5 Reasons You Should Travel Light
Traveling light gives you the flexibility to enjoy the journey experience rather than the usual stress associated with going from one place to another. And yet, traveling light is an art if you are not into minimalism.
Some of us tend to overpack our luggage with items we never need or use during our journeys. Unfortunately, a “just in case” scenario keeps on making us pile on clothing, footwear, toiletries, bulky electronics (toothbrushes, headphones, shaving machines, chargers, laptops, hairdryers, etc.), chunky jewellery, printed books (use the Kindle app instead), and other items that take unnecessary space.
Here are five reasons you should travel light and the tips to help you achieve your goals.
1. No Excess Baggage Fees
If you can pack everything in a carry-on, some airlines will not charge luggage fees. As a result, you will not need to pay checked baggage fees either. These savings may not sound like much but considering that the average checked baggage fee in Europe ranges between 25€ and 35€ for the first bag, and up to 50€ for the second, it makes sense to pack light. Additionally, you will not need to pay airport trolley fees either.
2. No Worries About Lost Luggage
If you are a frequent traveller, chances are that your airline has lost your luggage at least once. However, with your carry-on always by your side, you no longer need to worry about this issue. When you always have your bag with you, there are fewer chances of losing it. Peace of mind is essential when you travel. You will also eliminate the stress of waiting at the baggage carousel, saving time.
3. Move Around Faster
Traveling light gives you the flexibility to move around quickly. For example, imagine a crowded train station or airport: with a backpack or a carry-on instead of bulky suitcases, you can walk faster and navigate situations swiftly. Mobility is one of the main benefits of traveling light. You will also not annoy other travellers with too many bags that take space and get in their way when they hurry to catch a train, bus, plane, etc.
4. No More Muscle or Joint Pain
Traveling light is good for your body: too many bags are hard to carry, often causing muscle, back, and joint aches. The effort will also make you feel tired at the end of the day, making your trip less enjoyable. So, pack light and save yourself the anguish of carrying heavy weights while on a trip.
5. Discovering a Destination Is More Enjoyable
Backpackers know what they are doing: they move around more than people who worry about carrying their suitcases from the hotel to their plane, ferry (or cruise ship), train, bus, etc. Storing luggage while waiting many hours for a train or flight is often tricky. You will have to sit (or stand) in one place to secure your belongings instead of using that precious time to see more of your destination. Practicality is another great advantage of traveling light.
How to Pack Light
Instead of a conclusion, here are a few practical tips to help you pack and travel light:
- Pick a lightweight carry-on or, better yet, a backpack or rucksack. These are easy to keep close when you travel: put them under your seat or in the overhead storage, and you will stay comfortable during your trip.
- Pack only what you need. Bring clothing for two or three days and consider the wash-and-wear method, which ensures that you travel light and helps you save on laundry services. You can use compression packing bags if you need more clothes.
- Don’t pack several pairs of shoes. Essentially, you only need two: lightweight hiking shoes and quality no-heel sandals. Hiking shoes are suitable for long walks in town or wherever you want to explore. Sandals work well for the beach and social situations, like a bar or a club. You don’t need dress shoes unless you plan to attend a business event.
- Pack only essential toiletries in small containers: toothbrushes and toothpaste are always mandatory. Most hotels do not provide them. But you can expect to find soap and shampoo in every hotel. If not, you can always buy these essentials at your destination. Pack your skincare products (face cream, body lotion) in small containers (30 ml) or replace them with a bottle of organic jojoba oil or argan oil, which will help you moisturize from head to toes.
- Keep your valuables in a dressy fanny pack. There are many stylish fanny pack designs to choose from, and you will have quick access to your passport and travel documents, money, bank cards, etc. With a waterproof fanny pack, you can even go swimming without worrying about losing anything.
Be practical and travel light. Enjoy your journey, destination, and experiences without stressing about your luggage. Ultimately, your body and soul will thank you for not filling every day with stress and heavy lifting.