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Packing Smart and Traveling Light, a Guest Post by Aussy Aportadera
Packing smart and traveling light is much harder than bringing everything you need – but it’s worth it! Knowing how to keep your essentials and what works for your travels can make going on the road far easier for you. You’ll feel like you’re a free bird zipping around the world rather than a mule carrying all this luggage.
The importance of traveling light cannot be overemphasized. You’ll never find an expert traveler who will brag that they’re carrying more every year. Here are travel tips that you can use to help make your baggage issues disappear. All these are easy to do and can help simplify all your packing needs.
1. Pick The Right-Sized Bag
One of the most common mistakes when traveling is choosing a gigantic luggage bag that will hinder your travels. This will only tempt you to bring too much. At the same time, you can’t go around seeing the world without a good bag with you. Therefore, you would want to use a small to medium-sized bag that will help prevent overpacking.
A small-sized cabin bag should carry as much as 40 liters of material, while a medium bag should be somewhere between 50 to 55 liters. This size is perfect if you plan on living in hotels and hostels, rather than camp out in the wilderness. On the other hand, if you’re a full-time nomad, two of these should last you a good two years without much issue.
If you’re the type who will be walking a lot and moving from city to city, a backpack should be helpful for you. Backpacks are versatile, easy to lug around and help you be light on your feet. There are also backpacks with unique security features that allow for easy organizing.
2. Pack Only Your Must-Haves
One important rule of packing light is to travel with your must-haves, not the items that are “nice to have.” Must-haves are items that you absolutely need to survive on the road. These are essential materials that make your entire travel easier. Before you travel, lay out everything on your floor and consider what will simplify your trips.
For starters, bring some cash with you, especially if you’re traveling in countries with only a few cities in-between. Debit cards and credit cards are great to carry if you stay in hotels while preventing pickpockets from getting your money.
Another must-have is any type of entertainment option, usually a smartphone. This also doubles as an emergency communication device just in case there are issues during your travels. Chargers and adapters are also small enough to help you charge everything you need without having to guess what kind of sockets are available at your destination.
3. Pack Thin Clothes, Wear Thick Gear
Depending on where you’re traveling, it’s wise to pack less thick and heavy clothes to save on that precious travel weight limit. Rather than carry some big, chunky winter wear, you would want something easy to move on. But, of course, all this depends on the place that you’ll be visiting.
You want plain but versatile outfits that don’t catch attention and compress lightly onto your bags. Cotton pants, skirts, and shirts are all lighter compared to denim and linen clothing. If you’re traveling during winter, light technical clothes with thermal options can add some much-needed warmth.
If you must, it’s best to bring one winter jacket with you to help keep you warm. To save space, wear your heaviest clothes during your air travel. This not only gives you enough warmth during your plane trip, but you can also take the clothes off once you land and still have options for warmth.
4. Prepare Multi-Function Shoes
No matter how many things you want to do, it’s crucial to have the right shoes for your everyday needs. Depending on the places you’ll visit, you want three pairs of shoes maximum when you’re traveling around. These footwear should also have more than a single purpose, staying useful for every occasion you can think of.
Sneakers or rubber shoes are a must-have, especially if you’re planning to walk a lot. Sneakers are great for casual wear, and you can have them almost anywhere you go. Pick something that will last you a long time and can even work in inclement weather. Make sure that they work more for utility rather than aesthetic.
If you’re going to climb mountains or go for winter activities, a strong pair of boots should do the job. Thick leather boots that have strong soles can help. While boots are heavy, this is one of those items that you should wear to reduce the potential weight of your luggage.
5. Carry Portable Toiletries
Toiletries are a must-have in any place you visit, but lugging bottles around can be problematic. It’s not smart to heave liters upon liters of toiletries over long periods of travel. There are several ways to deal with this and save you money along the way.
For starters, solid shampoo and toiletries are some of the easiest to pack products out there. They are shelf-stable and easy to carry, as you can put them in small pockets and expect them never to spill. On the other hand, if you rather use liquid toiletries, eco-sachets are a great way to save space and money.
If you’re visiting countries around Asia, you can replenish your toiletries with eco-sachet toiletries, which should save you a ton of space. But, then again, you need to care for the waste you will create as you take on smaller items. Sachet items are a common source of trash in Asia and are a recurring problem all-around.
Packing smart and traveling light is a must if you’re looking to move around easier. As you move from country to country, you would need to make sure that you have everything you need without encumbering you. Make sure to weigh your bags before you go and make sure you only carry what you need.
Travel with only what you need, and you should be able to enjoy your destination much more. These tips should give you a light enough pack that will last you a few weeks before you have to do a quick refill.
(Solo Trekker 4 U: Read more on a challenging problem: How to Pack Shoes)