How to Travel Light and Still Go Anywhere | The Adventure Blog

Ditch the Luggage

While a suitcase may be a stylish and convenient way to lug your clothing and other items around, most aren’t particularly designed to help you travel lighter. If you’re looking to cut some weight from your bags when hitting the road, you might want to start by replacing your luggage. Switching to a backpack or duffel bag not only tends to lighten the load, but is also easier to carry through busy airports, on public transportation, and through crowded city streets.

Don’t Overpack

This may seem like it should be common sense, but it is remarkable how often even veteran travelers fail to heed this advice. When packing your suitcase, backpack, or duffel don’t bring things you simply don’t need. That includes a fresh, clean outfit for every day of the trip. Instead, pack items that you can wear multiple times and are versatile enough for use in a variety of situations. Apparel made merino wool is especially great because the fabric tends to be moisture wicking, temperature regulating, and anti-microbial-meaning it doesn’t pick up smells when worn for extended periods of time. This allows you carry less, but stay comfortable no matter where you go.

Dress in Layers

When deciding what clothing to bring it also helps to develop a good layering system. By packing various pieces of apparel that compliment each other it is possible to remain comfortable in a variety of weather conditions and environments. Lightweight, moisture wicking clothing close to the skin helps to keep travelers comfortable and dry. A mid-layer for added warmth and an outer layer for extra protection from the elements can all be mixed and matched as needed. Appropriate layers allow you to pack less, but still remain prepared for changing conditions.

Limit the Number of Pairs of Shoes

The natural tendency for many travelers is to pack a different pair of shoes for each of the various activities they intend to do on their trip. That can mean everything from a pair of sneakers and hiking shoes to dress shoes and high heels can make their way into the bag. My rule of thumb is to never bring more than two pairs of shoes on any given trip, which can be accomplished by finding footwear that is comfortable and versatile. Keep in mind that shoes not only take up a lot of room in your bag, they can also be quite heavy. That means when you’re learning how to travel light, you’ll also have to learn to go with less.

Leave the Laptop Behind

If you’re traveling for work, leaving your computer behind isn’t usually an option. But if your trip is for pleasure, simply don’t bring it. Instead, use a smartphone or tablet to store important information, search for locations and activities, and to communicate with others. Those devices are much more lightweight, easier to keep charged, and often provide greater functionality.

Leverage Technology to Your Advantage

Embracing technology can help you cut weight from your bags in other ways too. For instance, most of us don’t need to carry heavy and expensive photography equipment when our smartphones take exceptional photos. That same device can also be used for communicating with travel companions, getting directions to destinations, finding restaurants, museums and other attractions, and even playing music or podcasts.

Think Small

When deciding on what items to bring it also helps to think small. For instance, when packing a toiletries bag, be sure to look for the travel-sized options of shampoo, soap, and toothpaste, even if you plan on checking your bag. Those items are compact, lightweight, and take up very little room. They also tend to get lighter as the trip goes along. You can extend this same logic to other items as well, brining smaller chargers for electronic devices, packable daypacks for outings, and other gear designed to be minimalist in nature.

Versatility is the Key

If there is one word that continued to pop up throughout this story, it is “versatile.” That’s because it is a great concept to keep in mind when learning how to travel light. The items that you put into your pack should be as versatile as possible, serving multiple functions throughout your trip. If you pack something that is only good for a single use, you should pause for a moment to consider whether or not it is truly necessary. If the answer is no, then remove it from your bag altogether.



The Adventure Blog is a collection of personal stories, news, and gear reviews about a range of topics related to adventure travel, outdoor sports, and ecology.

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The Adventure Blog

The Adventure Blog


The Adventure Blog is a collection of personal stories, news, and gear reviews about a range of topics related to adventure travel, outdoor sports, and ecology.