Packing Light

If you’re going to be traveling any length of time (from an overnight stay to several months) the subject of packing is going to figure very strongly in your details.

Just as there are multiple traveling personalities out there, many different packing strategies exist as well. But these generally boil down into three categories: people who take practically nothing, people who take practically everything, and some specifically personal variation in between.

As much travel as we have done, we have come to realize a few very important points: the less luggage you take, the less you have to drag around with you through the airport and elsewhere; unless camping in the Out Back, at some point you will come across a laundry or a sink, either scenario potentially resulting in clean clothing; if you do not bring an item with you and discover the fact after you arrive, there is a strong likelihood you can get one in a town near you or easily do without it, whatever it is; and a decent map will save you much in headaches and heartaches.

I usually pull all the clothing I think I will want, and then take half.

Two lightweight duffels versus one large suitcase: less weight; more flexibility of space; easier to distribute (carry one in each hand); and you have more control over bringing more or less stuff home with you.

Bring a small notebook and pen along if you’re going to be gone for a time. You can then make notes of the places you’ve been (super helpful when trying to remember all the details of a trip taken years ago); jot down the details of the pictures you’ve taken (often faster than tagging the pictures themselves, if you have many); write in the hotel where you’re staying (useful for return taxi trips or just backtracking); and also keep track of contacts you meet, recipes you learn, or additional tips and tricks you come up with yourself, or pick up from fellow travelers. No batteries or cell signal needed.

One more point: wherever you go, whatever you do, remember someone back home would love a postcard.

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