Traveling light is an art, and the more you visit the world, the better you get at it! I remember one of my first camping trips where I took one t-shirt per day for the whole 10 days — rookie! Now I’m in Bangkok, and I’m going to spend six months in SE Asia. I brought around 7.5kg (including my laptop) and I already know I took too much!
I have to say, when I see those poor travelers carrying massive backpacks, sweating like pigs, I smirk a bit, especially when I sense their jealousy. As I easily negotiate the streets, staircases and buses, they suffer like everything is a chore.
It takes a long time to master the perfect packing list — mine is still not great, but I’m getting there. Each person has their own preferences, but once you understand the main concepts, it doesn’t really matter what you take — you’re going to be fine.
So how can you do it?
1. Matching Clothes
If I close my eyes and pick two items from inside my backpack, I’m 100% sure they’ll match each other. There is no guessing or wasting time checking if that shirt goes with those shorts — you won’t need a vast selection of clothes.
Also, you have to take into consideration how long you’re staying in each location. If every three or four days you’re visiting a new place, then you won’t have to worry about repeating an outfit as you’ll constantly be meeting new people.
2. What If?
What if it gets cold? What if it breaks? What if they don’t have it there? Getting too caught up in these questions tends to result in overpacking.
Believe me, unless you’re traveling completely off the beaten track, which would be a feat in itself, you will find everything you need everywhere! Any major capital will probably offer a great variety of products and services, just like the ones you have back home.
So when you think about that, you can instantly discard several items that only make your bag heavier! You won’t need enough batteries for four months of travel, you won’t need three different swimming trunks — you can buy them anywhere! — and you won’t need to take several packs of painkillers either! You get the picture.
3. Think About The Location
If you’re going to travel for nine months around hot countries and three around cold ones, does it make sense to carry that fleece for such a long time?
That’s right, it doesn’t! You’re probably better off buying one once you get to your destination. The same applies for coats, boots or anything heavy that you’re probably going to use only twice in a year.