Three Mantras For Packing Light
Packing light is better. No rolling bag bouncing off cobblestone streets, nothing to drop off at the hotel before exploring a new city, and fewer moving pieces to worry about when traveling.
Thinking about how to pack this way is a little hard at first, but after you have a routine it boils down to three key ideas.
1. “I know what I’ll wear”
It’s simple, but choosing what you’ll wear each day drastically cuts down what you have to pack. Eliminating options equals efficiency. Also, I pick one pair of shoes I’m going to wear for the whole trip, and plan my outfits around them. Shoes and outerwear are the bulkiest things you can pack.
2. “I can buy things there.”
You shouldn’t need to be buying things on every trip, but consumables like water or a notebook, or a $5 umbrella in a downpour can be purchased on your trip.
3. “I’m already prepared.”
You need the essentials: Clothes, toiletries, and electronics. For the sake of efficiency, I have toiletries and electronics, like chargers, packed into an organizer that I carry around all the time.
The perk here is that if I forget to put on deodorant in the morning or need to brush my teeth after a garlicky lunch, I can always freshen up.
Here’s what I keep in my toiletry bag:
- Custom first aid kit with bandages, ibuprofen, sleep aid, cold medicine, backup contacts, sewing kit
- Travel deodorant
- Brain meds
- Hand sanitizer
- Travel toothbrush and toothpaste
- Toenail clippers (good for all digits)
- Eye mask and ear plugs
- Hair gunk
- Small Dr. Bronners soap for showering, laundry, or anything else.
Here’s what’s in my electronics kit:
- USB-C brick & USB-C to USB-C cable (for iPad)
- Anker PowerCore Fusion (Plugs into outlet, gives two USB outlets, and is a 5000 mAh battery)
- Short Apple Watch charger
- Lightning cable for iPhone
- Lightning to 3.5mm adapter, attached to 2.5mm to 3.5mm Bose headphone cable
- Micro-USB cable
- USB/USB-C flash drive
- SD cards