A Lesson from Traveling Light
Having lots of stuff does not give you more control.
One 42 liter backpack. That's all we need to live in Asia at the moment. It has been nearly three months since we've left Germany with no more than what we can take into cabin luggage. That's roughly 50.000 cubic centimeters and 7 kilograms. And we haven't missed a thing but the sun hat we forgot.
When packing, we identified a few variables to find the perfect traveling wardrobe. The weather conditions of our destinations, our planned activities, the average time of laundry service and cabin luggage allowances of different airlines.
- 1 pair of shorts
- 1 pair of pants
- 1 pair of swimmers
- 4 t-shirts
- 1 hoodie
- 2 pairs of socks
- 1 pair of flip flops
- 1 shirt
- 1 pair of black shoes (black shoes make it through each dress code)
- 1 beanie
- 4 pairs of underwear
- 1 belt
- 1 1000ml bag of toiletries
- 1 phone
- 1 computer
- 1 camera
This is all we need, with the consideration of having a next-day laundry service.
We haven't run out of clothes so far, survived freezing buses and 36 degrees in the shades, gathered with locals between BBQ bonfires and treated ourselves on Bangkok’s rooftop bars. All without having to carry a heavy trolley behind us.
Many fear traveling with less, feeling unprepared and exposed. We'd rather take too many things than heading to the airport with the fear of missing or forgetting something. That's because we believe to have more control with a large suitcase filled with belongings. But there is no such thing as full control. This is true for traveling as it is for your everyday life.
Try not to control your holiday with an army of suitcases. Instead, grant yourself the freedom of a light backpack. Let things happen. Try it. You will never travel heavy again. And eventually you'll feel relieved back home.
What’s your lightweight formula?