This year isn’t a travel year, but some might make it out or around in the country anyway.
We will go see my parents in Berlin this week and this is a good opportunity to give a few tips on how to travel stress-free and light.
6 years ago I would have easily packed 21kg for one week holiday in the same weather zone (*squirm).
I love being somewhere else, but I hate traveling. Carrying around stuff, waiting, not knowing my exact ways around in a different place, more waiting, planes. I hate fyling!! Heavy load makes traveling a lot more unpleasant.
In recent years I have taken to only travel with a backpack. This is not possible anymore due to the toddler, but we still fit everything in a small cabin sizes suitcase and one backpack anyway, for up to a week.
Here are my top tips to light:
1. Pack as you normally would and then take out half of it. I guarantee it will still be enough. Ratio: 1shirt for 2days- aired in between (7 days holiday – ca 4 tops).
For 7 days I take 2 bottoms (e.g 1 jeans, 1 shorts), 4 shirts with different sleeve lengths, 1 dress (that I can upstyle), if needed a tight/leggings , 1 pair of shoes, 1 nightshirt. If needed a jumper/jacket. I wear the bulkier stuff (e.g.jeans/jumper) on the travel days.
2. Don’t take showergel/shampoo/deo or buy those tiny overpriced ones. Just buy them cheap wherever you go.
3. If you feel as if you don’t have enough outfits, make sure everything you bring matches everything else colour- & stylewise. With just 6-7 pieces you can make loads of combinations. The dress I take doubles a skirt if I wear a shirt over it.
4. Electronics: Don’t take a laptop if you can avoid it. It can break, can be stolen… might be heavy/unhandy. I have most things in the cloud or add what I need there beforehand, I can login from everywhere and do bits.
5. Holiday is kindle time if you have one. Don’t schlepp books around. If you read a lot on holiday, this way you can take hundreds of books with you at no extra weight.
If you have a reasonably big screened phone, download the kindle app and read from there.
6. Everything essential (medication you rely on to survive, passports/important documents, laptop if you need to take one) keep it on you at all times. Don’t ever put it in a suitcase that you drop off, it can get lost and then you have an issue that might take a few headaches to resolve.
7. When you travel a lot without access to a washing machine, investing in some fast drying travel clothes makes sense. Then wash by hand at night and let dry overnight.
8. Special occasion clothing advice:
Don’t bring an evening outfit. Style up what you have with some bling and a red lipstick. I have a black jersey dress that can transform into dancing queen in those 2 steps.
If you are sporty, take fast drying sports clothes. Wash after use, next day it’s dry & you can use it again. If you need to bring a towel, microfibre towels dry in 5 minutes and take almost no space.
Men are sometimes denied access to restaurants or clubs with the wrong footwear. I recommend leather sneakers that are tended for well, they are fine for fancy nights out and daywear.
9. Packing cubes. When you pack different peoples clothes into one suitcase (mum, dad, kids), this will end in pure chaos. In this case – even as a minimalist – I can recommend “stuff”: packing cubes. I have a set with different sizes and used it a lot last year and will again now.
10. Don’t buy souvenirs. They are often an expensive rip off (and “made in China”) and take space on the way home. Instead, buy & send cards to your loved ones. If you absolutely feel like you must bring something: A trip to a local supermarket and some local sweets or specialities do the trick and are more original. Going to supermarkets in new countries is a great thing to do anyway, all those new/different foods.
I find it good practice after the holiday, when I unpack to make note of what I didn’t use much or at all and what I missed (if anything). Then I can pack better next time.