Why Packing Light Makes Sense for Most Travellers

Why Packing Light Makes Sense for Most Travellers

It doesn’t matter whether you are a long term traveller or a vacationer, lugging around too much luggage is a pain. As you will see, when you read on, there are several reasons to pack light.

Packing light cuts down on stress

Generally speaking, the less baggage you take the easier your life will be. It means that you do not have to waste time at the airport, or the coach station, queuing up to get your cases checked or loaded. You also save time the other end. While everyone else on your flight is standing elbow to elbow beside the luggage carousel you are hopping on a bus to get to your hotel.

It is also far easier to carry a compact light bag than it is to manage an unwieldy suitcase. If your accommodation kicks you out before lunch, and your transport does not leave until late afternoon, travelling with a small bag means that sightseeing is still possible.

Packing light saves you money

Not having to leave your luggage for half a day with the hotel will also save you money. In Europe, and some other countries, it is not unusual for them to charge a small fee for holding your luggage. For one person it is not expensive, but if you are a family with several cases the cost suddenly becomes significant.

These days virtually every airline charges to put your luggage in the hold. Fees vary, but you are looking at between $30 and $60 for each case, each way. That is a lot of money, especially when in most situations you can fit what you need into hand luggage.

If you travel by train or coach, most firms allow you to travel with one large case, without charging you a fee. But not all do, so travelling light is usually still a good idea.

In addition, in many countries, you will also be charged a luggage fee by taxi firms. It is not much, but these little fees soon mount up.

Packing light keeps you organised

Packing light is a great way of getting you organised. It forces you to think carefully about what you are taking with you, which in turn makes you plan ahead.

The first step to packing light is to sit down, in advance, and work out what activities and day trips you plan to enjoy on your vacation. Using that list you then make a list of the items of clothing you need for each activity.

At this point you soon realise that you only need to take a bikini, a few t-shirts, some underwear, a couple of pairs of shorts and maybe a skirt or a pair of trouser with you. When you lay everything out on the bed in different outfit configurations you can see how few clothes you actually need. Travelling in this way forces you to mix and match your wardrobe, which means you will get into the habit of buying fewer clothes.

If you want detailed instructions about how to pack light, this article is perfect. It is written by Nomadic Matt who has been travelling for years and clearly knows what he is talking about. He has some ace tips, as well as some in-depth checklists you can use.

Do you have any more tips for packing light?

3 Comments

  • Patrick H says:

    Have to agree, packing light is huge in the grand scheme of things. I’m a much happier traveler when only hauling around a small bag and having to walk 5KM because i missed the last bus or tram! good tips!

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