A review of eBook – Packing Made Simple: a simple guide to packing light.

Love it or loathe it packing is something that has to be done before every trip. It’s also something that most people normally agonize about and in the end over pack. When I’m asked for travel advice and tips one of the first things I always mention is to pack light. I tell people nothing is more annoying then having to deal with and transporting a huge piece of luggage around the world. I myself backpack around the world with carry on only and am always asked how I do it. Well now when I am asked I will guide them to my friend Ali’s eBook: Packing Made Simple: a simple guide to packing light.

I met Ali through the travel blogging community over 4 years ago and have been good friends ever since then. She is the writer behind the blogs Ali’s Adventure and Travel Made Simple. She’s been in love with travel since she was 14 years old and visited every continent before her 30th birthday. She’s created this book to help others learn from her mistakes and also make travel a more enjoyable experience by traveling light. She released this book a little over a month ago and I let her know I’d love to review it and share it with all of you. So here are my thoughts.

Packing Made Simple by Ali Garland

At 43 pages Ali manages to pack in (get it?) everything you need to know about packing light. While reading Packing Made Simple, you will learn:

  • How to pack for your next trip
  • How to downsize and travel carry-on only
  • How to pack light even when you need to carry a checked bag
  • What you can’t pack in carry-on luggage and what non-liquid alternatives are available
  • Packing tips that make travel easier
  • How to choose carry-on luggage

With years of travel experience under her belt you get a real sense that she knows exactly what she is talking about. She goes into great detail in helping the reader achieve the goal of packing light whether they’re a newbie or a seasoned traveller. She understands that carry on isn’t for everyone, but clearly gives you the benefits of what traveling light gives you. She even gives you tips to packing light with checked bags. The book also gives you information on restrictions airlines place on carry-on and what not to pack in your carry-on. That is very important to know because the last thing you want is to have problems at the airport when you arrive and have to end up checking in your bag for something that can’t be carried on.

My favorite part of the entire book is the suggested packing list. Oh how I love reading and seeing what other people pack for their trips around the world or vacations (I’ll be sharing mine Thursday). She gives you her standard packing list that obviously changes a bit depending on the weather of the destination. Some of the items apply to women, but if you are a man you just simply ignore and add the things you need. This is also where I found out that she does know what she is talking about, because her suggest packing list includes jeans. Oh yes… no packing list is complete without JEANS. Many will tell you not to bring them because they are heavier and take longer to dry and so on, but trust her when she says bring your jeans. I’m a huge advocate of bringing jeans with you no matter where you are going to travel.

In the end Ali does an amazing job at making something that most people get overwhelmed with simple. If you have ever stressed over packing for a trip this book is for you and will help you make it simple.

You can purchase Packing Made Simple: a simple guide to packing light on Amazon for the small price of $2.99.

If you have any questions or thoughts about the book you can leave them in the comments below or even contact Ali directly via Facebook and Twitter. You can also follow her adventures there.

I was sent a copy of the book in exchange for a review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

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  1. Thanks Jaime! I’m glad you liked the book. I forgot you’re such a fan of traveling with jeans! For the most part, if it’s something I’m comfortable wearing at home, I’ll probably want to wear it while traveling. Just like packing something I’d never wear at home means I probably won’t want to wear it when I’m traveling, so why bother? Anyway, hopefully this book will help more people pack light!
    Ali recently posted..Things to do in Rome

    • Jaime Davila says:

      Yes Ali, I loved the book & am so happy I was able to review it for you. Oh & yes I am a huge fan of traveling with jeans. What you mentioned in the comment is what I wish most people would think. I hope this book does help others to travel light. It’s seriously such a freedom to not feel bogged down with luggage on the road. Less is more!!!

  2. Cool. Thanks for sharing. I’m writing a column about packing and I’ll be sure to contact Ali to get some quotes for it!
    James recently posted..Photomania!

  3. I learned my lesson in packing light for a trip overseas. I had one large wheeled suitcase, a smaller carry-on wheeled suitcase, and my “carry-on” bag that contained entertainment that I didn’t use. My trip was only 10 days, and I started regretting the amount of luggage I had the moment I had to drag it from the airport to the subway. But just when I think things couldn’t get any worse, I had to drag those bags over cobbled European streets, which is no fun. By the time I finished rolling my bags from the subway station to my destination, I was in physical pain.

    The funny thing is that out of all the clothes I took with me, I used less than 40% since I had access to a washing machine.

    I vowed after that trip to toss my wheeled luggage, which I did, and to travel carry-on only everywhere. For 1-3 day trips, I pack everything I need in a simple school-sized backpack. For longer trips, I would travel with a 40L backpack. I look back at that trip with all of my wheeled luggage and can’t help but wonder wtf was I thinking. But hey, at least I was never a heavy packer like some people who require a suitcase trolley to push their luggage to a taxi. Now that’s insanity!

    • Jaime Davila says:

      Summar, sometimes we have to go through it ourselves to realize what others are trying to advise us. It’s amazing how little you actually need when you go on vacation and how much easier life is with less choices. I was laughing as I was reading your comment because I have seen that time and time and again all over the world. I’m so glad you learned from it and now travel light.

    • Summar, I’ve totally been there. I did a 6 week study abroad trip to Spain when I was in college, and I cringe to think of that gigantic suitcase, especially since I was living with a family who did my laundry for 4 of those weeks! It’s hard to really realize how great it is to travel light until you’ve gone through the other side of it. When you first start traveling, overpacking feels like a safety net, all of those “just in case” things. But once you realize you don’t need all that stuff, it becomes so much easier. I’m glad you know to pack light now! (And yes, those cobbled European streets are killer!)
      Ali recently posted..Things to do in Rome

  4. I am still very torn if I should pack jeans for the journey or not. But something smarter than the zip off pants is a must. I know you hated them but it’s oh so useful to change from Summer to Autumn and it dries really fast and really comfy!

    • Jaime Davila says:

      Niel, bring your jeans… I MEAN IT!!! Seriously jeans are a universal piece of clothing. You will fit in just about anywhere in the world with them. I’m not a fan of zip offs for many reasons, one because they are ugly and two because you will stick out as a tourist. You would never see locals wearing zip off pants anywhere on Earth. I know it may sound harsh, but I’m being honest. Just bring a pair of jeans and a pair of nice shorts. You will thank me & yourself later about this.

    • Niel, I’m going to have to agree with Jaime on this. I brought zip-off pants on my RTW trip a few years ago and wore them once, only to discover how much I hated them. I’m sure there are decent ones out there (I do often see my German neighbors wearing them around town for some reason) but if you like wearing jeans at home, you’ll wish you had them with you on your trip. And a pair of shorts doesn’t take up that much room that you need pants and shorts in one. If anything, I’d say bring a pair of casual khaki pants in addition to a pair of shorts if you really don’t want the bulk of jeans. But ultimately you have to do what’s comfortable for you, and if you actually have zip-off pants you like, you might be fine.
      Ali recently posted..Things to do in Rome

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