This post is mainly about how to travel light and the advantages of traveling light. The benefits can be used equally for a short holiday or around the world trip.
In some situations, you might prefer or have to trade a bit of weight for increased convenience.
- Benefits To Traveling Ultralight Packing
- Save Money
- Less Luggage to Manage
- Reduced Physical Work
- Your Luggage Won’t Get Damaged or Steal
- Greater Flexibility
- 4 Rules for Minimalist Travel Packing
- How to Pack for Ultralight Travelling
- Wrapping Up
When I was traveling I meet people who had overpacked their backpacks and suitcases, that was more than likely filled with things they’ll never need. Some of these backpacks weighed well over 35 kg.
Considering my backpack usually weighs in around 11 kg to 12 kg. That’s some difference.
By having a minimalist travel packing list or travel ultralight packing mindset, will pay off huge when on your travels.
Simply by laying out all your gear on your floor and try to eliminate all the nonessential ones.
Benefits To Traveling Ultralight Packing
It’s fairly easy to overpack when you’re 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 the benefits of having the mindset to travel ultralight.
This is stating the obvious but 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.
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 you will start tiring.
The less fewer things you pack, it makes it easier when you are travelling.
Your Luggage Won’t Get Damaged or Steal
Again if you travel light, it’s less lightly 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 you bag.
The benefits of your luggage arriving completely intact. Is when you arrive at your destination, this saves you time and tremendous stress.
You also will reduce the risk of your luggage lost or misrouted when travelling on.
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 minimalism 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 drives my ultralight travel philosophy.
- 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.
- 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.
- Bring only 1 week’s worth of clothing
It’s easy to do laundry when traveling than to carry weeks worth of clothing.
- 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 made or force yourself to pack light. In the long run, while 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.
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 don’t 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.
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 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 worth of clothes.
Again everyone 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 all these below 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 you electronics may get damaged or stolen from you bag.
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 been 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 fit 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.
Kindle: Ideal for readers but again but your phone do 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 the one.
Extra Bits | Gear
Carry On Luggage: Choose a carry on that fits within the airline’s carry on luggage rules.
Pen: This come in surprisingly handy for filling out custom 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 preparing and forcing yourself to travel light, you make your life easier regarding traveling.
Finally, by traveling with a minimalist ultralight packing mindset, will pay off huge when while on your travels. The main benefit of traveling light been that you save money with a lighter bag. It also makes it easier to carry the bag around.
And that’s it for now! I’d love to know if this guide on travel ultralight packing – how to travel light has helped you. Let me know if you have any questions and let me know if there is more to add.