Having done a few trips overseas I have noticed a few things about my packing habits:
- Most of the stuff I bring does not get used.
- I bring home more junk when there is more space in my bag.
- My packing always gets light after each trip.
WHY I DECIDED TO TRAVEL MINIMAL
The idea of travelling minimal has always appealed to me though I've never been able to fathom the idea of travelling with only a carry on. This year I'm planning on travelling through Central and South America and my plan is to do it with a little baggage as possible!
In preparation for my travel I've been learning a lot about the bliss of travelling light. I've spoken to many travellers who have been abroad for extended periods. When I ask about packing strategy the most consistent advice is that packing as light as possible is the way to go - roughly 10kg to 15kg in one carry on bag to be comfortable on your back.
BENEFITS OF MINIMALIST TRAVEL
1. PACKING ONLY WHATS ESSENTIAL
By trying to minimise my baggage I've found that I have become more critical about what is really important. In the past I have packed things to bring with me just for the "what if" scenarios that may pop up.
This time around I'm scrutinising each item I pack much more closely. If it is something that I will not use regularly I'll ditch it and buy it abroad when the need arises. Buying things abroad can also be a fun adventure in itself while travelling. One great idea from Tim Ferris is to set aside a setup fund ($100-$200) for the basics on arrival.
This method of selective packing has helped me really minimise the amount of unnecessary luggage in my packing list leaving only what is essential.
2. EASE OF TRAVEL
Going lighter also makes it much easier and safer to move from A to B. Packing light will allow me to avoid having to check in luggage. This means avoiding the long lines waiting for luggage to arrive in the conveyor belt. Carrying my luggage onboard with me means that I can also rest assured that my things will arrive safely and not get lost in between flights.
There is also the added advantage of being able to pack up quickly. When you have less it is much easier to get your gear in order and move onto the next destination.
3. EASE OF STORAGE
Often hostels provide lockers for safe storage of valuables. Having less luggage makes it much easier to keep all valuables secure in lockers rather than loose in the room as easy targets for theft.
WHAT I'M PACKING
The below is a list of the gear I'm planning on bringing with me on my long term trip.
- 2 x T-Shirt
- 1 x Shirt
- 2 x Long Sleeve Wool Shirt
- 1 x Jeans
- 1 x Shorts
- 1 x Beanie
- 1 x Bandanna/Scarf
- Quick Dry Workout Shirt
- Workout/Swim Shorts
- 1 x Hoodie
- 1 x Vest
- 1 x Hardshell Jacket
- 1 x Reebok Crossfit Nano 2.0 (Runners)
- Tongue Scraper
- Shower Gel
- Travel Towel
- Fuji X-T1
- 18-55mm Fujinon Lens
- 55-200mm Fujinon Lens
- Seagate Portable HDD USB 3.0
- Mac Book Pro 13"
- Travel Adaptor
- iPhone 6
- Nokia Phone (Sacrificial Phone)
- Immunization Records
- Cash - USD
- Credit Cards
- Spare Passport Photos
- Photocopy of Passport
- Print out of Hotel Booking/Flight Itinerary
One obvious tip is to wear the heaviest gear when moving. This will reduce the amount of stuff that needs to be packed into carry on.
I'm really attracted to how convenient travelling light can potentially be. I have never travelled long-term before and much less with this light of a set up. However the world is getting smaller and I'm sure that if there is anything that I need I will no doubt be able to find it when it becomes absolutely necessary.