Packing light is fantastic! If you can learn how to pack light you will have a whole new travel experience. Once you have packing light mastered you will have a new found freedom when you travel.
Packing light is also very rewarding. It means less to carry, less to worry about, or in some cases less to lose!
You won't have to struggle onto public transport, you won't have the need for taxis, you won't need an hour to re-pack you suitcase. You go further and travel longer when you travel light!
For us, travelling light means being organised.
Of course you can pack light just by packing one shirt, one pair of pants and some toiletries. But you definitely wont last long on the road. But travelling light is all about preparation before you even actually start to pack.
Ask yourself does this have a purpose, a specific use? Will I use it? Do I need it? Is it worth taking? Of course there are things that you might just want to take - but these items should be kept to a minimum.
Packing Checklists can be really helpful to make sure you don't forget anything but also to make sure your packing stays on track.
No this is not an ancient Chinese proverb! It just makes sense. If you choose a large backpack or suitcase, you will pack more stuff. If you choose a smaller piece of luggage your packing is more controlled. Even then, don't feel the need to completely fill your luggage. If you know how to pack light you will have no problems bringing a bag back full of cool souvenirs and exotic shopping!
When you need your partner to suit on your suitcase just to zip it up - you have gone too far onto the dark side. If you don't come back now, you never will!
Think about the weight of everything that you want to take. Ask yourself "is there a lighter option?" One of the heaviest things you will take is your luggage itself. Especially spinner luggage - they can weigh up to 2 or 3kg - which is more than 6 pairs of jeans!
To pack light avoid taking heavy jeans and jackets. Avoid heavy shoes. Toiletries can be a huge weight in your bag. Many products have a travel size option or you can buy small plastic bottles which you can pour your shampoo into.
Learning how to pack light is all about not packing multiples of the same item. What you pack for a month should be no more than what you pack for a week. Don't take a suitcase full of underwear. Wash more often. I always take clothes that match instead of packing 'outfits'- that way I can mix and match.
If you are going to wash, then you will need a travel clothesline too.
Using nifty travel accessories will get you packing light for travel. Here are some which come to mind:
It is never ever OK to use a green bag (reusable shopping bag) to carry your excess packing or luggage!! When Gemma's parents arrived in India to travel with us for 6 weeks, they brought 3 reusable shopping bags.They were just an extra piece of luggage to carry around and think about.
And guess what!!! Within one week, one had ripped and we had lost another one!
There are so many benefits of travelling light. You will never hear a traveler say, "I wish I had more luggage!". You will only ever hear a traveler complaining about the weight and or size of their luggage.
Look around you and notice how hard it is to fit a big suitcase on the crowded tube in London or jam a huge backpack in a Tiny Indian Tuk Tuk! Not to mention how easy it is to lose a bag when you have too many!
I bet you envy those travelers who don't have to wait at the luggage carousel!
Learning how to pack light is easy once you know how. If you still need some extra help, then check out travel packing checklists for every season and different travel styles. Also read how to actually pack your backpack correctly.