8 Tips On How To Travel Light AF
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Less stuff is cool these days. You’ve probably noticed, least of all in your Insta feed. Cue plain white surfaces, wood tables, and marvellous visions of empty space. And it’s not just for interior design either: one area where having as little as possible makes a whole lotta sense is travel.
Imagine: no more hauling around suitcases; no more checked luggage fares; in fact, you can turn up at the airport later by skipping the check-in desk altogether.
Sounds like a dream? Here are our how-to tips below.
Play mind-games with yourself
Sure, the human brain befuddles scientists world round. In a great paradox, it’s also a mighty susceptible thing. So it’s easy work to trick yourself into packing less. Ever notice how whatever the size of your suitcase, it always ends up full? Buy a bag smaller than you think you need (preferably carry-on; you won’t want anything any bigger if you follow the tips below) and voila! One major temptation to overpack gone.
Let your phone be your everything (like it wasn't already)
Here’s to sounding like a cheesy movie trailer: you’ve got magic in your pocket. Use it. If you’re aiming to travel light, no need to schlep around guidebooks (or books of any sort), bulky cameras, etc. Download what you need on your phone, and walk with a spring in your step. Sure, you might need a back-up battery - but it’s guaranteed to be much lighter than any one of the things you’ve substituted it for.
Channel your inner Steve Jobs
Figuring out and planning your clothes ahead of time is a nightmare, isn’t it? Get rid of the problem altogether Steve Jobs-style and settle on a ‘personal uniform’.
Let us clarify: this does not mean wearing the same clothes every day. That would be gross. Instead, decide on a look that works for you, and buy variations of those in a matching colour palette (or you could go full Steve and just get like 4 of the same thing). Neutral colours are always a good bet: blacks, browns, whites. With your uniform established, the need to worry about outfits and accessories = gone.
Embrace the 'buy as you go' spirit
If you can buy it in a supermarket, you probably don’t need it in your luggage. Why carry bottles of conditioner and sunscreen when you can buy them on arrival? Go to shops at your destination to stock on essentials. Plus, it’ll give you a golden opportunity to pretend to be local.
Sharing = caring
Going on a holiday with a group of friends? You probably don’t need to bring all five of everything with you. Call up in advance and figure out what you’ll want to take along and what you can apportion out. It’s a bit of organisation, sure, but your pain-free shoulders and arms will later thank you. (Lots and lots and lots).
Become a suitcase Ninja
The process of packing can feel like absolute chaos. You’ve seen the filtered pics of people’s impeccably folded t-shirts lined up in reassuring rows. These are bound to be photoshopped, you think, as you give a tug on your socks.
Not so fast. You might not get to the stage where the insides of your suitcase look so pretty that you’ll want to take snaps, but there are a handful of tricks that might help you on your way there.
Namely: roll everything you can (that’s t-shirts, trousers, socks). It takes less space and tends to stay more orderly. Use rubber bands (or gadgets below) to keep stuff together that would otherwise float around loose in a suitcase. And use any spare space at all (yes, that includes inside pairs of shoes.)
See? It’s the small things.
Look into some gadgets
There’s a whole host of travel gear out there that’s designed to be light and compact. If you’re into gizmos, you might find giving your local travel shop a browse. (For instance, have you ever tried a travel towel? They’re magic.) Alternatively, we can’t praise enough the wizardry of packing cubes. For small items that’d otherwise be taking huge amounts of space, they’re a wonder.
Choose your digs wisely
It can pay to be selective about your place of stay. Sometimes it’s access to small basic things that ends up mattering more than the frills. For starters, if your AirBnb/hostel has laundry facilities, or a cheap service on offer, you can immediately halve the quantity of clothes you usually bring (at least). A quick laundry run will have you sorted. Or, if your place supplies essentials like towels, you don’t have to worry about bringing them along.
Wander around with an uncluttered mind, along with an uncluttered suitcase.
By Marion Koob