Another guest post by my husband.
You’ll never meet a traveller who, after five trips, brags: “Every year I pack heavier.”
Rick Steves – Travel Writer
These words echo in my head every time I pack for trip, whether business or pleasure, reducing the amount of stuff I carry always makes for a more enjoyable time. Whenever I travel with colleagues, they are amazed by my small bag and unable to imagine how they could do it. Packing light is easier than they think and anyone can reduce their luggage to a manageable size with some planning and preparation.
Colleen and I are committed to only take as much stuff as can be carried onto the flight; a 9″ x 22″ x 14″ bag weighing no more than 7 Kilos (15 lbs) plus a smaller bag for personal items like a camera. We use a convertible backpack/suitcase with zip-away shoulder straps that is lighter than your average roller bag, and easy to tote across town to our hotel. How do we do it? Well, my bag contains the following items:
- 2 collared shirts
- 2 t-shirts
- 1 pair of pants
- 1 pair of shorts/swimmers
- 4 sets of underwear
- 4 pair of socks
- 1 jacket
- Vibram Five Fingers
- small toiletries kit
- first aid kit
- 1 small towel
- sewing kit
- guide book/maps
- phrase book (if needed)
In my camera bag:
- DSLR plus 28-135mm zoom
- 50mm lens
- iPod Touch
- battery charger
- spare battery/compact flash drives
- Archos 604WIFI (used for photo storage and charging the iPod)
I used to carry a laptop but an iPod touch provides me all the computing power I need except for an ability to upload photos from my camera so I carry the Archos 604. Despite carrying two devices, I still save more than half the weight of your average 12-13 inch laptop or netbook.
The main advantage of this small uncluttered travel bag is mobility. While most people are waiting for their bags, we are heading to the hotel. We can easily change planes, trains or buses when a delay occurs because everything is with us. Sure we have to do some washing along the way but it is often no more expensive to use a fluff and fold service than to do the laundry yourself. We also use lightweight wash and wear clothes that can be washed in a sink if necessary, and air dried over night.
Virtually nothing in our bag is there because we might need it, we will use every item continuously throughout our travels and when those one-off occasions arise we just buy what we need at that time. Plan for the best and be prepared to spend a little money if needed, why ruin a vacation lugging a huge bag of stuff you never use to save a few dollars. Travelling light is an awakening that can open your eyes to how little you need in your life, try it on your next vacation.
For those who cannot imagine travelling with one small bag, check out Rolf Potts’ No Baggage trip.
ITEM 250 0F 365 LESS THINGS
I am sure someone will find these fabric scraps useful but I am sure I am not going to use them