Four Aces for Lite TravelingDo Be a Lite Traveler
Advice for Lite Traveling (PSCC)
- Prioritize bottomline indispensables
- Stockpile what you would love to take
- Consolodate for comfort color weight convenience
- Choose most appropriate luggage
Traveling and unnecessary heavy loads do not make good partners! I know what it is like to sit at an airport crying while throwing away items you thought you needed and never used. Instead, be a smart lite traveler and have more fun. Grab your tips below
1. Prioritize by asking yourself: “What is indispensable for this trip?
Must-have’ items should fit in your pocket! These include:
cash and/or plastic
ticket schedule and information
emergency numbers or addresses
These items should be in a lightweight bag either attached to your body or put in zippered pockets on the clothes you are wearing.
Don’t carry them in a bag that can be unexpectedly put down or snatched,
A jacket with sleeves tied around your waist is a good idea in case of sudden temperature changes. Any required medication should be added to this list.
All else is secondary or optional!
2. Stockpile the belongings you would love to take into separate piles such as:
SLACKS (comfortable shorts or skirts)
SOCKS (comfortable and fitted)
TOILETRIES (deodorant/toothbrush/paste etc.)
3. Consolidate belongings
Pick one to three items from each pile. Use the following criteria: Hold item in your hands one at a time and judge for weight lightness of fabric color. Bottom line is that less items is better than too many.
Usually three items in each pile will do for belongings: THREE IS GOOD FOR RECYCLING!
Three sets of clothing will usually do. First the–crucial daily underwear, to avoid getting stinky on a vacation. Two sets don’t allow you enough time to wash and dry overnight in a hotel bathroom. Three means you will have two days to dry a set before it can be reused even if you have to travel with one damp pair in a plastic bag until you can finish drying at the next hotel. The magic number three works equally for shirts blouses and other clothes that may need frequent changing.
Keep barely enough of your daily changeables to permit wash and dry time by hand when necessary.
3. CLOTH: LET IT BE LIGHT; NON-BULKY; WRINKLE FREE
Pack clothes with these characteristics, if possible: lightweight–(less weight to carry, roll or lug during the whole trip). Non iron means you will not look like you just stepped out of an unfolded pile of clothes from the bottom of your closet and non bulky means less space will be taken up in your suitcase. Sometimes when I am deciding between two different T-shirts or pajamas, I simply pick each one up and decide on the lighter of the two. I also favor natural fibers because they smell fresh longer.
Every little bit of space and weight adds up and counts!
4. SUITCASE: LET IT BREATHE
Your suitcase is like a compressed portable home. As such, it is like a friend. Don’t smother or overburden your friends. Leave them a little space! You may buy gifts or souvenirs along the way and that space will mean you won’t need to buy more luggage. If you are traveling with only your carry-on you may also appreciate walking lightly around the airport. I was once dragging such a heavy carry-on that I had to stop in transit, buy a new carry-on and throw the old one away. The old one had wheels but the weight was such that I had to drag it most of the time, (especially on carpeted parts of the airport). My arms were exhausted from dragging it around the huge airport while waiting hours for my next flight. I had stuffed my ‘home’ and weighed down my ‘porter’ until it could go no more. The new carry-on was a little bigger and had wheels that moved like a hot knife through butter. It has been my friend ever since but I also treat it like a friend! I don’t overburden it!
The less bulk and weight you carry the easier it will be to change original travel plans or use unexpected transport.
5. WHEELS: T0 LUG OR TO WHEEL
I personally prefer WHEELS as I don’t like to be burdened with weight. No matter how light you pack, the weight may always become tiring especially when you have long queues or miles to walk to other terminals and gates or you want to browse in shops and can’t take your eyes off your luggage for a second even when you must squeeze it through bathroom doors. On the other hand sometimes hugging backpacks are the best way to go. For example I once took a train in India with a big suitcase and a carry-on. Getting to the station platform was bad enough along with being the ‘center of attention’. Then 30 minutes before the train was to arrive they announced that the train would arrive at a different platform. It was a mad scramble to go up two flights of stairs and over to the other platform only to be informed a few minutes later that the train would arrive at the original platform. Needless to say I felt like my arms were going to fall off and I swore I would never again take suitcases, no matter how good the wheels, to ride a train in India! If I were to do it again I would only take a backpack. My advice:
Travel lite, with wheels that roll in all directions, but if lots of transfers and staircases are involved, take a backpack.