28 Nov TRAVEL LIGHT – 6 TIPS FROM THE EXPERTS
The old adage that you usually take twice the clothes and half the money you need for a holiday rings loud and clear to me. I’m sick of schlepping lead-heavy bags from one destination to the next, so when I saw an article about travelling light they had me at “light”! These experts certainly know what they’re talking about. Travel author Rolf Potts has even undertaken an extended journey without taking a bag at all!
So here goes.
- Pack vertically
Musician and author Shaun Huberts packs his clothes vertically, like in a filing cabinet. “This way you can see all the clothes you have with you without having to lift up or remove the ones on top. From here you not only have a better view (and reminder) of how many shirts or pairs of pants you have but you can also see which shirts (or whatever clothing item) stand out and potentially don’t match your outfits. Remove the oddballs,” is his advice.
- Opt for the right fabrics
Several experts swear by clothing made of merino wool. It’s super-lightweight, keeps you warm in cold weather and cool in hot weather and you can wear it for days on end and it still won’t smell. Also, undergarments made from synthetic materials rather than cotton are lighter weight and don’t take up a lot of volume. They also dry quicker if you need to launder while on the road. Talking about laundering, fabric that is wrinkle-fee is the obvious choice for any traveller.
- Comfortable and versatile
Choose clothing that is comfortable to travel around in but that can be dressed up for an evening out. Having items that coordinate well ensures that you get maximum usage out of every item, which means less items in your bag. Don’t take anything in a colour that you can only wear once.
- Take only enough for 7 days
Nick Huggins from “Nick’s Travel Bug” only ever takes enough clothes for seven days, no matter how long he’ll be away for. “It’s easier to find a laundromat once a week than to carry all that weight around your entire trip,” he says. There’s certainly no arguing with that!
- Pack double-duty items
Travel writer Katie Coakley swears by her sarong. “Not only is it a beach cover-up, but it can also serve as a tablecloth, picnic blanket, makeshift satchel (hobo style), pillow, head scarf for bad hair days, shawl, changing room screen, privacy curtain for a bunk bed…the list goes on. Having one item serve many purposes keeps my packing to a minimum,” she says.
- Don’t bring what you can buy
“Don’t pack toiletries you can buy for cheap over there – shampoo, conditioner, bodywash and sunblock, for example,” says Isabel Cliff, Senior Content Editor at Web Reservations International. She also balls up her socks and underwear and stores it in her shoes, saving lots of packing space.
Well, there you go. Happy (lightweight) travels!