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    Useful Tips for Travelling Light

    Useful Tips for Travelling Light

    By AlexToddGeneral

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    Travelling light doesn’t have to mean leaving things behind; rather, it should focus more on realizing what is essential. Read on to discover some critical tips for travelling light that will help you to become a more efficient packer and ultimately make your future travel experiences a whole lot less stressful.

    We’ve all struggled with what to pack for a vacation. How many shirts should I bring? Do I need to pack jeans and dress pants? Is there such a thing as too many socks?

    While the answer to the last question is undoubtedly yes, there is so much nuance when it comes to travel that it can be hard to really nail packing down to a science. If you have ever found yourself schlepping needless items around the Italian countryside or kneeling next to the baggage claim hoping that your checked bags didn’t get lost, you might find some of this information on travelling light to be useful.

    10 Tips for Travelling Light

    1. Make a Packing List… And Whittle it Down

    Having a written packing list will help you to take stock of exactly what items you need to bring and what you can leave behind. The amount of times that I have packed last-minute and brought something along thinking that I would use it, only for said item to get shoved to the bottom of my pack is higher than I would care to admit. Learn from my mistakes and plan out your packing list early, so that you can streamline it over time and bring only the items that you will need for your trip.

    Make a Packing List

    2. The 1-2-3-4-5-6 Rule

    The 1-2-3-4-5-6 rule is an excellent guide to live by, at least until you understand the nuances of how you travel as an individual. The rule is a general guideline that should give you an idea of how much clothing to pack for a two week period:

    • 1 hat
    • 2 pairs of shoes
    • 3 bottoms
    • 4 tops
    • 5 pairs of socks
    • 6 pairs of underwear (plus a bra for women)

    It might not seem like a whole lot, and you can certainly substitute or add to the list; however, this is a great baseline to get you started in the world of packing light.

    3. Learn the Ranger Roll

    The ranger roll is a quick and easy technique that is a game changer when it comes to packing, as it will enable you to stow away far more clothing than you would with conventional folding techniques. There is a reason why it is a common practice in the military – efficiency!

    4. Pack Dual-Use Items

    Packing is kind of like going through that one kitchen drawer we all have that barely closes because it’s so full. Sure there are a lot of great gadgets in there that can do one specific thing well, but in reality a good knife could probably replace most of them and remove a mess of clutter from our lives.

    The same principle applies to packing, and a great way to cut down on unnecessary bulk is to consider bringing items that are dual-use. Certain articles of clothing, such as quick dry shorts, can be used for a number of different activities like hiking, swimming, or walking around town. In terms of utility items, a poncho can also be repurposed as a pack cover, and bandanas/buffs can be used for a variety of purposes, such as keeping the sun off your head, use as a neck warmer, or even as a facemask.

    Take a moment to consider if something you were planning on bringing has a single function, and whether it could be replaced with something more versatile.

    Pack Dual Use Items

    5. Bring Light, Quick Dry Clothing

    Quick-dry performance clothing can be a real lifesaver when you are travelling, as their moisture-wicking properties not only keep you dry and comfortable while you are out exploring, but they also enable you to wash your clothes and hang them to dry in a quick timeline.

    When you are looking to purchase quick-dry clothing, the most common materials will be polyester, nylon, or merino wool – with the latter keeping you warm even when damp! If you don’t have a huge budget, focus on buying base layers like underwear or socks, as these will have the biggest impact. You can always upgrade the rest of your wardrobe later!

    6. Choose Clothing With Neutral Colours

    This should be a pretty common tip for those who travel regularly, but neutral colours have several benefits over a brightly-coloured wardrobe. In addition to the fact that you won’t stick out like a sore thumb, choosing a simple, neutral, or muted palette will provide more opportunity to mix and match amongst the articles of clothing that you do decide to bring on your trip. Darker colours like black or grey have the benefit of appearing cleaner for longer, so that is one thing to keep in mind if you aren’t keen on doing a bunch of laundry. Speaking of which…

    7. Do Laundry!

    Doing laundry while you are traveling is one of the easiest ways to keep your pack light and is a great way to constantly have access to your entire wardrobe. It also has the added benefit of keeping you clean and helping you to avoid smelling like dirty socks, which I think we can all agree is a win for everyone!


    8. Ditch the Toiletries

    This is a pretty straightforward tip, but unfortunately it is one that many people do not follow – much to the chagrin of anyone that has been held up in an airport security line. Unless you want to unpack your entire bag in front of strangers just to throw out your oversized bottle of contact solution, consider leaving all but the basic toiletries at home. Not only will this help to reduce the weight of your bag for the initial leg of your trip, but having to buy some toiletries at your destination will likely make you think twice and only purchase the essentials.

    9. Weigh Your Bag

    Whether you plan on checking your bag or not, no one wants to be the person holding up a line while rifling through their luggage trying to shed a few pounds. Weighing your bag at home during the packing phase is the easiest way to keep tabs on how much you are actually bringing and whether or not you need to cut back. Remember, it’s always easier to do this at home than in the airport!

    Bonus Tip

    10. Souvenir Space!

    This isn’t really a tip, but more of a pleasant reward for having been so diligent with your packing practices! If you were able to pack light going into your trip and have some room to spare, you should have plenty of room to bring back souvenirs from your travels. It’s a win-win really!

    Adventure Tours

    Looking to test out those newfound, ultralight packing skills with an exciting adventure? Check out the following adventure tours to discover your next travel destination:




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