Top Ten Tips on How to Travel Light

A woman traveling with a small suitcase

Traveling light has been one of the best things I have learned in long term travel. Gone are the days wherein I have to pack so much junk that I seldom use or sometimes do not even use at all. I remember in my past short trips (years ago when I was still employed) wherein I used to carry so much stuff that I thought I needed and often regretting doing so. Good thing that I eventually learnt to break this habit since I started backpacking.

Some of the simple benefits that I enjoyed since I started traveling light include:

  • Save money by not paying for baggage allowance
  • Less time with the check in process since I don’t have to check in any baggage
  • No need to wait at the luggage area to retrieve my bag
  • No hassles in taking public transportation since I’m not carrying a humongous bag
  • Less strenuous at the back since I’m not carrying much weight
  • Less time in unpacking and packing since I’m only carrying a handful of stuff
  • Easy to walk around with all my stuff especially when looking for accommodation since my two bags (main backpack and gadget bag) weighs less than 15 lbs

These are just some of the main benefits of traveling light which I’m sure you’ll greatly appreciate especially if you’re traveling for a long time.

Top Ten Tips on How to Travel Light

So regardless of where you’re going – Goa, Greece, Turkey or elsewhere, there are always opportunities to travel light. So if you’re already planning for your holidays, check out some of my tips that could help you travel light.

1. Start with the Bag: Different kinds of bags have different kind of weights. Depending on your preferred style of bag, make sure to make a weight comparison among your choices before you buy it. I prefer using bags made of ballistic nylons as they are lightweight and sturdy.

2. Know the Climate: Make a quick research about the destination and know the weather on your target travel date to avoid carrying stuff that you’ll end up not using.

3. Mix and Match: Instead of packing ten sets of clothes for a short trip why not pack items that you can mix and match and could still end you up with ten outfit combinations. It’ll save you space on your bag.

4. Use Quick Dry and Lightweight Clothes: Bring clothes that have lightweight and quick dry materials. They will not weigh you down and won’t also eat up space in your bag.

5. Bring Classic Accessories: If you’re fond of wearing accessories, bring classic looking ones that you could also match with all the clothes that you’re going to bring.

6. Buy Toiletries in your Destinations: There are soaps and shampoos in almost all countries so instead of bringing your own, might as well buy a small set when you arrive in your destination.

7. Bring a Smartphone/Tablet instead of a Laptop: If you’re not working online, there’s no need to bring your heavy laptop with you. Just bring your smartphone or iPad or android tablet. These gadgets can do basic computing needs such as browsing the internet, check/response to email and more.

8. Ebooks Instead of Paper Books: Paper books are quite heavy especially if you bring a lot. Download the ebooks that you intend to read on your reader/tablet or smartphone.

9. Roll It, Use Vacuum Storage and Pack Neatly: Rolling clothes seem to help in packing stuff tightly and neatly in a backpack but it creates creases on the clothes. You can also uses vacuum storage bags to remove air and compress clothes. Sometimes packing your stuff the right way will help save space on your luggage.

10. I’ll leave number ten for you. Do you have additional tips and recommendations? Feel free to share your best tips on packing light at the comment section below.

7 thoughts on “Top Ten Tips on How to Travel Light”

  1. My number 10: Bring a scarf or a wrap. It was very helpful and useful for me during my backpacking trip. You can use it to cover your head from the heat of the sun. Use it to cover your face when you are sleeping in a public place. Use it as a blanket when your hostel blanket stinks. Use it to accessorize you outfit. You don’t even need to pack it!

    When I left for my backpacking trip, I only had 7 kilos but I kept buying souvenirs along the way. I went home with a 20 kilo baggage even I have had left some stuff in each hostel I stayed.

    Everything can be bought along the way and if you will be traveling in Asia, it is darn cheap (except Singapore). Save your shopping plans for your final destination and just buy small souvenirs in each city just for yourself.

  2. 10th tip from me: When you pack items such as shoes which are bulky but have space inside them, fill them with other things – items such as socks and pants can be stuffed inside easily and the shoe won’t take up any more space filled like this than it would empty.

  3. 10. If you roll clothes instead of folding them, they tend to take up less space. Unless of course you have a vacuum bag you can transport them in, in which case, fold them flat, slide them inside and then remove the air. This is useful if you have no weight limit, but do have a limit on space, and won’t be needing to carry your luggage too far by hand.

  4. 10th tip from a backpacker: If you’re going to be backpacking and doing a fair amount of travelling with your luggage on your back, then you’ll want to think about weight, space, and ease of carrying things. If you’re going to be travelling for any length of time, it’s very worthwhile to spend a bit of money making sure that everything you take with you is very durable whilst at the same time being light weight. A good example of this would be a sleeping bag. This is an item which can be very bulky and heavy, but a good quality modern version will be light weight, will roll up into it’s own very small carrying bag, and will also be warm and durable.


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