Traveling light is by far the best advice I can give to someone preparing to go on a trip. If you are reading this post it is probably because you have already experienced on your skin the feeling “who made me do it ?!” after cursing yourself for carrying half your luggage and thinking “just in case”.
You may also have had to pay more for your plane ticket than expected due to checked baggage and extra pounds. Whatever the reason, traveling light is much easier than you think and will seem trivial but it can be summed up as: carry as little as possible. Easy isn’t it? Let’s see in practice how to do it.
This post is primarily for backpackers and those planning to embark on long trips that involve a lot of commuting. In any case, most of the tips you will find can also be used for short holidays.
Top 10 tips for traveling light
1. Choose the right luggage
The best way to avoid carrying too many things is to choose a “container” that does not allow us to do so, so you will not have a choice.
Personally I believe that the best choice of all is a good travel backpack. In addition to being much more practical and versatile than the classic suitcase / trolley, the idea of having it on your shoulders should discourage you from carrying unnecessary things with you.
I recommend a backpack around 40 liters, which is large enough to carry everything you will need and should in principle be accepted as airline hand baggage, thus avoiding additional costs for checked baggage and possible fines. at the airport due to excess kilos.
You may need a larger backpack in case you are carrying camping gear but usually 40 liters is more than enough.
2.Take only what you need with you
Before leaving, it’s easy to get carried away and start packing all those things you might need in the event that you decide to climb Everest or are invited to the Oscars.
Especially if this is your first trip, the temptation to carry a lot of unnecessary things simply because the feeling of being ready for every conceivable situation gives you a sense of security will be high. Hold on and remember that everything you might need can be bought on the spot and, in the case of low cost destinations, at a more advantageous price.
Place everything you plan to bring with you on top of the bed or on the floor and analyze what for what asking yourself if you will really need it, if not safe then leave it at home. To help you, you can take a look at my list of things to take on the go.
3. Do not wear changes for more than a week
Whether yours is traveling for two weeks, a month or a year makes no difference.
Do not wear changes for more than a week. It is much easier to wash your clothes frequently than to carry on your shoulders changes for three weeks and focus exclusively on the ones that will always be useful to you, thinking twice before bringing something that you would only use in particular situations.
Many hostels and hotels offer a laundry service, alternatively you could go to a laundry shop or even more simply wash your clothes by hand.
4. Fill the backpack with layers
Especially if you are traveling in cold climates or are going through very different climates, choose technical and versatile clothing that can be combined with each other to dress like an onion.
A thermal suit is the perfect example, it keeps extremely warm, can be worn under any other garment, is very light and takes up little space.
Imagine the classic midseason day with cool mornings, hot afternoons and cold nights, that’s exactly the climate you need to be prepared for.
Dressing in layers gives you the flexibility to be ready for very different climates while still keeping your luggage light.
5. If it is bulky then wear it
If you need to bring bulky clothing with you then wear them and don’t put them in your luggage.
For example, most trips require two pairs of shoes, say a pair of hiking shoes and a pair of everyday shoes. Wear the trekking ones for your travels and put the others in your backpack.
If you are traveling in cold climates then you will probably bring a more or less heavy jacket with you, but this should not affect the weight of your luggage as you will always wear it.
If, on the other hand, you are traveling long-term and plan to go through cold climates only for part of your trip, then consider buying a cheap jacket on the spot and maybe trying to resell it when you no longer need it.
There is no worse thing than carrying a heavy jacket that you don’t use in your backpack, and even the cheapest of travelers should consider losing a few bucks for comfort.
6. Leave some free space and buy at the end
Who doesn’t come home from a trip without buying something?
Leave some free space before leaving so that you will have the opportunity to take home whatever you decide to buy, but above all try to make your purchases just before returning. By doing this, I would have the lightest baggage for most of your trip.
7. Pursue summer
This advice is especially true for long-term travelers or those who are organizing a trip to countries that have very different climates due to altitude or geographical position.
Plan your trip trying to move around following the summer by creating an itinerary that minimizes the difference in temperatures between one destination and another.
8. For those who are not traveling alone
For those traveling in a group, as a couple or as a family, it is obviously advisable not to bring duplicates such as nail clippers, sunscreen, medicines etc. etc.
9. Digitize everything you can
Many like to read on the go but books also increase the weight of your luggage, I recommend buying an ebook reader that can hold thousands of books at the weight of a small book. I understand the charm of the paper book but this is undoubtedly the best solution for traveling light.
The same goes for guides, maps and all those products that you can simply download on your smartphone or tablet.
Usually in hostels it is easy to find books and guides that you can read on the spot or take with you leaving something else in exchange. You can then pick up a book at a hostel, travel a bit with him, and then drop it off at the next hostel.
10. Optimize space
Finally, while this won’t directly affect the weight of your luggage, organizing and optimizing space will make your life on the go easier.
The organizer cubes are perfect for organizing your backpack while the compression bags I recommend them to reduce the volume of bulky clothing that for whatever reason you will not go to use during a part of your trip and you can simply leave on the bottom.
Traveling light is really easy. Regardless of the length of the trip, bring the bare essentials and dress in layers. It’s easier than it looks.