Packing light is essential for any globetrotter. You can get around more easily, avoid waiting for bags, and save money by not paying for excess luggage.
But for some people, it isn’t so easy, especially when it means leaving behind some of those items that you couldn’t possibly live without. But our top light-packing tips are sure to give you a head start.
1. Buy it there
Don’t pack for every single contingency – hiking boots in case you go hiking, an umbrella in case it rains, dressy shoes in case you go somewhere nice; the “what if” game will get you in trouble. Instead, allocate $50-$200 per trip to a “settling fund” to buy things once they’re 100% needed.
Also, never buy if you can borrow. If you’re going on a bird watching trip in Costa Rica, don’t take binoculars – someone else with have them.
2. Go for multi-functional items
Give priority to items that serve more than one purpose (goodbye selfie stick) e.g. walking boots that can be worn in the evenings too. Pack a sarong: it’s a sunshade, a blanket, a towel, a bag, a skirt, a head scarf, need we say more? It’s probably the most versatile piece of cloth you can take. Take a pair of black leggings too, they’re easy to wash and dry and go with pretty much everything.
3. Don’t roll your clothes
Yes, rolling your clothes does help you stuff more things in. That’s the problem – you’re trying to pack light, not small. More stuff means more weight that you’ll have to carry. Pack things loosely and there’ll be plenty of weightless air between them.
Or, if you want to go for the strategy of squeezing the absolute maximum amount of items you can into your backpack/suitcase, then opt for a bag that’s slightly smaller – then it will be lighter, and you’ll still have everything you need.
4. Minimise your toiletries
Don’t bring toiletries that you can just buy there for cheap – shampoo, conditioner, shower gel, sun cream, etc. Just buy and pack some of those little travel bottles from supermarkets to get you started. Unless you’re travelling to a remote village with no electricity or limited running water, everywhere you go has 99% of what you need.
5. Be strategic with clothing
If clothing takes up more than a third of your bag, you’re probably packing too many. Here’s some top clothing tips:
- Choose clothing and fabrics that dry quickly, and aren’t too heavy when wet, like synthetic material.
- Pack clothing that is versatile – things that are comfortable for touring around, but can be dressed up for the evening.
- Only pack enough clothes for 7 days, no matter how long you are travelling for. It’s easier to find somewhere to wash your clothes once a week than to carry all of the extra weight around with you for the duration of your trip.
Your ideal travel clothing is durable, takes up minimal space and weight, is wrinkle-free, and matches with the rest of your clothing in fit and style.
6. Choose your phone over objects
Thanks to today’s world of mobile technology, there’s so much you can do on your phone that saves you from packing extra things. The obvious example is the camera, but also think of travel guide books, maps, magazines, fiction books and more. All of these things can be accessed on your phone, saving you so much space and weight.
7. Use a bag or suitcase that fully opens
We don’t recommend using a top-loading backpack. Your smaller items will slip to the bottom and be forgotten about. Use a bag that opens all the way so you can access everything. You won’t have to be quite as organised and this reduces the need for separate little bags and pouches.
8. TAKE LESS
The ultimate tip to packing light? Pack less! Doing without a few comforts for a few days or weeks, and maybe wearing the same clothes more than once without washing them isn’t the end of the world. If you’re a first time traveller, the next time you travel you’ll be surprised at how little you really need.
Go casual, simple, and very light. In your travels you’ll meet two kinds of tourists – those who pack light and those who wish they had.
Have you got a little break coming up? Why not take our RockHoppa roll-up travel bag?
Suitable for both men and women, this bag is perfect for weekend travel, camping, festivals and more. Pack it, roll it up and carry it with the handle or shoulder strap!
It’s ideal for those that don’t like unpacking – unroll it on the bed to take out what you need, then roll it back up, or unroll it and hang it up – both provide easy access to your stuff!
AVAILABLE IN JET BLACK AND CAMOUFLAGE – FIND OUT MORE