Of all the travel skills you might acquire, travelling light is the one most likely to result in enjoyable, productive, stress-free travel experiences.
Doug Dyment, “The Go-Light Guru,” one bag.com
Welcome to Packing Light Travel, a site dedicated to helping travellers refine the art of packing and travelling light. If you would like to hone your skills in this area, or simply share what works for you, you’ve come to the right place. Sprinkled among the tips and resources on packing and travelling light are posts on some of my travel adventures. I hope you find them useful when planning your own trips.
The concepts “packing light” and “travelling light” are the threads that inspire and link what you’ll find on the site. Let’s start by exploring them both.
What’s the difference between packing light and travelling light?
Packing and travelling light have physical, mental and emotional dimensions.
Packing light is the physical piece. It’s about choosing luggage and its contents to make the best use of space and weight limitations.
Travelling light deals with the mental and emotional aspects of preparing to travel. It’s about leaving home and familiar surroundings, and worrying less about what was left behind or undone. It means having fewer qualms about not having the tools to deal with an emergency. At the same time, it’s about being prepared to embrace the excitement of travel, and appreciating what’s new and different about places you’ll visit.
They’re connected and interdependent. Both contribute to “enjoyable, productive and stress-free travel experiences.”
My own “go-light” story
The mostly minimalist packing style of my youth was guided by the fact I owned few possessions. Besides, I quickly learned that packing only what I could carry kept me mobile and spontaneous. This came in handy when trading an old motorcycle in Iran for three Persian carpets, or when the Volkswagen “Kombie” picked up for a song in Munich died on the way to Istanbul. Hitchhiking in the Middle East or jumping freight trains in Canada were so much easier if one “packed light.”
Now retired, my interest in travel has been rekindled, and I’ve refined the packing style of my youth. I still like to be mobile and spontaneous, yet well prepared and organized for each new travel experience. Compared to the earlier years, I’ve money to spend on taxis, hotels and restaurants. However, I relish the sense of satisfaction and accomplishment from travelling on points and navigating public transportation. I’m hooked on hostels, and love scoring a hotel at a fraction of the advertised price by bidding on Priceline. I like nothing better than avoiding restaurants with menus in several languages, and eating delicious reasonably priced meals among locals in restaurants with names I can’t pronounce.
I make five or six trips a year. What I’ve learned about packing light has transformed me into an enthusiastic and dedicated carry-on traveller. Needless to say, I believe the art of packing and travelling light has elements unique to individual travellers.
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Disclosure: I also write about specific products and services I’ve used, especially those I would heartily recommend to family and friends. Internet research and trial and error are costly in time and energy, so if I can save someone the effort, I’ve fulfilled my objective. Please note that some of the links are affiliate links, meaning the site earns a small commission if a purchase is made. This helps support the costs of maintaining the Packing Light Travel website.