For any globetrotter, packing light is a must. With a small pack, you would not only be able to enjoy longer, easier treks but also be able to rush to catch that last train. But if you are not a packing ninja yet, worry not, here are a few tips – some obvious, others not so – to help you pack ultra-light but at the same time not miss out on the important stuff you need for your journey.
Buy a smaller backpack
It is an unwritten rule of packing – you will pack your bags to the point they threaten to burst over. So, the best way to travel light is to buy a bag 10% smaller than you believe you will need. A bag with no interior partition will give you higher flexibility.
Be minimalist with toiletries
Remember, you can buy the toiletries after you land at your destination as well. So only pack what you need during transit – and nothing more. Also, if you must carry them, put things like shampoos, creams in zip lock bags instead of carrying the entire bottle. Nowadays you also get variants that come in solid form factor instead of packing gels, aerosols and sprays.
Wear the bulkiest items
Do not pack jackets, jeans and other bulky items unless absolutely necessary. If you just need one set of these – wear them instead.
Avoid carrying cash, carry a traveller’s card instead as it is a secure alternative to carry foreign currency while travelling abroad. In case you are carrying a lot of cash, make sure your travel insurance covers you for theft and loss of cash and baggage in case of any uncertainties arising out of theft and loss.
Pack clothes vertically
Instead of stacking the clothes, pack them vertically so that you can see what is where without having to remove the top layer.
Don’t pack stuff you need in “what if” scenarios
Lay down everything you are planning to pack on the bed (or the floor) and for each item ask yourself why do you need it. If your answer starts with a “what if” or if you will use it just once – chuck it out. Remember that if you need something in a pinch, you will be able to source it at your destination.
No more than two pairs of footwear
Footwear takes up a lot of space. Do not carry more than two with you – and one of those should be on your feet and not in the bag. You can also put the socks in your shoes as a space saver.
Use technology well and put everything that you can into a phone instead of carrying a physical item. This includes camera, itinerary, maps, board games etc. If you love to read – carry an e-reader instead of paperbacks. Don’t forget to carry a charger for all your devices; a multi-pin compact charger is best for a light traveller. Also, carry a portable charger for long treks!
Be prepared for emergencies
It is important to be prepared for emergencies that may arise when travelling. This is especially true if your plans include nature trails, or stays away from towns bustling with people. Always carry a few over the counter drugs for ailments like fever, common cold, flu, dysentery etc. Do a little research on what are common illnesses travellers face in the area you are travelling to and prepare accordingly. Equally important is to be aware of your surroundings and know where the nearest hospital is. Carry contact numbers of people and services you can reach out to on your travel, in case you need assistance. Always carry your passport, visa and other documents like the medical insurance on your person; you do not want to be caught without these in a foreign land. One can purchase a comprehensive travel insurance policy from best insurance company and leave your worries behind.