how to travel light

Thursday, March 26, 2015

There is a art to travelling light. 

It's something that we all struggle with now and then, and over the years I've seen many travellers on planes, trains, boats and buses that seem to be lugging around way more stuff than they actually need. 

These days I can pack for a long weekend in under 10 minutes. And I strive to keep my luggage (preferably just a backpack) no heavier than about 6kgs. This makes getting around and exploring a lot easier. Some of the things I leave at home include make-up, shampoo, heels, sparkly 'just in case' changes of clothes and weighty reading material. If I happen to forget anything essential I buy it when I get there.

Here are my ten travel essentials...

1. A tote bag. It folds up neatly, weighs next to nothing and is very handy for carrying my daily shopping when away such as wine, cheese and morning pastries! 

2. Eye mask. Self explanatory really - perfect for those dodgy curtains in your hotel room, and the offensive interior lights of your budget airline.

Travel essentials: emotional baggage tote
emotional baggage tote
{image via The School of Life}

eye-mask, a travellers best friend
eye-mask, a travellers best friend

3. Scarf. This item has multi purpose - it can keep you warm in cool climates and cool in hot ones. A scarf is also perfect for covering up when entering religious sights.

4. One pair of comfortable walking shoes. You wear these onto your flight. No need to pack any other shoes.

travel essentials:  the travel scarf!
 the travel scarf!
{image via Go Chic or Go Home}

take comfy walking shoes on holiday
wear your comfy walking onto your flight
{image via La Cool & Chic}

5. Something warm. For those days when the weather turns sour. Depending on the time of year you might want to take more than one warm layer, but for Spring, Summer and Autumn I make do with just one when heading away for a long weekend.

6. Something cool. For those awesome travel days when the sun makes an appearance!

something warm and snugly...
something warm and snugly...
{image via Dara Muscat}

Travel essentials:  cool t-shirt
 cool t-shirt
{image via From Up North}

7. Something waterproof. I have a lightweight jacket that folds up small and is perfect for travel. Alternatively I suggest a small, compact umbrella.

8. Something with SPF. So important. Always look after your skin!

rain in New York
rain in New York
{image via Sugarfox}

SPF and staying sun smart while travelling
SPF and staying sun smart while travelling
{image via Pure Home and Body}

9. A camera/phone and charger. For capturing all your cool holiday moments.

10. Credit card. Last but not least. I travel cash free until I get to my chosen destination, and then withdraw cash from the first ATM I see. Generally the exchange rate is just as good, if not better than the official desks at the airport.

travel camera :)
travel camera :)

That's it. All of the above plus your underwear, comb (much smaller than a hairbrush) and jeans should easily fit into a backpack. No worries! Travel ahoy! 

Don't forget your passport.

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  1. Aw you make it sound so easy haha this list is a must and I so wished I could stick to it :)

    1. It's taken me years to realise I don't need to pack for every occasion when travelling!

  2. Agreed with all of these things - especially the something warm and snuggly! So important, and something that is easy to put on whilst you are sitting down!

    1. Thanks Holly. Packing well is a fine art in my humble opinion :)

  3. Great tips here Claire! I am hopeless at packing light - it's always shoes that get me, which is weird because I'm not a big shoe person! I always end up packing trainers, pumps, one pair of smart evening sandals, one pair of flip flops and before I know it, the case is stuffed and heavy again!

    1. But do you actually wear them all? That;s the question ;) I used to pack heels when going on holiday but 9 times out of 10 never wore them. These days I leave them at home. My motto is if I really need something I didn't bring I can always buy it on the road.