Traveling light can be tricky sometimes. You have to get creative. One of the ways you can cut down on the amount of stuff in your bag is to share certain items with your travel partner. This will lighten your load and leave room for more important things.
Accessories, like a cute scarf or a fun necklace, are a good way to dress up an outfit. Instead of packing several of each, split the number in half and swap with your friend while you’re traveling. Even though these items don’t take up a lot of room, every little bit helps.
Share items to avoid duplicates
Even for a trip that involves a lot of beach time, you and your friend don’t each need a big bottle of sunscreen. Pack one bottle that you can both use.
A bottle of bug spray goes a long way too. If you’re traveling to a place where you need bug spray, only one of you needs to bring it. I shared bug spray and sunscreen with a friend for three weeks in Southeast Asia, and it worked out fine.
A travel first aid kit is often a good idea, but you don’t both need one. Decide which pieces you want to bring and split them between the two of you.
Well, maybe. I’ve already written about sharing clothes with a travel partner, but you might even be able to share shoes too. If you and your friend wear the same size, or you’re only a half size different, consider each packing one pair of shoes to go with a nicer outfit, and then you can trade shoes when you want to change things up.
I recently traveled with a friend who packed several more shoes than I would normally pack. I wish I had planned on borrowing her black flats for the one night we had to dress up instead of lugging around my wedges for almost three weeks.
I wouldn’t recommend doing this with athletic shoes, hiking shoes, or flip flops, and it won’t work if you wear vastly different sizes.
This depends on how long your trip is, but even 100ml (3.4 ounces) goes a long way with certain items. That amount of shampoo lasts me about 40 showers. (Your mileage may vary, so test this out before you leave.) If you’re taking a shorter trip with a friend, one of you can bring shampoo and the other can bring conditioner.
Toothpaste also lasts longer than you think. Just pack one tube to share. But please bring your own toothbrush!
Sharing and long term travel
Some of these tips are easier to implement on short vacations rather than on long term trips, but it’s not impossible. If you’re traveling on a year-long round the world trip with a friend, you will have to replenish things like shampoo and sunscreen along the way. You can still share items to keep the weight down, even if it means having to buy shampoo or toothpaste a little more often.
Traveling with a guy
No, your boyfriend/husband probably doesn’t want to borrow your sparkly necklace or your sexy-but-totally-uncomfortable shoes. But he can share your toothpaste, shampoo, sunscreen, wound cream, and many other things in your bag. You can probably steal his sweatshirt if you get cold too. My husband and I always share toothpaste, dental floss, sunscreen, and lots of other things when we travel together.
Get creative and look at all the items you’re packing. You probably only need one flashlight or bottle opener. Just about anything you both need but won’t need at the same exact time can be shared.
What items do you share with a travel partner to save space?
Join the Her Packing List email community!
Subscribe to get our latest packing lists, gear deals, and travel news by email.