The burdens of the world are enough without adding more weight to our literal and figurative shoulders. Enjoying the journey becomes difficult when you have to lug around everything you own in overstuffed, heavy bags. There’s pleasure found in the simplicity of what you don’t need on the road, but it takes some adjustment, skill and planning.
Traveling light is a mindset and a choice with the aim to make your adventure as comfortable as you can, while taking as little as possible. And the benefits far outweigh what you give up:
• Cost – you won’t have to pay checked bag fees or baggage handlers.
• Mobility – more flexibility as you can take public transportation or even walk places, it’s easier to make flight connections and not have your luggage go missing.
• Security – there’s less risk of theft or damage to your belongings.
• Serenity – a hassle-free trip helps give you peace of mind.
• Environment – the lighter our bags, the more we save on fuel consumption.
Here are a few tips for packing a well-edited bag that sheds pounds and stress.
Start with a smaller bag – We have a tendency to max out whatever size bag we have available. Force yourself to go smaller. A carry-on size bag also means you won’t have to spend time in line to check your luggage or wait at baggage claim.
Pack multipurpose items – Fashion designer Pierre Cardin once said, “I can go all over the world with just three outfits: a blue blazer and gray flannel pants, a gray flannel suit and black tie.” This isn’t what you’d take to the beach, but you get the point. Pack basic, versatile clothing that can be mixed up for different occasions.
Take only what you need – Don’t pack for every possible scenario, just what you must have. Start with the premise that all you need is a credit/debit card and a passport and add as little as possible to that. Also, don’t take what’s available on the road, like the soap and shampoo your hotel provides.
Pack then edit again – After you have everything in your bag and ready for your trip, force yourself to take out two items. This process will help you determine what you really need for your journey.
Wear the bulkiest items – If you’re taking a jacket, coat or boots, wear them, don’t pack them. This will save a lot of space in your bag.
Photo: Ernest Alexander bag