Packing light has it all in the name, meaning that we should pack our things in a way that the luggage will weigh less and at the same time we’ll bring everything we need.
We often think that we need more than we actually gonna use or wear. So, the thing is not that we won’t pack some of the things we might use, but on a contrary, we just won’t pack the things we won’t gonna use and might think we would need them at that crucial moment when packing.
We all need support when packing and someone to remind us that some of the stuff we shouldn’t really carry. It’s good to always ask someone from the closest people to you for an opinion because you’ll simply need to hear that: Don’t pack that you won’t need it. I must say, that some of us feel better just knowing that they’ve brought those few pieces of clothes for just in case situation, even though they know that probably those situations won’t occur at all. But, they feel more secure somehow when are packed than when not. If you’re one of those persons, you should release yourself from that feeling and start seeing the things from another perspective.
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How good is to travel light?
Most of the time we associate light packing only with airplane travels and flights because of the luggage policies that depend on how big the bag is. Airline companies have different, but similar, size limits for the carry-on luggage and you should check with them before you start packing. For orientation, cabin luggage with a maximum of 55 x 40 x 20 cm is what is allowed in most of the airlines and a small personal item of 40 x 30 x 18 cm that should fit under your airplane seat. Personal items include a handbag, briefcase, laptop computer, camera bag, crutches, umbrella etc. There are two benefits of traveling with hand luggage, besides being lightweight: it’s less stressful because you won’t be worrying about losing your bag, and you can’t get surprised by additional luggage fees that may occur in case your bag was checked in.
But, the advantages of traveling light are huge especially when traveling by trains, a bus or when you have to change a few ways of transport until you reach the destination. You’ll simply appreciate those 10 kg less weight on you in those moments. Even though the bag may be on wheels if heavy, the weight will finally get your arm and you’ll eventually get tired of it anyway.
At last, too much weight will slow down your car. When traveling by car you’ll have that advantage of bringing your (fold up) bicycle or paddleboard too, so loosening up of the unnecessary weight will do good on both, and that is something you may find it very useful. After all, it’s vacation time which means more fun for everyone.
I find packing for vacations very fun and enjoyable because in those moments my mind is all wrapped up with thoughts thinking of the destination and just how great it will be when I get there.
How to pack?
Before you start packing if you just think of three useful tips, you’ll soon find yourself smiling and packing in no time instead of feeling confused or chaotic.
First: pack clothes for one week vacation, regardless of how long you’re staying. If you stay more than a month though you may need to do a bit of shopping there. The second thing is layering. Choose clothes made of thinner fabrics easy to mix and match that you can wear in layers for different weather conditions, but not extreme though. For example, you can wear a t-shirt, above a cardigan and finally a scarf. Even when traveling to tropical destinations it can get chilly sometimes at night, so cardigans are a good choice. The third thing is to roll the clothes cylindrical or in tubes when packing. It will save you a significant space in your bag. Yes, the technique that you use when arranging the clothes in the bag is crucial. So, you’ll have to try this if you haven’t already. It’s really neat and space-savvy.
My modest bag for one-week summer vacation includes at least two pairs of shorts, four t-shirts, two cover-ups for the beach, trousers, one dress and two short skirts, leggings, cardigan, a blazer, two shirts, two swimsuits. The best way to pack all of this would be by organizing the clothes in packing cubes. In that way, you can even separate dirty from clean or wet clothes from dry. Finally, I’ll just pack sneakers and sandals, and buy flip-flops at the destination.
Don’t forget to bring a First Aid Kit in your handbag and some cosmetic products that you really enjoy that you won’t be able to buy them at the destination.
What not to pack?
I always exclude cosmetics and beach accessories off my packing list and buy them at the destination. This goes for the hair accessories and the additional two swimsuits as well. I love the organic cosmetics especially from the tropical islands and the handmade woven bags made of palm trees or bamboo. Also, handmade jewelry made of native stones or pearls is a must buy, and they’re the only ones I usually wear while there.
If you travel by airplane there are some rules for liquids and sharp items that are unallowed to be carried on in your hand luggage. But, you can always buy those small items from pharmacies and markets at the destination or bring non-liquid cosmetics and solid toiletries.
In my luggage, you’ll only find clothes and shoes and some electronic devices, like a notebook, phone and camera sometimes though. Since the phone has a good enough camera for capturing those happy moments and gives that freedom of carrying it on wherever you go, I rarely use a separate camera.
If you’d like to carry some extra jacket, trousers, denim or shoes that have a big enough reason not to be packed, then it’s a very good idea to wear them when traveling. A lightweight jacket with a lot of pockets is another option if you have many accessories and gadgets to be carried and you’ll find it useful when hiking.