If you’re one of the people who carry every freaking thing you could on a trip, you’re not alone. Albeit it would be much better if you tried to stand out. Travelling light isn’t a luxury, but it needs a certain amount of patience and a peculiar type of personality. I mean, you have to be really sorted to convince yourself that you don’t need that extra pair of pants. It is NOT easy, and I’m only being honest. Every time I’m packing my bags, I have to go through my list a hundred times and every time I strike something off to exclude it, I replace it with something else. High5 if you fall into my category.
Nonetheless, I must say that travelling light - no matter how much it freaks you out - makes you feel better eventually. It gives you anxiety at first but is full of pleasure at the end. You realize that you didn’t really have to carry those extra kilos at all. But it’s difficult to start with. So, I’ve got some quick and simple tips for you that will help you make your traveling light and thus better.
The Travelling Light Formula
Going minimalistic requires organizational and decision-making skills. It isn’t rocket science, but you do need to be wise.
- Make a list of all the things you’re planning to pack
- Sort the items according to need or ‘what if?’ basis, frequency of use, and availability.
- Frequency: Twice a day
- Availability: available everywhere
- Frequency: Rare
- Availability: can be found
1.Give them a preference order:
2.Need > What if > Higher order
3.More Frequency = Higher order
4.Higher availability = Lower order
It looks like a weird Math problem (and hence it makes sense). Something you need is more important than something you might need (you mostly don’t need it); something that’s to be used more often will have more right to the precious space in your bag; something that is easily available everywhere may be bought as opposed to things that are localized, so must be carried if needed.
Whether you realize it, this travelling light formula can make your job a hundred times easier. It’s efficient and helpful.
Pick a Smaller Bag
“Modern problems require modern solutions.” Picking a smaller bag may not reduce your urge to overfilling it; you will just not be able to stuff in much. A good analogy would be ‘eating on a smaller plate if you want to eat less.’ Fair enough, isn’t it?
Pack ‘n’ Roll
Roll everything wearable. Those 1-minute hack videos that show how you should roll your T-shirts, pants, and underwear instead of folding them are legit. It saves space. Moreover, you can keep your socks rolled inside your shoes, which are empty from the inside but occupy that much space on the outside.
Sort According to Days
You could plan your requirements per your travel plan and sort your clothes accordingly. Make sets of clothes and keep them together. Although it depends entirely on where you’re going, packing clothes that are easier to dry is lighter and a better idea. These clothes can be washed and reused.
Mix and Match
With clothes that you can mix and match, you don’t have to worry about things going as you plan. One, you get the liberty to plan pairs ahead, and two, it gives you the flexibility to improvise if required.
Carry your Coffee Mug and Water Bottle
Coffee mugs are personal - you don’t want to share anybody else’s nor do you feel comfortable with any mug out there. Carrying your own is environmentally friendly as you will no longer have to rely on the disposable ones (that are mostly non-biodegradable) or have to be concerned about infections.
As far as the water bottle is concerned, if you think that buying one is better than carrying one - it’s not. You’ll still have to bear the weight. Besides, refilling is cheaper than buying a new bottle complementary with the water every time.
Wear What Doesn’t Fit
The jacket that’s super warm or the shoe that is comfy but too big to fit, it’s best to just wear it or keep it handy.
The next time you have to go on a flight and your bag over-weighs a little, you know what you have to do!
Meds: To Keep or Not to Keep?
This can be tricky. Apart from the medication that you’re on, do you need to carry the others? Well, it depends on what kind of travelling you’re doing. If it’s going to involve a lot of adventures like sports or hiking, you might want to be on the safer side and keep a first-aid kit handy. Besides, you might get cramps so having a pain-killer ready is also not a bad idea. Nevertheless, you get most medicines and first-aid remedies almost everywhere, should you forget to keep something.
Identity, Adapters, and Money
These are the things that can be considered essentials. Your phone, laptop, and charging adapters might not be available everywhere and are often not so cheap that you could or would want to buy. Since you’re travelling and you don’t want your laptop’s or tablet’s screen to be damaged, keep it in a separate bag that will remain in the cabin with you and you’re more careful with. This bag could be the one you keep your wallet and identity cards in. You may lose everything else, but these are the things that can help you retrieve or buy them back.
Light on Mind
Finally, being minimalistic on materialistic things is sure amazing, but it all zeroes down on how light you are on your mind. Carrying loads on the heart will nullify the lightness of your bag - please don’t do that! Push the stress away. Let the fresh energy of the changing environment take you in. Put a friendly smile on your face, you never know who you can meet when and make life-long relationships with!
I respect your opinion but I believe that travelling is supposed to be light. Best if it’s light on both your mind and shoulder.