I love travelling with less luggage. I enjoy the freedom of not struggling to carry loads of luggage on and off public transport or worrying about losing a bag. Managing less stuff also frees up more time to enjoy the trip.
I’ve spent far too much time on past holidays trying to organise and keep track of my belongings.
After years of over packing and lugging around more than I need, I think I’ve finally nailed travelling light.
My daughter and I recently travelled interstate for a week with carry-on luggage only.
Here are my favourite tips for travelling light:
1. It’s OK to wear the same clothes often.
No one cares what you wear. I once wore only six items of clothing for an entire month and nobody even noticed.
2. Hand-wash clothes in the bathroom sink.
I hand-wash or spot-clean clothes in the bathroom sink every second night or so when travelling. With so few clothes there’s no sense in waiting for a full load of washing. I favour light weight and quick dry clothing. Washing regularly means you’ll only ever need to pack 3 days’ worth of clothes.
3. Embrace multi-purpose clothing.
I have a black wool top that I use as a T-shirt, pyjama top, or as an extra layer when it’s cool. Clothes that can be layered are great. Adjustable clothing, like long pants that can become ¾ pants or shorts are handy too.
4. Take few shoes.
This trip I took only one pair of sandals that I am comfortable wearing in most situations. They are great for walking long distances but I’m also happy wearing them out for dinner.
5. Pack similar complimentary solid colours so that all your clothes match.
Black or dark colours are particularly good if you need to easily switch between smart and casual.
6. You don’t have to take absolutely everything you could possibly need.
Borrow once you get there, or in the worst case, buy it.
Do you have any tips for travelling light?
[Originally published in my column LESS IS MORE in the The Newcastle Herald Weekender Magazine 2nd February 2013]
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