Packing light is an amazing accomplishment if you are going on a long vacation and something you should definitely consider. Travelers need to bring a small part of their life with them, but life is cumbersome and often heavy. It can ruin a travel experience, yet light travel requires hard decisions. It doesn’t need to be too hard, however. There are strategies you can use to make things easier on yourself.
Here are a few tips that you might find useful:
See What You Can Buy There
Being economical on a trip does not mean taking everything yourself. Sometimes it means supporting the local economy and buying an umbrella when you get there. If you are going to a well-traveled location you will most certainly be able to get whatever you might need (including heavy items).
If you think about it, waiting to get what you need makes the most sense. Everything you need to survive and thrive is also needed by the locals, and they need to shop as well. It is an opportunity to immerse yourself more in the place you are traveling. You don’t need those snacks from home, they will be waiting for you when you get back. Similarly, you can get basic gadgets and large items when you arrive. You don’t want anything to happen to them in transit, and carrying around half your body weight isn’t fun.
Smartphones Are Your Friend
Smartphones are great for travel. You can use them in the place of a GPS, computer, guidebook, some documents and quite surprisingly a cellular phone. You can even watch Netflix if you’re stuck waiting with no one around (just use a VPN if you’re out of the country so you can look as though you’re browsing in your home country). Take a look at what you might bring and ask yourself if your smartphone can fill the same need through an app or program.
You will just want to make sure you have an emergency backup plan in case your phone is damaged or stolen. You don’t need anything too complex, but it might be best to bring a laptop or other device that can access the internet with you. A friend with another smartphone helps as well. Try to find protection in the form of a case and something to strap your phone to your body.
If you’re packing light, there is no way you can be prepared for every eventuality. This means that you will need to know how to accommodate yourself wherever you are traveling. Most of the time (nearly all the time) this will require money, but credit cards are extremely popular. This isn’t enough for everything, though, as you may run into problems with your credits cards or the merchants in less well-known destinations will not be able to process them. All businesses take cash. Try to get some of the local currency to carry around so that you’ll have it when you need it.
It is also a safer option. Criminals love to target tourists and travelers because it is difficult for them to both notice identity theft right off the bat. It is also difficult to track down the criminals once their card information has been swiped.
Tools with Multiple Functions
Just like you can use a smartphone to watch Netflix on the train while you are texting your friends about how amazing your trip is, you can find other tools with additional functions. A Swiss Army Knife, bookmarks that function as rulers and other devices certainly exist and if you ask friends who travel they will certainly be able to share some of their favorite items with you (or at the very least steer you clear of the ones that don’t work).
You need to take into consideration the tools that you will most certainly need and the tools that you may not. Try to consolidate the functions of tools that are of secondary importance, so that you will be able to get by with perhaps secondary quality but much less weight on your back.
Packing light is a skill that takes practice and patience, but with the right advice and tools, you’ll be able to travel burden-free soon enough. Do you have any other tips that might be useful for packing light? Are there any items that you find particularly useful or helpful when trying to pack? Any items that you just can’t live without? We’d love to hear what you think!