I always tell people that they can pack lighter than they think. Even before I started this blog, I had been traveling to see family or backpacking through Europe on a carry-on bag for many years. Hell, I even moved to London in 2009 with a single backpack.
I know what you might be thinking. Well, she’s a girl, so it’s easy for her to pack light. That is not the case here. In fact, I am often impressed with how little girls manage to travel with and am always jealous of their packing skills.
I’ve been asked countless times about how I do it, so in December of 2013 decided to start this blog as a way to share my thoughts and photos about my travels and my favorite products for staying organized and packing light.
I admit it. I love to travel. I love to get away and see new places, experience different cultures, eat new foods and meet new people.
But there is one part of traveling that I hate: packing.
I’ve been writing this blog for a little over a year now and have learned so much in the process. There are so many great tips, tricks, and suggestions out there on how to make your life easier when you travel. But one of the biggest things that I have learned is that you can pack lighter than you think.
I am going to share with you all my secrets of packing light. I will help you through the process and teach you how to pack light, whether for a weekend trip or for a one year round the world trip. Being a professional extreme traveller does not just mean travelling around the world by plane, train, bus and hitch-hiking. It is also about making sure that your backpack fits in the overhead compartment and having it weigh less than 10 kilos (22 lbs).
The first step is to get rid of all your stuff! Seriously, if you are planning a long term trip like me, leave everything behind and start fresh. If you have a hard time getting rid of things, then imagine yourself living out of a backpack for a year or more. You only need the very essentials.
Next step is to go online and buy super lightweight gear. I recommend using Amazon as your base, because most companies offer free shipping and some offer free return shipping if you don’t like their product. Many companies also have reviews on their products so you can read what others think before purchasing.
In this post, I will be giving you some tips on how to pack light.
First of all, let’s talk about why you would want to pack light. Well, there are a couple of reasons. One is that it’s just a lot easier and more comfortable to travel when you have just one small bag instead of a large suitcase. Another is that if you’re traveling by plane, it’s really nice not to have to worry about how heavy your luggage is and whether you’re going to have to pay extra if it’s too heavy.
So here are some tips:
1. First of all, don’t bring anything that you don’t really need. This sounds obvious, but it’s amazing how many people forget this and end up bringing way too much stuff with them. If you can get by with fewer clothes or other items, then do so! It will make your life much easier.
2. Second, make sure that whatever you bring is lightweight and takes up as little space as possible. For example, if you’re bringing clothes, try to pack clothing made out of lighter materials like cotton instead of heavier materials like wool or denim. Also try not to bring too many bulky items like sweaters or jackets. The same goes for things like
Pack light. That is the number one thing I can tell you about traveling. Packing light is my religion, and I’m a zealot.
I travel a lot. And by a lot, I mean I’m on the road for at least two weeks out of every month. (And often much, much more than that.) Some people think it’s glamorous, but the truth is that it’s hard work. Lugging around suitcases and trying to find clean underwear in an airport bathroom isn’t exactly my idea of fun. Every time I go through security, I get jealous of those guys who are sprinting through with just their laptop bags on their backs. They look like they have everything together, and all I can do is hope that this time my bag doesn’t get lost or my flight gets delayed or I don’t get upgraded again…
When you travel light, however, these problems start to melt away. Suddenly you are free from the bonds of your luggage–you have no checked bags to lose and no heavy carry-ons to lug around the airport; you can get up and go whenever you want; and best of all, you don’t have to worry about getting upgraded because you’re already carrying everything you need!
The science of packing has been studied in several branches of a related fields, including psychology and physics. This is not really surprising as it is a common problem in everyday life. In fact, according to a report by the U.S. Department of Energy, the average American household does an average of 3 loads of laundry each week, which means that the average American family has to pack and unpack approximately 150 times each year!
The problem can be simplified by considering a rectangle of length L and width w whose corners are to be packed in a square box of side length s (see Figure 1). The challenge is to find the maximum value of L/w which still allows the corners to fit in the box.
In this post, we will consider two different cases: one where we are only allowed to rotate the rectangle around one of its sides (i.e., we are not allowed to flip it over) and one where flipping is allowed. For both cases, we will find closed-form solutions for L/w.
What airlines offer:
Airlines are not the enemy. They are a business and they want to make money so they will offer you options that make their business more profitable. We can work with them.
Just because they ask you to check a bag doesn’t mean you have to. There are numerous ways to avoid paying checked baggage fees, especially on United as I fly with them most often, but many other airlines are following suit. (That’s right, I’m looking at you American Airlines).
The first thing to do is to read the fine print of your ticket. You may already be entitled to one free checked bag if:
You have a frequent flyer credit card that comes with free checked bags. Often this option is only available to the primary account holder, not additional card holders. An example of this is the United MileagePlus Explorer Card.
You are a frequent flyer member at a certain level or higher. This varies from airline to airline but it isn’t too hard to get into a “lower” tier if you fly frequently enough on one airline and rack up miles or segments. An example of this would be United’s Premier Bronze level which currently requires 25,000 Premier Qualifying Miles or 30 Premier Qualifying Segments in a