Weightless Travel: How to Pack Light and What to Bring

When traveling, I think it is every important to be as light as possible. I mean who wants to be the person on the train/bus that you now is being judged by everyone by having an overly large suitcase that can't fit into the overhead rack. That's right, no one wants to be that person. And if you are one of the few who do, well I suppose you could stop reading now.

First figure out you necessities. These include your clothes, basic hygiene products, passport, wallet, and a water bottle. Yes, I did just list a water bottle as a necessity. Why? Because regardless of where your going, I hope your going to be moving around quite a bit. If not, and your just staying still I'm confused on why your going. The only thing that comes to mind is a business trip, and even then you need a water bottle so that you can talk and keep yourself hydrated during the meetings. The passport and wallet should be self explanatory, you need a valid form of ID on you at all time while in a foreign country. If your traveling domestically well I guess you could just use your in-country form of ID, but your passport will also do just fine. This is to just be on the safe side, in case you are questioned by local authorities about your legitimacy in the area, or, god forbid, you are held hostage and can prove your citizenship. The latter is 99.9999% unlikely to happen if you are using common sense and not going in areas where it is illegal, *cough* North Korea *cough*, so I wouldn't worry about that too much. Your wallet will be needed for well holding your in-country currency. Remember, that as soon as you leave the borders of the country 9/10 the currency you're holding with you isn't going to be worth anything. Make sure you get foreign currency while at home, either through a local travel agency or bank. Also I would keep a credit/debit card on you as well (notify your bank first though of when and where it could possibly be used) in case you need to access an ATM or pay using card. Your basic hygiene products include toothbrush, toothpaste, brush/comb, and deodorant. You may want to include small bottle of shampoo and body wash if your lodging doesn't provide it. But if they do, then I wouldn't worry about it at all. And for clothes? Bring what you need plus an extra two pairs. Odd are you won't run into a situation where you'll be faced with more than 2 disastrous emergencies where you'll need to have a spare change of clothes. All of this, unless your staying for a long, long time, should fit in a travelers backpack. These include something made by Columbia, The North Face, or Swiss Gear to name a few. I personally go with Swiss Gear as I find it to be the most reliable.

But that's not all your going to want to bring right? You want to take pictures to save those precious memories, you want a place to put souvenirs that you buy right? Well that's where your carry on comes in. Your carry on should be small, smaller than the standard suitcase. Most airlines allow you to have one personal item and one carry on luggage. So, pack your camera into that backpack and leave the carry-on empty. That's right empty. You'll have plenty of room to store those great trinkets and other things you buy. And if you absolutely strapped for room in your bag, then you have lee way in there. Granted your offering up that space, but if you need it for an extra pair or shoes there you have it.

So great! Now you have everything you need in a backpack and a carry-on. What does this actually do for you? Well depending on when you land and get off you'll most likely want to start going places before getting to you lodging. Especially if they have a "you can't come until this time" policy. So, with an empty carry on, and a full backpack you should be able to explore a bit before it hits that time. One key being, you can put the bag in the carry on (hopefully). Now because everything does have a different sizes there is no definitive answer. But, you generally speaking it will fit. And voila! You've condensed it into one small suitcase and don't have to worry about being that person everyone is judging. You're free to roam and don't have to worry about losing anything or anything being lost.

When you get to your lodging empty your bag. Seriously, empty it. Then refill it with the following, passport, and a spare change of clothes. That's it nothing more. You'll thank me later for this, but this allows you to be light on your back and give you room to store items throughout the day. Trust me, you'll thank me big time if you do this. If you are traveling with children and need some emergency items you have plenty of room for those as well.

Safe Travels


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