It’s that time of year when most people start exercising their wanderlust. Summer travel is a rite of passage for many, an opportunity to kick off the fetters of work-life, see some unfamiliar sights and let their hair down.
But most people are their own worst enemy when it comes to travelling. They jam the entire closet and bathroom cabinet into their suitcase – chaining themselves to a bulky, heavy, costly boulder of a suitcase. It’s the opposite of what travel should be: agile, unbound and easy.
In this article, let’s explore the merits and mechanisms of packing light. Hopefully, this post convinces you to travel with a single carry-on bag for your next trip (as the travel gods intended). Armed with a succinct packing list and versatile merino travel hoodie from Unbound Merino, you can easily pull it off.
Let’s get packing.
Why Pack Light?
Let’s start with a few reasons for packing light, which you can roughly divide into three categories: money, time and effort.
- Packing Light Saves Money: Checked bag fees steadily rose in the past two decades, reaching eye-watering levels post-pandemic. The average checked bag fee for a cross-continental flight is around $70 for the first bag, and $100 for the second. An oversized bag will set you back $100. That’s money you could spend on a couple of nice dinners out if you pack your travel essentials in a carry-on bag.
- Packing Light Saves Time: Who wants to wait for half an hour (or longer) at the luggage carousel when they reach their destination? Who wants to wait for porters to port their bags at a hotel, or for taxi drivers to rearrange the trunk to accommodate a bulky suitcase? You have precious little vacation time; spend it briskly moving through your destination.
- Packing Light Saves Effort: Lastly, packing light is just easier. There’s no dragging wheels over cobblestone, no heaving a suitcase into an overhead train compartment. When you pack light, you feel light.
Above are the three main reasons for packing light. Read ahead to learn a few tips for making it happen.
How to Pack Everything You Need into One Carry-on
With just four simple tips, you can pack everything you need into a single carry-on. You will have to be ruthless (i.e., no packing a third pair of shoes “just in case”), but you’ll be rewarded for your efforts. Here’s how to do it.
- Make a Packing List: It all starts with a concise, unsparing packing list. A packing list will serve as your guide, keeping you honest in your light-packing goals. Write the bare essentials for travel in a notebook, adding only a couple of extraneous items. Keep this list handy as you pack your carry-on bag.
- Choose Antimicrobial, Versatile Clothing: Merino wool is a poorly kept secret in the travel community – the ideal material for travellers. It’s sweat-wicking, insulating, breathable and wrinkle-resistant. Best of all, it’s antibacterial, meaning it stays fresh and odour-free for days – sometimes weeks. You really only need one or two merino shirts for a whole two-week trip!
- Wear Your Heavy Items in Transit: Don’t pack your rain jacket, jeans or boots. Wear them on the plane and whenever else you travel between destinations. This frees up space in your luggage for other items.
- Leave Behind the Towel, Books, Accessories and Most OTC Medication: Before you pack something, ask yourself, “Will the hotel have this?“ and if not, “Can I buy this at my destination?” In the case of towels, books, blow dryers, curling irons, shampoo, body wash and most over-the-counter medication, the answer is yes and yes.
Hopefully, you feel inspired to pack light for your next summer trip. Don’t let the big airlines come between you and your travel funds. Pack light, save money, and travel freely!