If you’re one of those people who over packs, you’ll know just how daunting it can make taking a vacation. It might seem bearable when you’re loading up the car on the way to the airport – the car is heavier but you managed to squeeze the trunk shut. When you get to the airport, you search around as best you can to find a couple airport trolleys to pile your bags on before you try to locate your check-in desk. Once in the line for check-in, you begin to notice how the other passengers roll their eyes when they look your way.They don’t seem to have packed much at all – some of them only have one suitcase and one carry-on bag. Perhaps they’re just going to stay with relatives for the weekend, you think to yourself, as you try to peer over your mountain of bags to see if they line has gone down at all.
Once you get to the check-in desk, you’re told about all the extra charges you’ve brought upon yourself by bringing so much baggage. Half of them are too heavy, too. You are tempted to open them up to redistribute the weight, but there just isn’t enough room. You pay up and make your way toward the departure gate.
At the gate you’re relieved of those cartons of juice you’d prepared especially for the journey, your expensive eau de toilette, toothpaste, shower gel, shampoo, conditioner, moisturizer and insect repellant that you had made the effort to out and buy especially for this trip. There’s no arguing or pleading with airport security as they only employ people who take themselves very seriously and can be trained to view even a child’s stuffed toy as a potential terrorist threat.
Once you’ve arrived, you are the last to collect your luggage from the carousel as there was just so much of it. You want to take a minibus to your hotel but they can’t fit all your luggage on board, so you end up paying more for a taxi, stuffed with your bags. The driver is not sure whether or not you’re emigrating but is happy enough to drive you the extra-long ‘scenic’ route to your hotel. As you enter the hotel lobby, the porter rushes over, admiring all that baggage which will fetch him at least half a usual day’s worth in tips.
You spend the next 24 hours unpacking and then decide it’s time to start enjoying your vacation. You meet people in the hotel who tell you they’ve just arrived from one place and they’re only staying a couple of nights before the jet off somewhere else. That sounds great, you think – a multi-stop vacation – but then you remember the size of the caravan you have in tow and realize that you just can’t face packing those bags and traveling anywhere with them against just yet.
So, how do people do it? What’s the secret of traveling light? How is it some people can spend months away, yet they only carry a light backpack with them?
The fact is that you don’t need 99% of the stuff you’ve packed. A smartphone, your passport and your wallet with currency, cards etc. is enough. You don’t even need a bag at all. The reason for this is that airports and ports have shops. Even remote towns and villages have stores you can buy clothes, toothbrushes etc. in. As long as you can pay for it there, you don’t need to pack it. Anything you do pack can be considered a luxury.
Such luxuries might include some of your own clothes – a couple of spare pairs of underwear, for example, that you can wash as you go along. If you’re not staying in a hotel, a towel can be a good idea. Don’t bother with books, CDs etc. as you have access to all this on your phone. You might want to pack headphones so you can listen to your music quietly. On the other hand, you might want to throw a bit of a party, in which case you can connect one of these speakers from Speaker Digital to your phone.