Sure, the holiday season’s over – but that doesn’t mean we’ve stopped traveling! Whether you commute regularly for work or have a vacation on your mind, odds are you’ve got some sort of trip on the horizon… even if it’s a few months down the road.

One of the best bits of travel advice we’ve ever heard is to pack as light as possible; with major airlines adding new fees and decreasing the amount of space available in those overhead bins, the advice has never been more important. But that simple travel rule is also much easier said than done – especially if you share our love of shoes! Here are some fantastic tips for packing light, recommended girlfriend to girlfriend:

Start small: First of all, remember that the maximum size most airlines allow for carry-on bags is 60 square inches (152.4 centimeters) and that the volume of liquids Dry Travel Kit copyallowed is also extremely limited (technically, you are allowed as many bottles – up to 3.4oz in size each – as can be fit into a single quart-sized bag.) Choose a single semisoft bag whose shape and size are compatible with an airplane’s tight quarters – and remember to stock up on travel-sized versions of your favorite beauty and skin care products! The trial-sized kits available at MyChelle.com are great for throwing into your carry-on bag, and ensuring that you are able to stay on track with your skin care regimen while on-the-go.

Make a list: This one may seem obvious, but it’s a point many overlook… Before you begin packing, sit down and write a list of everything (and we mean everything) you will need – and the quantity of each item. Then stick to it!

Choose a color scheme: Mixing and matching separates pulled from a suitcase is so much easier when they all fall within the same range of colors! Stick with neutrals – black, grey, denim – and add pops of color that are shades of the same family. This will reduce the number of accessories (including heavy and cumbersome shoes!) you will need to bring to tie your outfits together. Also, while you may love wearing white, you may want to avoid bringing white clothing with you – especially if you will not have access to a washer/dryer while traveling.

Bring soap: Having soap packets (like these by Woolite, specially designed for travel) on-hand while traveling is a must – especially if you are traveling with children, or 41JZEMGX46L._SY500_plan on enjoying outdoorsy activities during your trip. Being able to wash clothing by hand will greatly increase your flexibility to re-wear items that get smelly or dirty, which means you won’t need to pack as much.

Take your layers with you: While packing for a trip, be sure to take into consideration what you want to (and should) wear on the plane. This is especially important if you will be traveling to a place that is experiencing a different climate than the one you are currently in. Don’t bother trying to pack your large overcoat, bulkiest sweaters or heaviest boots; instead, wear them on the plane (which will most likely be air-conditioned, anyway.) This will save you valuable carry-on space – and also serve to keep options on you, just in case you get cold while in transit.

Leave room for souvenirs: If you are planning a getaway to a place you’ve never been, remember that there is a pretty good chance that you’ll want to shop for a souvenir or two. Those souvenirs will work for you before you even return home if you buy them in the form of clothes and accessories. Think of where you’re going, and what they sell there – Is this place known for its thick wool or cashmere, or its original silver jewelry, or its tropical bikinis? If so, leave those items out of your bag and just plan to pick them up when you reach your destination.

What are your tips for packing light? Are you a pro at it, or could you use a little help? Drop us a line in the “comments” section below, and be automatically entered to win a free gift from MyChelle!*

*Sorry – This offer is only available within the Continental United States.

By Liana Orenstein