Do You Master the Art of Travelling Light?
When it comes to travelling, the ultimate freedom is not to be tied to or limited by a huge amount of luggage. Ideally, you will prefer to travel with no heavy backpack or voluminous suitcase – only taking with you what you absolutely need! When packing you will want to exchange many of your usual things for lightweight products – as this is the most obvious way to reduce both weight and volume!
Ainnelise Niyvold Liundbye UPDATED: 28 JAN 2020
1. What are the advantages of travelling with only hand luggage?
You may save precious time
With just a smaller rucksack on your back during the trip you are not necessarily dependent on getting to your hotel first before starting exploring a new place. You may well do some sightseeing on the way. You will easily be able to ‘save’ half of another sightseeing day – since you will not have to go back again for this thing.
You will be able to save valuable time – allowing you to squeeze in a few other things to see and do as well! Especially, if you are only staying at this location for a few days, travelling as light as possible with all its advantages is really worth considering. With a minimum of baggage you can exploit your time 100%. So you will get to see and experience a max – and get the most out of your stay!
You will get freedom and flexibility
To travel with the right amount of luggage you will need to select your suitcase or backpack with care such that it precisely fits your needs. Carrying just sufficient luggage – and not more – will give you the ultimate freedom and as much flexibility as you can wish. This applies in any case – whether you are off for the short city break or for the longer backpacker trip.
To select the piece of luggage you will take with you on your trip will depend on the nature of the trip and your needs. The backpacker trip on another continent will naturally require different things than the summer beach holidays, the city break or the local mountain hiking trip. In each case you will need to make up your mind whether it is a trolley suitcase, a small backpack, an XL backpack – or some other kind of travel bag that will suit you best for that particular trip.
Your luggage will not get lost
If you only take with you what you can carry and keep with you all the time, you will minimise the risk of your luggage getting lost on the way. You will not risk it being delayed because it doesn’t get on the right plane, or that it even completely disappears – maybe forever!
No wasted time at airport check-in
You don’t need to set aside time in the airport for baggage check-in – and you don’t need to waste time waiting for and retrieving your luggage at your destination.
Have you considered taking a super foldable lightweight daypack with you?
2. What should you pack when you travel light?
If you feel inspired to travel light the next time you set out on a trip, you will first need to decide on which type of baggage is apt for you. What suits your needs best – suitcase or rucksack? What you choose may even be kind of a religion to you! Secondly, what is the preferred size of it – how big or small should it be? Keep in mind that you want to travel light and STICK TO IT!
The chosen size of your suitcase or backpack will now determine how much you can bring with you on your trip. Nevertheless, you can still do a bit of magic and include a few more things than you maybe first think – by exchanging some of your usual things for lightweight versions!
1. Only bring the clothing you know you absolutely will need. If you plan on washing during your trip, you really don’t need to pack a lot of clothes.
2. Ensure that you bring just enough clothes to cover the variations in climate at the destination. As an example bring just one thick jumper for cold weather and 1 lightweight rain poncho for rainy weather. They can then be layered, if necessary.
3. A trick can be to put on your ‘thickest’ clothes and ‘heaviest’ shoes when travelling, such that they won’t take up room and weight in your travel bag.
4. Put all liquid products you want to take in tiny containers (everything from sun screen to mosquito repellent). In that way you are allowed to keep them in your hand luggage on the flight – and they will not take up much room.
5. Exchange usual products for as many lightweight products as possible at all. An example is to buy a microfiber towel which weights maybe only 100 g and takes up very little room (as well as dries in only 10 minutes).
3. Our Top 3 travel-light experiences
1. Travel-light cruise in the Mediterranean
Going on a cruise in the Mediterranean with only a 10-kilo trolley suitcase each was a dream! Packing our carry-ons with precisely what was needed for an 8-day cruise in the Mediterranean was way better than we could have imaged! The obvious advantages were:
- In Venice we were able to board the cruise ship right away when we arrived. We didn’t have to line up together with the 2,500 other passengers to check in our luggage. At check-in the crew asked twice if that was really all we had! We could then board right away. At this moment we realised how fortunate we could consider ourselves not having any checked luggage. Other passengers told us later that they had been standing several hours in line before they were allowed aboard!
- Inside the cabin we only spent minutes unpacking – and had lots of room for our stuff in the closet and the drawers. Our small carry-ons fitted excellently under the bed. We had no suitcases or other bags annoying us on the cabin floor during the cruise.
2. Flying to Japan with only a 10 kg carry-on each
It was very fast to get through and out of Narita Airport when we arrived. Within three quarters of an hour we had both cleared customs, gone through immigration, exchanged our Japan Rail Pass vouchers for JR Passes, made reservations at the Narita JR East Travel Service Center for all planned train connections while in Japan and boarded the Narita Express to Tokyo!
3. Doing South America with small backpacks
Doing South America – 7 countries – 30 days – with only 28L laptop backpacks gave us all the flexibility we could wish to visit places on the go.
We experienced an incomparable freedom during our trip!
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