Travelling light: Packing the essentials this summer

What a relief! We can travel again! We can pack up and go somewhere new and meet people again – live life again. Suddenly, all the old worries begin to disappear, and we can turn our focus to working out how to pack your home like a snail to take with you on holiday. If you are the sort of person who has the habit of packing heavy and finding yourself tied to a trolley of bags, we are here to offer some tips on how to reduce your burden.

Before you declare packing light too hard, you need to focus on the freedom that comes from travelling with only the things you need and will use. Let’s share some tips from veterans of travel looking to follow some basic rules for light travel.

Some basic principles

Before we get to the nitty-gritty tips, there are some essential principles for packing effectively. The first of these is to choose the appropriate bag. Most experienced travellers looking for true freedom suggest a backpack is the best option, using the many pockets for easy access to the essentials. However, if you are heading off to a hotel, you should definitely invest in a set of packing cubes. Yes, these are bags within bags, but they are genius for compartmentalising your basic needs and allowing you to squash precisely the right amount in for your travels. 

Another important principle for practical light travel is to only take the must-haves. Those who pack imagining all the possible scenarios they might find themselves in are the ones who will fill a couple of 20kg suitcases. Instead of thinking it would be nice to have these items, you need to apply the “must-have” principle. Only those must-haves should make it into your bag.

Finally, you really only need to pack for one week, even if you are going for longer, as there are laundry facilities somewhere to give you a chance to wash and re-wear items. Also, as much as this might be an odd thought, there are shops all over the world for moments you hadn’t anticipated. It could be part of the adventure.

Sorting the right toiletries

Toiletries are both essential and troublesome for light travelling. You feel like you need to take everything that maintains your daily ritual. The first discipline here is to ask if you really need everything for your trip. For instance, you might find your straighteners are excessive if camping, so you don’t need your heat protection spray either.

There are kits you can buy for those committed to light travelling that include all the essentials in a travel pack. These little see-through plastic packs are neatly packed with shampoo, soap, toothpaste, and more. The best ones come with refillable bottles, which mean you can top up as you travel. If you are heading to a hotel where there will be soap and shampoo, you can use the spare space for extras such as basic cosmetics.

One of the most popular tips from veteran travellers is to not go for liquids at all. There are bars of soap and shampoo that get over the 100ML liquids limit on aeroplanes. Much of shower gel and shampoo is water, and you don’t have the space to carry this. According to some sources, better still is a dry shampoo that comes in a shakeable tub, which can keep your hair refreshed over a week. 

Other hints and tips

There are some clever tips, such as wearing your heaviest clothes to travel, including your bulkiest shoes. Also, carrying a smaller bag inside your case for day trips is a great tip too.  However, let’s end with our favourite advice, which is to buy some merino wool jumpers. Traditional fibre jumpers are super bulky, whereas merino wool can bundle down. It can also be used to keep you warm when it is cold, but some pixie magic keeps you cool when it is warm.

Infographic Provided By Golen Engine Service