I travel several times a year. As a moderate minimalist, I’ve learned to travel light. You don’t have to limit yourself to one set of clothes, but there are ways you can travel with only one or two small bags. Do you travel light?
Over the years, the size of my luggage has shrunk. No, I didn’t wash it. I downsized. I used to carry a standard-sized (24″ x 16″ x 10″) case and a large leather saddlebag-style briefcase. I discovered that I was carrying twice what I needed. I also discovered that too often I had to check luggage plane side. That sucks. It slows you down. A few years ago, I smartened up. I’ve discovered many ways to travel light.
8 Ways To Travel Light On The Road
- Cut your luggage in half: You don’t have to get out the circular saw. Just get a smaller bag. I currently use an 18″ bag by Atlantic. It’s almost half the size of a standard bag and I always get to carry-on, even on smaller planes. My bag still has wheels, but I’m considering going with an even smaller backpack-style bag.
- Get a small messenger bag: My personal bag is smaller than ever. I ditched the stylish leather bag. I got the smallest Timbuk2 Messenger Bag from REI. It holds my 11″ MacBook Air, tablet, phone, book, wallet, keys, cords, and several other small personal items, yet it’s half the size of my old leather bag.
- Limit your clothing: I used to take five or six sets of clothes for a one-week trip. Now, I take three sets of clothes or less. If it’s a weekend trip, I take one or two sets. Even if it’s a two-week trip, three sets of clothes will still work. Make sure to take clothes that are multifunctional, styles that bridge the gap between dress and casual.
- Limit shoes: Unless you’re traveling for business, one pair of comfortable shoes is enough. Sometimes, I still take two pairs of shoes, but I take very light, easy-to-carry styles.
- Limit electronics: One small laptop and a smartphone works for most needs. Sometimes, I throw in my tablet and a small Bluetooth speaker to have great music everywhere I go. Ebooks and cameras are possibilities, but if you don’t need them, don’t take them. How many times have you taken more than you needed? Travel light.
- Consider size and weight: Here’s where I really save space. I travel with clothes that pack light. Hiking shorts, polyester t-shirts, and ankle socks take way less room than full-length pants, cotton shirts, and full-length socks. Of course this depends on the weather. Electronics are smaller than ever: Chromebooks, iPad minis, and ebooks help save more space. Books, paper, and magazines take up space and weigh a ton. One small paperback is all I take now, if any.
- Do laundry: Nearly every hotel has guest-laundry facilities. Do your own laundry. You can work on writing or online business while your clothes are washing and drying.
- Don’t buy too much: It’s fun to get a few keepsakes when you’re traveling, but limit the weight and size of your items. Hats and t-shirts are my favorites.
Travel Smart, Pack Light
I’ve also learned to pack smarter over the years. I roll my t-shirts and stuff things inside shoes.
I’ve discovered that on most trips, I still have more than I need. I wear my favorite items and a few things still go unused. In the future, I’m going to experiment traveling even lighter than ever. It makes getting from place to place a breeze. Travel light. You’ll be glad you did.
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