Quick tips for travelling light

Packed Bag

Despite travelling becoming quicker and more convenient, it’s just as easy as ever to bring everything except the kitchen sink. Holidays are a time for relaxing but we seem to be at our most stressed when packing and getting ready for the airport. It’s unlikely you are going to need everything, and in this day and age if you have forgotten something in most countries you can just simply walk into a shop and pick up what you need. And with fee’s often being astronomical for going over your weight limit in mind, I have created these lightweight travel tips!

When I was in Cairns, after a few days and nights travelling by yacht and train I finally came to a hostel with a washing machine and being desperate to give my clothing a proper wash I just chucked everything in. It wasn’t until it had started the wash cycle that I realised I was supposed to be going out for dinner with friends, and was left with the jeans and t-shirt I was wearing and that was already soaked through by the humidity. But as with most cities, there’s a shop open somewhere. Fifteen minutes later I was walking out with a new outfit I still, although it is Hawaiian print so it doesn’t see the light of day that often. 

Use travel-sized Toiletries

That massive bottle of shampoo that usually lasts you 2 – 3 months at home? Yeh, you’re not going to go through all of that in a week. Get a couple of travel containers and just take what you need. Even better, why not take bar soaps instead? They last longer, don’t leak and are often better value for money.

Less is more, repeat your outfits

You do not need a completely brand new outfit for every single day, there is nothing wrong with wearing the same outfit twice. Believe it or not, nobody actually cares. You can reware jeans or trousers, and merino wool clothing is great to wear on multiple occasions as it requires less frequent washing.

Versatile items are your best friend

The best way to cut down on weight, have items that can do more than one thing. A buff is a great example of this, used correctly it can be a hat, keep your hair out of your eyes, use one as a scarf or keep the wind off your face, if you get a dark one you can even use it as an eye mask and keep out the light when sleeping. Circled and Vacay are brands that are known for doing a single piece of clothing for women that have a variety of options on how you want to wear it. Converting seamlessly from a top to a dress in seconds.

Wash on the go

I know chores aren’t supposed to be done on holiday. But if you are travelling for long periods, or frequently moving between hotels then you don’t want to be carrying huge amounts of clothing. So consider washing them yourself, a lot of hostels have washers and dryers on-site. Even if they don’t then get creative, Lifeventure does a travel wash that can be used on everything, including clothes and skin. So you can wash your tops in the sink or bath if your room has one. I even had a friend who would use it in the shower and clean their clothes and themself at the same time!

Scrubba are a brand that do portable wash bags for cleaning on the go. You will the bag with clean water, soap, and your clothes. Seal the bag, and scrub away, making sure they are clean for your next wear. To dry hang them on your balcony or a towel rack, or bring the Lifeventure portable washing line which takes up next to nothing in your bag.

Weigh your bag

We all weigh our bags to ensure we don’t get stung by airline fees. But really think about your bag weight. If it’s a daypack you’re going to be carrying all that weight on your shoulders, and if it’s a holdall you will have to cart it from the airport to the hotel. It’s easy to assume the weight is fine as you’ll only carry it for short periods, but if you are doing a tour or visiting multiple destinations then you are going to have to carry it a lot.

Packed Bag

Use a carry-on size bag

Do you know what happens when you have a big bag? You fill up the space. Having a small bag will really force you to think about what items are really essential. Only carry what you really need and you will find your bag is a hell of a lot lighter because of it. 

Create a packing list

This helps you know what you need to pack first and easily visualise how much is actually in your bag. Make a packing list and then spend some time going through it to see what’s essential and what can be left behind. Do you really need three pairs of shoes? Or two complete outfits for the gym when, if you are honest, you don’t really intend on going once?

Pack, and then unpack!

I know it sounds daft but hear me out. When you have packed your bag the first time it’s often bulging at the seams because you’ve just grabbed what you need as you thought of it, and then just shoved it all in. By unpacking you can take a real look at what you have and see what can be cut out. This goes great with the packing list tip from before, as it makes it easier to see just how much space all those items take up. When you’ve narrowed it down to the essentials you can then repack smarter to make better use of spacing.

Wear your heavier gear

For this I’m talking about your boots and jackets, these are easily the bulkiest and heaviest items you have. If you want to keep your pack weight down, wear your bulky boots and keep your flip-flops in the bag. Planes are always freezing too, so wear your hoodie or jacket if you can. If it’s a down jacket they make the best makeshift pillows on red-eye flights.

Hat and book on beach towel

Bring a Travel Towel

To quote the famous book ”A towel, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy says, is about the most massively useful thing an interstellar hitchhiker can have.” Leave behind your big and bulky beach towels, and bring a more travel-friendly version instead. Often hostels will rent you one anyway, or if you want one for yourself there are tons of microfibre options out there. If you want something that packs down a bit smaller but still has that luxury feel then look at one of the many designs by Dock and Bay. I love their sleek and simple designs, but they have partnered with charities to make some amazing-looking limited editions.

Spread the load

If you are travelling with a friend, take the heaviest items and spread them out equally. This mainly applies to hiking or camping where you may need to carry a tent or cooking gear as well as personal items. One of you can carry the food whilst the other carries the beer. Some items like electricals you can share so there’s no need to take one just for your own personal use. 

Bring a kindle (or even better use the app)

Everyone loves a good book on holiday, they are perfect for the flight, the bus, or even just by the pool. But all those books can add up to a lot of weight, especially if you prefer a hardback. Swapping to a kindle allows you to bring more books at a fraction of the weight. But even better if you can swap to the kindle app and take a battery pack instead. The app will drain the battery of your phone quicker but a battery pack will keep it alive for longer. A portable charger will also be a lot more useful than a kindle as you can use it to charge your cameras and other devices too.

And that is my lightweight travel tips! Have you got any or think I missed one? Comment below and maybe yours can be in a future post!

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