Traveling lightCredit: Photo by matthewmcvickar (licensed under creative commons:

Traveling light has a number of advantages. For one thing, you don’t have to worry about excess baggage fees. Another is that you will enjoy your trip more since you don’t have to worry much about airport security or losing something along the way. When it comes to traveling light, knowing the essentials on packing is the key:

The list

By making a list, you will be able to prioritize the things that you need on your travel. Such essentials should include your wallet, passport, mobile phone, visa, hotel reservations, insurance (travel and medical), cash, credit cards, maps. Of course, you have to bring clothing items that are appropriate for the climate in your destination. Bring a dependable jacket if you are going to a very cold place. Just remember to do some research on your chosen destination first, in order to determine the type of clothes and accessories that you have to bring.

One bag does the trick

Make sure to choose a lightweight bag that is easy to carry. It is recommended to have a shoulder bag or a back pack (or something that can be used as both). On the other hand, if you expect to climb stairs or walk for long periods of time, go for a bag with wheels. It is also important to note that having one large suitcase is better than having 2 or more smaller bags. Always opt for a suitcase with a number of pouches for your toiletries, gadgets and other miscellaneous items (first aid kit, vitamins).

Go easy on your gadgets

As much as possible, don’t bring your entire collection of gadgets. With the technology today, you can almost have everything in just a single device. Certainly, you would want to bring the whole lot with you – your laptop for your work, your mobile phone, camera, e-book reading device, video recorder, music player and more. However, bringing all these when traveling is pretty unnecessary. This is especially true if you are going on vacation. When traveling light, pack only the basics such as mobile phone, camera, laptop – but if you want a relaxing trip, forget about the laptop. As a basic rule, instead of carrying several gadgets designed for a multitude of purposes, simply carry one or two multipurpose gadgets and the bring as much extra batteries as you need.

Organize  your toiletry kit

Make sure to have your personal bits and pieces in a small bag. Since most hotels provide shampoos, soaps and conditioners, you don't have to bring your own (unless you have an allergy that requires you to use specific products). However, if you tend to stay at a transient home or a hostel, you’ve got to have the essentials (please, forget about your hairdryer, loofah or bath salts). Opt for a bottle of shampoo with conditioner instead of buying two separate bottles, which can use a lot of space. In addition, have everything in the smallest size possible. It is also a great idea to buy some toiletries at your destination.

Re-pack items

If you need to bring those beauty products or a few prescription medications, you could carry them outside of their huge packaging. Just bring the exact number of your pills and put them in a small pillbox or a Ziploc bag. Investing on travel-size containers and tubes is also a good idea for your favorite beauty creams and lotions. This is especially true for frequent travelers.

Secure all your valuable possessions

Keep your money, identification cards, credit cards and other valuable items in a specific security purse. Have some cash inside your pocket so you won’t need to pull everything out whenever you need to do little purchases. It is also recommended to bring photocopies of your visas, credit cards and identification cards secured in a separate bag or compartment from the valid ones. This way, you still have other copies in case one is lost. You can also scan the documents and keep the copies on your USB.

Pack your bag like a pro

  • Instead of rolling your pants and shirts, it is better to fold or stack them into squares. While some suggest rolling garments when traveling light, you can actually fit more clothes in your limited space by folding and stacking.
  • Put your socks in your shoes to save space. Other small items can also be stuffed inside the shoes. Then, put your shoes in plastic bags especially after wearing to avoid damage and making your other stuff dirty.
  • To avoid breakage, fragile items such as tablet, notebook or digital camera should be packed in the center of the bag.
  • Once your bag is full, fit your underwear along the sides of the bag so that you’ll have more space in the middle.