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Traveling ultralight is something that benefits travelers that can be used equally for a short holiday or an extended holiday. In some situations, you might prefer or have to trade a bit of weight for increased convenience. When I was traveling I meet people who had overpacked their backpacks, that were filled with things they never needed. How to travel ultralight packing?

To travel ultralight you need to create a minimalist packing list of what you will need. Then laying out all your gear on your floor and try to eliminate all the nonessential ones. Try to keep the number of electronics you bring under control. This will have a pay off huge when on your travels.

In this post, we will go through how to travel ultralight packing. Let’s get started!

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Benefits To Traveling Ultralight Packing

It’s fairly easy to overpack when you are going on a trip. If you take the time to really think out what you need versus what you want to pack, then you can enjoy all the benefits of traveling light.

Here are some of the benefits of having the mindset to travel ultralight.

Save Money

This is stating the obvious but the lighter your bags the cheaper flights can be. Airlines have a weight limit on bags, especially with checked-in bags. Airplanes love to charge travelers for the excess weight of their bags.

Save Money Ultralight travel

Airplanes charge by the weight of your bag been checked in. Baggage fees for checked bags are only getting more and more expensive.

If you were to bring a carry-on only, then you wouldn’t have to pay those fees but there is a limit regarding carry-ons.

Less Luggage To Manage

The less you are traveling with, the less you need to worry about things getting lost, misplaced, stolen, or not arriving at your final destination.

Reduced Physical Work

Lighter bags makes it easier to carry a bag around. The image carrying a 35 kg bag around in the heat after a short while will start tiring. The fewer things you pack, it makes it easier when you are to travel.

Physical Physical Ultralight travel

Your Luggage Won’t Get Damaged Or Steal

Again if you travel light, it’s less likely that your bag is going to be damaged or worse taken. The lighter or smaller your bag is, the less attractive it will be for thieves to steal or go through the contents of your bag.

The benefits of your luggage arriving completely intact. When you arrive at your destination, this saves you time and tremendous stress.

You also will reduce the risk of your luggage being lost or misrouted when traveling.

Greater Flexibility

It gives you greater flexibility to move through a crowded area. Also if your carry-on is small and light, you might be able to fit it under your seat, which almost always has guaranteed free space, unlike the overhead bins, which are first-come, first-served.

The smaller carry-on bag size will give you more chances of fitting in your bag with other bags, hopefully eliminating the need for the cabin crew to check your bag after all.

4 Rules for Minimalist Travel Packing

As a general rule, I believe we are better off packing less and trusting ourselves more to survive with minimal stuff.

That said, I’m not interested in being minimalist to the point of limiting my travel experience or causing myself problems later on my trip.

With this in mind, there are 4 rules that drive my ultralight travel philosophy.

  1. Pack what you need
    When packing only pack what you need or the must-haves, not the nice to have. Focus on the true essentials only.
  2. Roll, don’t fold
    Many travel experts including backpackers agree that rolling is superior to folding. Tightly rolled clothes take up less space than folded ones.
  3. Bring only 1 week’s worth of clothing
    It’s easy to do laundry when traveling than to carry weeks worth of clothing.
  4. Reduce weight. Multipurpose items
    If faced with two useful options, select the one that is lighter or better designed that has multiple uses because this reduces weight and complexity.

How To Pack For Ultralight Travelling?

Ultimately you need to make or force yourself to pack light. In the long run, traveling it will make your life easier.

To start with a lighter backpack or suitcase makes you more mobile and it’s more comfortable. With the added bonus of avoiding extra charges on flights.


As obvious as this but just going to the paperwork as you not going to get far without.

Paperwork Travel Light

Visa: Check with your local embassy on your visa requirements to enter the country you are traveling to.

Passport: Make sure that your passport is valid for a min six months before traveling. Don’t leave home without it.

Another ID: You do NOT want to be carrying your passport around. Another form of identification is useful for example a nation ID card or driver’s license.

For example, in Thailand, you are required to have some identification with you at all times.

Backup Your Important Documents: Make copies and pictures of your passport, ID, credit cards, debit cards, and maybe travel insurance documents.

Put these pictures up somewhere like Dropbox or OneDrive. It makes it easier to resolve if you lose your passport or wallet.

Hotel Safe

Debit Card and Credit Card Without ATM Fees: This for me can get fairly expensive. Try and get a card that won’t charge you a fee every time you need cash abroad.

If it is a short trip like 7 days, being a little extra cash so you don’t have to use your card for the first few days.


I am not going to go in a lot here as everyone’s style is different. As well as the weather and type of trips are different.

This has been covered earlier in the post but just bear in mind, to bring only true essentials and around 1 week’s worth of clothes.


Again everyone’s needs are different here like boys’ and girls’ needs. Just remember to bring truly essentials when packing.

Only pack what you need or the must-haves, not the nice to have. Focus on the true essentials only like sunscreen which can be more expensive to buy while on your trip.

Ask yourself can the basic toiletries can be bought at your destination. If yes, more often for less than you would pay at home.


I’ve seen people traveling with a ton of electronics. And there is no way they are going to use them all. Cut these down to the essentials.

For example, if you bring a tablet to really need to carry a laptop and kindle with you. Electronics you will need to carry on to the plane.

If you check in it your electronics may get damaged or stolen from your bag.

Electronics Laptop Travel Light

Unlocked Phone for Local SIM: Bring an unlocked phone that will allow you to use a local SIM card. This makes it cheaper for SMS, Data, and calls. I always bring an unlocked phone.

Other than being cheaper, I keep my main phone safe in my hotel to the hostel. I certainly don’t want that to be robbed or go missing.

Camera: The camera does a great job and produces a better photo than a phone but most of them can be bulky and heavy. The question here can your phone do a similar job.

Power Bank: These always cause a fuss at airport security. They do come in handy if your phone is running low on power. And no power points around.

Travel Adapter: Pick one that fits plugs in any part of the world.

Laptop: The smaller and lighter, the better. The question here can your phone do a similar job. A laptop can get heavy after carrying it for a while.

Tablet: For surfing the internet, films, or readings that don’t require a laptop. If you’re already carrying a phone, the tablet is a luxury.

Listen To Music On Your Phone

Kindle: Ideal for readers but again but your phone does this.

Smartphone Charger | Laptop Charger | Tablet Charger: All these electronics require a charger and there are normally bulky and awkwardly shaped.

If you are going to bring multiple devices try and get a charger that can work on all your devices so you don’t have to travel will multiple chargers only one.

Extra Bits | Gear

Carry On Luggage: Choose a carry-on that fits within the airline’s carry-on luggage rules.

Pen: This comes in surprisingly handy for filling out customs forms.

Luggage Lock: A small, TSA-approved padlock is a great theft deterrent, especially if you will be traveling on trains or buses or staying in hostels.

Notebook/ Travel Journal: A travel journal is a place where you can write your experiences and what you have learned during your trip.

With a little preparation and forcing yourself to travel light, you make your life easier regarding traveling.

Wrapping Up

Finally, to travel ultralight you need to create a minimalist packing list of what you will need. Then lay out all your gear on your floor and try to eliminate all the nonessential ones. Try to keep the number of electronics you bring under control. This will have a pay off huge when on your travels.

And that’s it for now! I’d love to know if this guide on how to travel ultralight packing light has helped you. Let me know if you have any questions and let me know if there is more to add.

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