How to Travel Light

Posted on: 2nd January 2014

You can easily discern a typical tourist, especially the eager first-timers, by the excessive amount of luggage they carry around. That is really a dead giveaway.

So for your own good, you should pack light. Come to think of it, a seasoned traveller never ever says that as year passes by, he packs heavier than the previous trip. A good traveller is one who is completely satisfied with his light luggage. Besides, you cannot really travel heavily and cheaply.

Just one bag. Period.

If it fits the overhead bin of the airplane, that is the standard size of your carry-on bag. At first, you’ll really struggle especially if the concept of stuffing everything you need in a 9" × 22" × 14" bag seems impossible if not ridiculous for you. But you’ll manage. And you’d be very satisfied you did limit yourself to those 20 pounds inside your bag.

Here’s how you can make it possible: Pack up completely and roam around your hometown – on foot. If you cannot enjoy window shopping or appreciating historical buildings within the  30 minutes because your feet are already killing you, then there is too much stuff that needs to be taken out of your bag. Seriously.

A practical tip: if you carry your own stuff, then it is less likely to get stolen, broken, or lost. Even quick, last-minute changes in your destination or flight schedule becomes spontaneous and quite easy because there is only one bag to think about. You will worry less – unlike those other folks staring anxiously and impatiently at the luggage carousel. And you can get back home more quickly than the others – coz you’re the first human being the security dog sniffs.

One bag also means saving a lot of money. But it is not really about that. It is more of a reflection of your travelling decisions and your general lifestyle. With just one bag, you’re not easy target for con artists and you won’t feel helpless without porters. And you are always in control because you’re very mobile.

Packing 101

Take this advice seriously. Bring very little. So, how do your basic necessities for survival and living make the mark worthy to be stuffed within your bag?

  • Gather everything you think you need for your trip and spread them out on your bed.
  • Scrutinize each item and see if it can multitask.
  • Determine if it is worth the extra weight when you move into another tourist destination.
  • If the answer to step two and three is yes, then it’s a go. If you’re in doubt, leave it.

The world is getting smaller and smaller. It is ready to embrace you with open arms. Ditch all your toiletries because you can buy your favourite brand of soap or toothpaste even in the remotest region of the world. Well, not really. But the point is, tourist shops and international hotels usually have what you need for your entire stay. And even if they don’t have one, why ruin the memories of your travel with it? Get out of your comfort zone for once and try that particular countries brand of toilet paper.

Okay, I get it. It still is impossible to pack light. Thank goodness we have airless baggies, packing cubes, clothes compressor and other wonders of our modern society. This way, you won’t leave your favourite coat or your trusted sewing kit, if you really have to bring it along.

But remember, go simple and pack light. Enjoy your travel!

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