Travelling light is an ideal concept that we all wish to embrace but fail most of the times. More often than not, we end up with too many items that we don’t even need during the trip, which only add more weight and take up space in our bags. Packing light actually not only saves us space, money and energy, but also means there’s less thing to worry about.
1. Start Small
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The best way to avoid overpacking is by starting with a small bag. The limited space will give just enough room to pack the things you really need. This will reduce the temptation to add unnecessary things and force you to prioritize. Besides, the good thing about carrying a small bag is getting around, especially during the commute from the airport to your hotel. You don’t want to carry a heavy luggage after a 12-hour flight, do you?
Another thing to note that airlines charge additional fees for the extra weight, and some even charge for just luggage check-in. Travelling with just a small carrier, preferably a carry-on which you can simply stow away in the overhead compartment, saves you money, energy as well as time you would otherwise spend waiting for your luggage.
2. Pack “must haves” instead of “what ifs”
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The most common mistake we make is packing items we think we might need during our trip. Most of the times, we don’t need those items after all and they end up burdening us throughout our whole trip.
If you’re packing something “just in case”, then chances are you’re better off without that item, really. Come up with a list of things you’re planning to bring with you, or lay everything out on the floor or your bed. Go through each and every item and ask yourself why you’re taking that item. If the answer begins with “what if” or “just in case”, leave it out.
3. Plan your outfit
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Everyone wants to look their best on their vacation, but do make sure that you don’t end up burdening yourself by packing too many clothes. Sometimes, people even pack clothes that they haven’t worn in ages, and this often backfires when they find the outfit damaged or no longer fits them.
Choose clothes that you can mix and match so that you still get different looks even with limited choices. Also, ensure that you get the colour coordination right so you don’t look like an oddball! If you’re heading to a colder climate, layer up wear your bulky jacket on the plane instead of packing it. Check the weather of the country you’re visiting to be safe!
4. Think multi-functionality
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Instead of carrying two different items for two different tasks, why not bring just one that can do both? Multipurpose items are the greatest weapon for travellers, especially those backpackers. They don’t take up much space, so you can fill it up with souvenirs at the end of your trip, and help you stay organized. If you know how to fully utilize multipurpose items, this travel hack even helps to save money!
The most classic item is sarong, which is the Swiss Army knife of travel gear. From a makeshift blanket and towel, to a makeshift bag to carry your dirty laundry to the laundromat, sarong is the most versatile item that you should pack. If you don’t have a sarong, pashmina or throw would do! Another item that can be used in many ways is dental floss, which is stronger than thread. You can sew up ripped clothes or loose buttons in times of emergency, use them as shoelaces and even substitute as a knife.
5. Share is Key
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Travelling with a company? Make use of your travel companion and try to coordinate the things you’re packing so that neither of you end up bringing the same stuff or pack food enough for a month stay. Even if your accommodation doesn’t provide toiletries, there’s no need to pack two sets of showel gel and shampoo.
If your travel buddy and you have similar builds, then sharing clothes is also a good option. Swap shirts or jackets and share accessories like scarf and necklace. This way, you can get the most out of the few outfits you have, and save even more space in your bag.
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