Packing Tips for Australia: How To Travel Light
Travel light in Australia is key for your trip enjoyment. These packing tips for Australia will help you minimise luggage weight and choose the right things to pack for the kind of trip you want to do. Travelling in Australia means spending a lot of time on the road, changing places and accommodation, going through different climate zones, so that packing, unpacking and packing again will be very much part of your daily routine.
That’s why I have put together these packing luggage tips to help you travel light without lugging around unnecessary weight. We all strive to pack as light as possible because we want to travel stress-free carrying heavy and bulky luggage.
When travelling to Australia, there are many baggage weight allowances and restrictions to comply with. And packing is one of those skills that we learn, tweak and master until we develop that natural and effortless trip preparation art.
Packing tips for travelling light in Australia
Before going deeper into how to start packing for Australia, you can check out the pros and cons of a suitcase versus a backpack to get an idea of the features, advantages and disadvantages of both types of luggage. The second step is to choose the right kind of baggage that most suits your travel style and needs.
How to learn the art of packing light for Australia
Although you can learn some basic and straightforward packing tips, packing depends on our personal needs and lifestyle changes over the years. So the best way to develop the art of packing light is by testing out different ways on various trips.
From each trip, we learn new things that we can implement on future travels. By picking new ideas and dropping old ones (that do not work any more), and experiencing them, you can transform them into your packing ritual that ultimately works well for all trips (or almost all).
I have compiled an Australia Checklist to help you achieve a hassle-free-way for travelling to Australia, thus increasing the degree of freedom for moving about quickly and handling unexpected situations. Here below, my best packing tips for Australia that will show you how to pack light.
1. Tips on how to choose the right type of travel bag
If you are still debating on Backpack or Suitcase, you might have clear your doubts after reading the pros and cons article. How do you feel about it? Choose the type of luggage according to the degree of comfort. If you are not sure, try to find out more about it, start figuring out how your trip will look like and do this exercise:
- List the places you plan to stay. The more locations, the more you need to pack and unpack.
- Which areas you will visit. Outback, tropical forest, beach, cities.
- List all type of transportation means. Self-driving or public transport or both?
- What activities you plan. The more you get outdoors, the more you move around.
- The number of bags and weight you can carry about. And walk comfortably.
If you plan to spend your time in the Outdoors, you may need some packing tips for outdoor adventures.
2. Tips for choosing the size of luggage
As for the size of the bags, here a few tips to help you select the right one:
Choose a backpack that suits your body shape, weight and height
An example: if you are thin, 165cm tall, weigh 45kg, get a 50-60 litres backpack, that would be ideal for your body structure. Fill the pack with a max of 10-12kg. While travelling, you will naturally add 2-3 kg to it. Try not to exceed 15kg to avoid overloading your back.I recommend the Deuter Backpack Aircontact Lite 50+60l
Pick a medium-sized suitcase on wheels
Any larger size will rob your energy and mobility. Pack the suitcase to max 2/3 of its capacity.I love my Samsonite Duffle Bag
Take one piece of hand-luggage only
It can be a day-backpack or a handbag. This year I started using a multi-purpose pack from Pacsafe.I recommend Pacsafe Venturesafe 25l
Here you can read about my Pacsafe Venturesafe 25l review. If you prefer a carry-on bag as cabin luggage, then I would pick a duffle bag.Check out this fantastic duffle bag from Timberland 22 inches
3. How to pack for Australia with a savvy mindset
The first dilemma we face is what to pack and what to wear when travelling to Australia
We all naturally tend to pack more than what we need and use maybe 2/3 of packed things or even less. The first skill for savvy packing is selection. Personal needs vary from person to person, so it is good to start with a packing list template to help you develop your packing list ritual.
- Think of main category items and build your list within these categories. Main categories are:1. Wear and Underwear.
3. Toiletries and cosmetics.
4. Gear and travel accessories.
- Please make a list of clothes that’s easy to adjust regarding colours and function. Example: pick t-shirt+shorts that can be extended to long trousers, likewise take a vest that you can wear on top of t-shirts. Use wind-and-rain-jacket in one item that can be turned into a warm jacket by adding a fleece vest.
- Choose clothes with similar shades of colours for better combination and washing too.Check out my selected Amazon Shop Items for travel wear
- Pack multi-use clothes like a bandana or a Sarong and a body map.
- I prefer functional clothes instead of regular clothes. They not only protect you from the sun, wind and rain, but they are also way too practical regarding quick wash and dry, and they are lightweight too. Check out these latest functional clothes.
4. How to reduce at least 30% weight from your packing list
It is a packing skill that you will learn gradually. The more you travel, the better you will become with this because you will experience different things and new ideas on cutting off unnecessary weight on the go. Here a few tips for reducing at least 50% of packing weight:
- Use only sample bottles for cosmetics.
- Repackage liquids and gels in multisized containers (20-100ml) instead of large bottles.
- Leave at home non-essential items that you can get when the necessity arises.
- Possibly do not pack more than three pairs of shoes, as an example.
1: walking Shoes or Hiking Boots.
2. Sandals or flip-flops.
3. Sneakers or Running Shoes.
5. How to eliminate unnecessary volume from your luggage
Some clothes and personal items are too voluminous and take too much space in our backpack or suitcase. There are a few things that you can do here:
- Replace big stuff like cotton towels with microfibre towels or viscose jumpers.
- Pack a travel bathrobe that is very useful if you go backpacking and stay in hostels.
- Use transparent nylon ziplock bags to store clothes and take the air out of them.
- Never pack folded clothes. Learn to pack unfolded clothes on even layers.
- Use hygienic bags for packing underwear.
I hope these packing tips give you some ideas and guidelines for making your savvy packing list for Australia.
Packing the luggage will help you reduce stress and save you time by packing and unpacking all the times. It will give you more freedom of moving about quickly and fast on buses, trains and airports. It will save you energy, and finally, it will provide you with the comfort of feeling at home.
And here are my best tips on what to wear on long-haul flights.
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First published in 2018, last updated in Jan 2021
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August 14, 2012 @ 4:54 pm
Truly helpful article due to currently I’m thinking about hitting the road once again and is always great to find articles talking about this complex issue that may ruin your travel if you don’t know how to pack efficiently your stuffs.
August 20, 2012 @ 6:13 pm
Hi Mark, packing light is an art and you need to try out lots of things before you find what works for you and what doesn’t. So take the tips and mold them into your own style.
August 14, 2012 @ 4:53 pm
This is a great article and I think I should follow this. Because whenever I arrange my luggage I always end up bringing more things. -\_- Even if always list the things I need, it would still end up that way.
August 20, 2012 @ 6:06 pm
Jennie, packing light is not easy, we all go through the same perpetual issue. We must find a way of packing things that works well for ourselves. And along the way we make lots of mistakes. It’s a trial and error process where we learn and become better! Thanks for stopping by! 🙂
August 15, 2012 @ 4:50 pm
“Never pack folded clothes. Learn to pack unfolded clothes on even layers.” Okay, I never thought of that! I’ll definitely do this. It will help me save more space.
August 20, 2012 @ 6:12 pm
Yes Malcolm, try that out, it really helps! 🙂
November 16, 2015 @ 3:10 pm
Great advices. I am going to visit Australia next month. I can`t wait. I am going to pack light, too. It is hard task but it is not impossible. You gave me a hope! Thank you for sharing your post! Best regards!
November 16, 2015 @ 6:11 pm
Hi Clara, glad to hear you liked the post about packing light for Australia! Great for you to be travelling Australia soon! I’m sure you will find your own way of packing in a minimalist way so as to move around freely without the burden of carrying heavy luggage! I know what that means, made lots of mistakes in the past and as you say, it’s a hard task but not impossible to pack light. Enjoy your travels in Oz! 🙂
March 26, 2016 @ 11:18 am
Lesser luggage means more fun for solo travelers. However basic amenities need to be there with you at all times. I used to carry three pairs of shoes however now I realize that even two are good.
October 20, 2016 @ 6:04 pm
Absolutely! You are so right. It much depends on the planned activities. If you stick to the outdoor and nature and city, then I am sure that 2 pair of shoes will do. If you also add business meetings, leisure time and so on, then youo need to pack more. Thanks for stopping by! 🙂
November 9, 2018 @ 4:51 pm
Those are some helpful tips! We feel exactly the same way when it comes to having another trip booked as something to look forward to.
December 7, 2018 @ 10:35 am
Amazing tips for the solo traveller to eliminate weight and concentrate more on the places…