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Summertime means hitting the road and taking to the skies for vacation. No one wants to feel stressed when traveling for fun and the last thing you want to do is lug a bunch of unnecessary stuff with you. We appreciate the art of traveling light and found a few tips to make your summer travel easier.
1. Wrangle your travel reservations
Set yourself up with a service that organizes your reservations for you and you'll never have to dig through your email to find them again. Mobile apps like TripIt, WorldMate and TripCase automatically create an itinerary from your reservations so you have flight times, hotel confirmation numbers, and more on your phone right when you need them.
2. Download a map
Don't bother toting around a paper map -- get them on your phone instead. Before you leave, download offline maps from the Google Maps app on iOS or Android so you can use them even when you don't have a signal. Just search for the city or area you need, open the app's menu (tap the three horizontal lines), tap Offline area, and follow the instructions on the screen.
3. Ditch your bulky wallet
Leave non-essential cards at home and take just what you need with Speck's CandyShell Card case. It can hold up to three cards plus cash, and the soft lining holds everything securely so you don't have to worry about losing anything. It's perfect for your ID, credit and debit cards, and other important cards.
4. Pack smart and light
If you want to pack as light as possible, there are a few rules to live by:
- Bring clothes that you can easily wash and re-wear. Look for quick-dry items and avoid heavy fabrics like cotton or denim.
- Leave anything at home that you could buy at your destination. That means soap, toothpaste, and other toiletries.
- Take far fewer clothes than you think you'll need. You probably need only half of what you want to pack, and simple items like an extra t-shirt or scarf can usually be purchased when you arrive.
For more packing tips, check out this helpful list from National Geographic.
5. Consolidate books and magazines
You probably already know that an e-reader like Amazon's Kindle can carry around thousands of books in a small package. But you don't necessarily have to buy one to read books and magazines without a physical copy. There are plenty of great apps for your phone or tablet that offer thousands of books or magazines to read or listen to. Try Kindle, Scribd, Audible, or Oyster for books and Texture and Zinio for digital magazines.