The formula for travelling with less luggage begins with a list of questions for you to think about when you need to pack your luggage for your domestic or international travels. This formula began to develop with every trip I personally took to the airport as I observed other travellers and their relationships with their luggage.
What I can never figure out, is why people want to bring 75-lbs of luggage?
And once in your destination, did everything you brought in your luggage get used? Did you really require the 3-pairs of shoes, 12-pairs of socks, 14-pairs of underwear, 2-bathing suits, 4-pants, 2-shorts, 16-tops, 3-evening wear outfits, 2-sets of pyjamas, 3-sunglasses, 2-jackets, bathroom essentials and whatever else you stuffed into that gigantic bag? Or did you pack super light going to your adventures and you are now returning home with a suitcase of momentos and souvenirs in your luggage? And why would you come home with 75-lbs of souvenirs?
Questions you need to ponder before packing your luggage
What type of traveller am I?
- Adventure seeker
- Memento shopper
- Historical Site seeker
- Culinary explorer
- Street walking adventurer
- Combo of the above
Once you decide on what type of traveller you are? You can begin to determine the “things”, you will need to bring with you? And just how much of these things is “necessary” versus “want to have“.
Now, I am sure you are thinking… how does this writer know what he’s talking about? It’s fairly simple. Experience. I am a well-seasoned veteran of packing for travels Some of my trips were as long as two years and some are as short as a long 3-day weekend. I’ve crossed the Pacific Ocean more than 12-times, been to Central America, Europe, Southwest Asia, across Canada and the US. On one of those occasions, I moved to Australia to live for a couple of years and packed only a 50-lb backpack. Ironically, on the plane ride over, I met an exchange student who was going for 3-months and he told me, he had packed 3-large suitcases, one of which had “just shoes”!
With every trip I have ever taken, I reassess the items I brought with me at the end of the trip. Did I use that 3rd pair of socks? No. Then it’s not required on the next trip. Did I use that extra sweater for that evening out? Yes and it was a bit heavy. Next trip find something lighter and just as nice to have with me. And with this reassessment, I have been able to pack lighter and lighter for all my travels. So, light even that my Travel bag of choice for the last 10-years has been a Timbuktu Classic L Messenger Bag. And I’ve come up with a simple formula on how-to pack less for each trip.
What I am doing + What I need = What I need to bring
What I need to bring + Pack into suitcase divide by 2 = Packed for Holiday
To use the above formula, Step 1) figure out what you are doing on your trip? Hiking in the mountains, camping along a canyon, shopping in the city, site seeing, tourist excursions or something else. Step 2) Lay out on your bed what you think you will need for this type of vacation? 2-shoes, 4-shorts, 2-swim trunks, 2-sunglasses, 6-underwear, 6-socks, 8-tops, a jacket and bathroom essentials. Step 3) Look at all of the stuff laid out on your bed, and begin analyzing why you need 2-pairs of shoes? Is it essential to have 2-pairs of shoes? Will you actually use 2-pairs of shoes? If no. Then remove 1-pair of shoes. And remember unless you are camping in the Ozarks, you can probably find a shop with a pair of shoes where you can purchase that 2nd pair if it becomes essential to the trip. Review each and every item you have laid out. And begin removing items from your bring with me pile, and put back into your closet. Step 4) Put all that remains into your bag, close it and you are ready to go on your trip.
The best part of packing less for your travels is, you will be able to bring a carry-on bag, for all or your travels. You will no longer be required to stand in that really long line up to speak with an airplane agent, to assess the weight of your luggage and have it tagged “heavy“. You will simple arrive at the airport, go over to a boarding kiosk, place your ID on the scanner, receive your boarding passes and head for security. Your 60-or-90-minutes of pre-arrival time, will be spent hanging out in the TSA security lineups, chatting with your companions, other travellers, perusing the book store and relaxing before your plane ride.
And always remember, once you are out there in the world and you decide tonight’s the night you want to rub elbows with the socialites of the town, then there will always be a shop for you to pickup a suit or formal dress for that black tie event because after-all your money is just as good as those who live there.