“He who would travel happily must travel light,” my favorite French author, Antoine de St. Exupery, once said. Although I’m still a newbie both in this minimalist and vagabondish things, having traveled with different groups of people I always find my bags are amongst the lightest of all the participants. Still, personally I sometimes feel that I bring more than I really need. Unpacking bags after getting back home, I ‘d still be able to find unworn shirts and stuffs which could actually just be left at home rather than making my bag heavier to carry around.
Simplicity has always been the essential key to minimalism. The same applies to traveling. If you travel often only for a short period of time, you might want to read and apply the onebag philosophy. I found their tips useful and their perspective on traveling light refreshing as well as mind-opening.
Here are some advantages that you can gain from packing light the next time you pack your bag for a getaway. Mind you again, I’m still a newbie too.
It saves you some money
Baggage check is one of the costs that you can cut immediately by packing light. Instead of spending extra cost on checking in your baggage, you can use the money for buying more local snacks or paying for museum entry. Less bags also means that you don’t have to waste money for porter tips, both at the airport or at the hotel.
More on mobility
Fewer bags mean that you can travel more flexible and unimpeded. Instead of having to drop your bags to the hotel after you hop off the plane, you can just go directly to the museum, have lunch or sip a cup of coffee at the coffee shop. It saves time as well as money too since you can immediately take a bus or hop on a metro rather than dragging all your bags on and off the bus.
More distance left to run
Give your shoulders and your feet a little mercy. Carrying less stuff in your bag also means that you save more on your own energy, so you can walk more distance and explore more places before you stop and get exhausted.
And here are some tips I usually apply when I pack my bag for a trip.
Bring a cabin sized suitcase or a backpack and that’s it. Aside from saving you from paying more on baggage check cost, for someone who lives in Indonesia it also means saving me from the probability of losing my baggage due to airport officer’s negligence. If you travel abroad by plane, bring along another small bag to keep your passport, wallet and cellphone.
Bring fewer clothes. Try to mix and match your clothes and bring ones that are not easily wrinkled, durable and dry quickly. Also try to bring clothes that can be worn in various settings: beach, temples, cities, nightclubs, etc.
Take nothing but pictures and leave nothing but footprints. The more you take travel memorabilia home, the more you will have to squeeze them both in your bag as well as in your home.
Use the laundry service available at the hotel or hand-wash your clothes. For the latter, make sure you won’t forget to bring detergent (powder preferred over liquid) so you can wash your clothes and underwear at your hotel room’s bathroom sink.
Putting your clothes and belongings in several packing cubes will help you to be more organized and to find stuffs faster whenever you need something. Plus, try not to bring things more than the packing cubes can contain. Plastic vacuum sealable bags will do the same tricks as the packing cubes with less cost to spend.
There you go. I hope you find the tips helpful and hope you can enjoy your next trip with the extra light baggage. ;)