The best travel experience is always the kind that makes you feel entirely free. After telling your boss that you need a break or even considering to leave everything behind to start exploring the world, all you need is peace of mind.
Whatever your reasons are, and no matter for how long, to travel light is always the way to go. Whether you are going out for a week’s vacation or two, or for long-term backpacking, travelling light is highly recommended. Reason – you can actually avoid having to wait for your bags or paying for excess luggage at the airport, and you can also move around more easily! To accomplish that, here are 10 tips for packing light we thought you may want to follow.
Tip #1: Don’t Pack at the Last Minute
What happens to most people when they pack their bags at the last minute? They end up bringing things they don’t need and having to carry heavy bags. Packing takes effort and a bit of thought. You could be packing your things just before you leave and then realise that you’ve forgotten the most important things, say, your phone or PASSPORT! This will leave you nothing but stressed. Of course, the unnecessary baggage you carry along will also stress you out!
Tip #2: Make a Checklist
A checklist is what you need, whether you need to travel for a couple of days, weeks, months, or even longer. A checklist also helps you get organised – and it is fairly useful when you need to pack quick. Draft it out prior to your travel. If you are a frequent traveller, you can prepare a set of different templates to suit the purpose of your travel. Take account of the climate of your destination too. Say, if you are travelling in spring and will be travelling till winter; you don’t have to get winter clothes right away. You can get them right before the winter begins. Determine how long you’d be out on the road and remember, the number of clothes, shoes or anything else you bring should not exceed the days you’ll be away.
Tip #3: Have Less Things in Your Wallet
If you’re one of those people who have all kinds of cards storing in your wallet, be it credit cards or membership cards, you should get rid of the ones you won’t need for your travels. Back to basics, leave things you don’t need behind! If you’ve got a big, bulky wallet, perhaps switch to a small, zippered wallet or a waist wallet instead. It can save some space in your bag! Otherwise, keep it in your pocket so you can easily reach it!
Tip #4: Go for Multi-Purpose Items
Having items that serve more than just one purpose is another great way to save space. Say, a pair of trousers that can be used as shorts, or travel soap that can be used to wash both the body and the hair – even clothes. There are travel towels that serve as blankets as well. Wearing ‘all-purpose’ pair of shoes is also recommended. However, if you need to carry something heavy, such as your hiking boots, wear them while travelling to save space in your bag.
Tip #5: Go Wheel-Less
Whilst this isn’t recommended for individuals with serious back pain, going wheel-less is always highly recommended, especially for long-term travelling. Many times people find themselves in situations where bad-conditioned roads or streets with lots of stairs become a challenge. Use backpacks with back support instead. This is to prevent your back from getting hurt.
Tip #6: Shop Light
For those going for short-term travelling, there is always space for their shopping purchases. It’s also common to see people travelling out of the country with just one bag and then come home with 2 or 3 bags. It is not an easy thing for anyone who aims to travel light though (especially those doing long-term travelling); space is rather limited. If you fall under this category, getting lightweight clothing and gear is highly important. Shopping for souvenirs have to be done at minimal, if not, have them sent to the recipients as soon as possible. Most long-term travellers would have them delivered from where they are purchased. That way they could still get gifts for their loved ones and not have to carry them around.
Tip #7: Minimise Toiletries
Don’t take all your home toiletries with you when you travel. Have a standard travel kit with you. It usually comes with a toothbrush, toothpaste, soap and shampoo. If you run out of any of these things, you can always buy them from the supermarket near you. For some, this is one of the ways to avoid using hotel products, for environmental reasons.
Tip #8: Learn to Layer
When visiting cold places, you’re going to need a lot of layers to keep you warm. But instead of bulky and expensive winter jackets, why not pack thermal gear and thin sweaters? Another great way to keep your bag slim is to carry your long sleeve shirt or coat on the plane. If it gets too warm for you, you can have it laid on your lap or put into the overhead bin.
Tip #9: Adopt the Minimalist Approach
Bringing less clothes means that you’re going to work with what you’ve got and it doesn’t mean that you won’t look good. The minimalist approach to fashion is especially good for travelling. A skirt and a pair of trousers can be well-matched with any other outfit – and that way you’d have plenty of clothes for your journey. You can wear a scarf to keep you warm or to add flair to your style – or it can also be used as protection from the scorching heat when travelling in hot areas.
Tip #10: Fit Essentials in One Small Bag
Essentials like toiletries or medications are best placed in small bags or separate compartments. This is one way to keep your things organised and making it easier for you to spot check whatever that’s still missing or needs to be replaced. Because you don’t know what may happen, it’s advisable not to carry all valuables in just one bag. If it gets stolen, at least you will not lose all your valuables at once.
So what do you prefer – practicality or comfort? Why choose when you can have both? If done properly, you can still enjoy your travels even with less things! Remember, when it comes to travelling, the less things you carry, the better! 🙂
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