great Wall of China in the same week, and explored the lost glowworm caves in New Zealand. You never know where her next story is going to come from, but you can be sure that it will be packed full of fun! After spending years reading her favourite classic novels to her students, Elyse is excited to publish her second action/ adventure novel, Sky Watchers in the popular series, The Dining and Social Club for Time Travellers. www.thetimetravellersclub.com

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