Few years ago when I had my first big travel adventure (five months in Latin America), I made two beginner’s mistakes:
- I almost made a blueprint of the trip, planning almost everything
- I overpacked, taking with myself, in a backpack, everything that I’d possibly need in any situation
Very quickly I realized that things never go 100% like planed and it was pain in the ass packing, unpacking and moving with heavy backpack. On the other hand, my friend packed his stuff very lightweight and it was obvious that it’s much easier to travel like that.
After one month of traveling, when I was in Mexico, I decided to get rid of unnecessary things and gave, literally, half of my stuff to receptionist in one hostel in Cancun (he was very happy, so I killed two bugs with one hit). I felt lighter immediately and everything was easier to do: move from one place to another, walk with backpack, search for your stuff, etc.
So this article is about lessons I’ve learned how to pack, travel and organize yourself in a minimalistic way and make your life and journey more easier and pleasant.
Essential stuff is something that is absolutely necessary and that you depend 100% on. I always pack essentials in one small backpack that I always take with me in airplane. So, even if I lose my luggage with other stuff, I can function, survive and recover with things I have in my essential backpack. Let’s see:
- Passport – your entrance to other countries
- Some cash (dollars and/or euros) – if you have problems with ATMs at the airport, so you can buy food and pay taxi to the hotel
- Payment cards – for paying and cash withdrawal in other countries
- iPhone and charger – communication, information, maps and photos
- Airline tickets and bookings saved to Dropbox and available for offline usage on iPhone
- MacBook and charger – for work mostly
Very Important Stuff
I pack very important stuff in luggage that I check in at the airport and pick up at destination, so it’s not always with me, since it’s not essential. Those are the things that are very important for my daily routine and living and weight between 10-15 kilos:
- 1-2 jeans
- Few shorts
- Few T-shirts and shirts
- 2 pairs of sneakers
- Toothbrush and toothpaste
- DSLR camera
- Hair cutting machine
- Portable bluetooth speakers
- Batteries, chargers, converters, external hard drives, etc
- Supplements (not always)
You don’t pack other stuff. You buy them on the road, use them and throw them. Period.
Light traveling is not only about the stuff you take, it’s also about a light plan. If you make strict plan about your travel, you will feel the pressure and this is not good. My rule is: I make some initial sketch of my trip, but I am open for change and adjustments along the way. Organized and with a plan, but on the other hand I am agile and responding well to unpredictable things that can (and will) happen.
You know what they say – it’s not about the place, it’s about the people. So, it’s really important to choose your company wise, because they can shape your experience on the trip. I prefer positive, easygoing, relaxed and smart people on my trips. Also, traveling alone is also a very good option and it’s very light, because you don’t depend on anybody and you don’t have to make compromises with anybody. Of course, that can be hard for some people. In my experience, I like mixture: sometimes alone, sometimes with friends. Best of both worlds 😀
That’s it folks, easy and light 🙂 What is your approach to this topic?