How to travel light?

In my last post, we talked about some of the reasons why we should travel light. Travelling light is important, for a care-free travel. It makes your travelling so much easier. But here you might be asking, yes yes we understand that but how can we possibly reduce our luggage? How to pack light?

I am here to answer just that. Here are a few pointers that will surely help you out in taking your first steps in packing light –

Pack only your ‘must-have’s and not your ‘just in case’

While we are packing, we tend to take things which we think we might need in our travel. Things like extra cables, extra extra extra clothes, one or two books to read if we are bored, a lot of toiletries, 2-3 types of hats or caps, 2-3 pairs of shoes, etc. While doing so, we see we already packed 3 big suitcases, which in no way light. Take only the must-have things and leave everything else behind. Check and cross-check. Throw away everything that you think you might need because surely you won’t, or you can easily find our solutions when the situation calls for it. You know yourself that you have packed a lot in your last trip and ended up wearing just two pairs of t-shirts or dress out of the 10 that you brought with yourself.

Pack for 3 days – The Holy Trinity Rule

We tend to think that we need this and that and this again and then we end up packing 20 different types of shirts and pants. While you are travelling, follow the Holy Trinity Rule (no such rule exists but it will help you remember). Pack three pairs of socks, three underwear, three shirts – wear one, wash one and dry one. If you have the habit of wearing vests, you can pack three of them as well or you can just skip this one. Take one pair of pant and one shorts. That is enough because the worst cases happen rarely. If you want to travel light, you have to think less about the worst cases because that will make you pack a lot more than you actually need. You can always buy a pair of pants or shirts if you really need one. You don’t have to carry it with you at all times. If I talk about my Vietnam travel, I covered the 3 months with 2 vests, 3 pair of underwear, 3 t-shirts, one long and one half pant, one pair of shoes. I thought in every city that I would buy something but I never did and it was all good.

Choose the right bag

Choosing the right bag is the best decision you can ever make as a traveller. Based on how long you are going to travel and what items you are going to carry will determine what bag you are going to take. For me, I had my laptop and so a normal rucksack wouldn’t have worked as it wont protect my laptop. So I went ahead with this one. This bag totally answered everything that I needed and it was compact but also allowed 46 litres of storage.

Definitely get a weighing machine

You may not think about this as a useful item but having this alongside you, especially while packing, will help you tremendously in keeping a check on how much you are taking with you. I bought this one and it helped me keep the 7 KG limit (because I chose a cheap flight and that was the maximum I could carry for free). Get this and try your best to keep your overall luggage less than 10 KGs. This will help you run around freely and also will allow a bit to bring back souvenirs from the places you visit. It is really a big hassle to carry around big suitcases all around. Lighter the better.

Get Packing Cubes

Packing Cubes are great if you have a lot of items with you. They help in keeping things organised. There are different types of packing cubes. You can choose different sized options, same sized options or organisers which aren’t cubes at all. Anything that helps you organise your things are good for you. I didn’t get it because my bag had enough compartments and also I wore all the clothes and I chose not to bring any toiletries and stuff. But if you are a person who needs to take a lot of stuff, organisers will surely help. You can get something like these.

Don’t bring Toiletries

Speaking about toiletries, if you take my advice, don’t bring toiletries like soap, shampoo, toothpaste, etc etc, unless you really need to use something specific. If you are staying in a hotel, you will anyway be given those for free. If you are staying in a hostel, you can share. Worst case, you can buy small sachets or bottles when you are in your destination. While travelling, if you talk to real travellers, you will know that getting a good bathroom, getting proper water can get really rare (being honest in here – travelling is fun and adventurous in its own way). So you wont be using your toiletries every day. So why bother carrying all those when you can share or buy when you need some. Yes, toothpaste you can bring but shampoos, shower gels, etc are all luxuries in travelling. Also, shower gels are a far better option than soaps. They also can be used as shampoo alternatives. So if you really need one, use shower gels as these serve multiple purposes and also is less of a hassle.

What do you think of these points? Have anything else in mind? 
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Your Friendly Neighbourhood Traveller