Having two or more bags for traveling is not a problem, as you just need to throw in just about any stuff you think you need in your luggage. Sometimes, however, if you need to travel with just one bag, things could be way more complicated–careful choosing and deliberation must be done, as you will need to squeeze in all the necessities for the small space you have.
Why travel light. …?
Before we give the tips, let’s enumerate some advantages of traveling light.
1. It’s cheaper – By having just one carry-on bag, you don’t have to pay the fees for excess baggage (this varies, so better check your airline for rates. By traveling with a single bag, you will also get to skip the usually-overpriced taxis and private vehicles and take public transportation like trains, buses, and shuttles instead. You won’t also be obliged to give tips to porters who will carry your other luggage.
2. You won’t have difficulty moving – mobility is one of the most important parts of travel, and if you don’t have much stuff to bring, you’ll easily be able to explore more places. Small bags will also save you from end-of-the-day back pains and throbbing arms. There’s a reason frequent flyers travel light…they have learnt the hard way that lugging a huge suitcase across a crowded airport terminal isn’t much fun, nor is dragging it in and out of taxis, buses and hotels. And unless you go upmarket you will be doing a lot of your own lugging!
3. It saves time – Having only carry-on luggage means you don’t have to wait for your other bags to go ’round and ’round the airport conveyor. Also, because you never know what will happen to your checked-in stuff while you’re in transit, you will not be at risk of waiting for delayed (and possibly damaged) luggage.
After choosing a bag (make sure that it fits the airline height and weight requirements for checked-in luggage–it’s usually 20lbs per bag), lay out all the things that you want to bring. Before packing, check everything twice, and only put them in the bag if you really need them. Don’t bring bulky items (big shampoo bottles, boxes of snacks) that will be available in your destination, and avoid bringing too many thick items of clothing.
Opt for doing your own laundry.
If you’re up for doing some laundry, bring a small pack of detergent with you. This way, you could wash your clothes immediately after you use them–these won’t feel like a chore, as you’d be washing them in small batches. If you don’t want to do your own washing but would be willing to shell out a small fee, you can ask the hotel to do it for you (they would usually give it back after 24 hours or less).
Roll your clothes.
This tried and tested way of packing will allow you to store more things in your bag. Aside from saving space, rolling clothes (many travelers even roll two items together) will also cause less wrinkles. This method will also allow you to easily find what you’re looking for–folded clothes will give you a harder time if you don’t want to take everything out of the bag.
Leave room for purchases/souvenirs.
Last but definitely not least: save some space for your purchases–pack your bag about two-thirds full so you’ll have extra storage. If this is not possible or if you think you’ll need a bigger space, you can also pack a separate light nylon bag that you can easily carry on your way back home.
Packing light won’t be difficult if you don’t rush, so take your time in listing/packing what you need. Follow these tips and you’ll be on your way to having less headache and hassles when you travel.
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