I have been asked this question many a times on how do I really manage to travel with a light backpack. No matter how long I am travelling, I always managed to fit my clothes in my limited spaced rucksack. I never carried a rucksack beyond 45 L though. Last year while I was in Bhutan for 9 days, I squeezed in 2 pairs for each day plus the required warm clothes. In 2015 while I was attending the UP travel writers conclave, each travel writer carried a huge trolley for a 4 day event while I was happily carrying only a daypack. Honestly I didn’t realise that I started travelling light, if people have not started asking me for tips. There was a time when I missed a flight to Varanasi because I was adjusting the excess baggage. In another trip of 6 days I was carrying a huge backpack plus a mid size trolley and since it was supposed to be a budgeted trip, it was a pain carrying so much of luggage.
But all said and done I guess it is with time and experience that you learn things and I am happy that I am able to modulate this habit and shed off the excess baggage. So much that in my 45 days of travelling towards Kinnaur & Spiti Valley, I was carrying a rucksack and a daypack only. I always tease people that my small bag still has good variety 😉
So here are my tips on how to travel and pack light
Mix & Match Outfits: Ideally pick & pack mix-and-match outfits which can be wore with other items as well. For example I make it a point to carry dark coloured lowers and jeggings on my travels, which ensures that it can be, wore several times without the worry of getting it dirty. I avoid jeans and Tee’s do not occupy much space. But if it’s summer and if your body shapes permits, carry shrugs & tang tops. Makes you look good and ensures less space. Carry small sachets of detergent to do hand laundry in your hotel.
Don’t carry too much woolens: A general mistake which people do while packing the luggage is they carry heavy and too much woolens, for a place which has bearable winters. Instead carry one good warm jacket and opt for multi layers, which is better because it blocks the air to touch your body and hence protects you from cold. Most of the high altitude trekkers will advise to put the multi layering first and then to cover up the body with sweaters and jacket.
Roll your clothes: Believe it or not but the way you pack your clothes in your suitcase or rucksack matters. Roll up the clothes instead of keeping the straight folded stuff. Rolling up is something even many expert travellers swear by because it not only help in saving the space but also keep the cloth wrinkle free. I learnt about this technique through this YouTube video first and found it magically useful. I noticed its success during my Bhutan trip when I could feel the space left in my rucksack despite squeezing in 16 pairs and warmers
One shoe and light slippers: Instead of carrying ‘10 matching’ pairs, carry the ‘best matching’ shoes which can be worn with everything. I usually swear by my Nike shoes which are not only comfortable but also go with anything I wear. They haven’t disappointed me at all. I have worn them in all the luxury properties I have visited or walking any rough path. If need be carry a slipper or flip-flop if you want a change
Small Bag: Carry a bmall daypack along in which you can keep your camera and other important items. If not anything else, it helps in giving you an extra space incase you decide to shop around the place and carry souvenirs. My camera bag generally does this trick for me but do whatever comfortable with
Carry Miniatures: Last and not the least carry small pack of toiletries. I usually pack the miniatures of basic toiletries and avoid carrying the big bottles. Helps you to empty space right?
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3 thoughts on “Travel Tips- How to Travel and Pack Light”
These are great tips. I am not, in general, a very light packer! I have found, like you said, that rolling clothes takes up less room – which definitely surprised me!
These are some great tips. I know alot of people who always struggle with packing. Sharing your post with my friend who always pack extra and end up pulling her hair out lol This will help her a lot.
Wow. Lovely write. Simple and informative. Thank u for the great tips.