A Week in a Carry-On: Shedding

shed your stuff - just throw your jeans away!


A few trips ago, I came up with a packing strategy by accident. It happened once out of necessity…didn’t think anything of it. Then it happened again. I still didn’t think much of it until I was packing of my third trip. At that point, I realized it could be a strategy I employed for every trip to give myself a little breathing room on the way home.


What is it I’m talking about?




Yep, you read that right. Shedding. I’m coining the term now…so when this becomes a thing, IT ALL STARTED HERE. It has nothing to do with hair, skin, or scales (that was a gross sentence). Instead, it means intentionally packing things that you are going to leave behind before the return trip.


What can you shed? I think the best way to explain this is through a few real-life examples. (note: these are things that I have actually done)


  1. A pair of jeans that you wear too often. I once had a pair of jeans I wore all the time, but knew they were about to die. Like, the fabric was wearing too thin for me to rationally believe they wouldn’t blow out on any given day. #livingontheedge. So I wore them on the trip, then left them in the trash. That was where it all started…
  2. An older jacket. I had a cheap little F21 faux-leather jacket that was starting to look duuuusty. It fit well and I loved the style, but the “leather” was starting to flake off and the lining was almost completely detached in one arm. Not cute! I knew if I brought it back, I’d continue to wear it…and I knew it was past the point of wearing. So, I left it in my Paris hotel closet, never to be seen again…(tear emoji). It was for the best.
  3. Toiletries…like shower gel, shampoo, conditioner, contact solution, razors (not your night cream, perfume, or other items in your higher end routine). If you must bring them, please buy the travel sizes. Remember, most places will provide you with these common items, so you can save room in the first place by not packing them. If you do feel the need to bring them, though, don’t buy the refillable bottles. On the way home, they serve no purpose. Buy the smallest sizes, then leave them behind. (Alternative: Bring home the shampoos and conditioners you like from the hotels you visit when you have extra room, then you won’t have to buy travel sizes next time.)
  4. Surprises for people you’re visiting. I once brought a friend a new planner she’d ordered, as well as 5 boxed bars of baking chocolate. You can bet that saved me room on the way home!
  5. Underwear and socks. Finally, this one is going to sound super weird, but we’re all friends here right? Here’s your excuse to clean out your underwear drawer and take the ones you were going to get rid of anyways. Same goes with socks! Bonus: reduces your laundry when you get back home AND serves as some spring cleaning.


And there you have it. The art of Shedding(TM).


What interesting things have you shed on your trips?


For more travel hacks, check out the last post in the series on how to plan the perfect travel capsule wardrobe.

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