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Learning to Travel Light

by Eva Holland Jul 8, 2008

I have to admit, I’m not all that great at traveling light.

I’m far from the worst out there – you won’t see me carting around a hair dryer and straightener or multiple pairs of heels – but on my earliest backpacking trips, I routinely filled my pack to the point where I couldn’t lift it into an overhead rack without help. As a solo traveler, that probably wasn’t the best move!

So what are my weaknesses?

Books, for a start; I don’t leave home without at least two or three, plus a guidebook on longer trips. A huge amount of weight comes from toiletries – for most of my early travels, my hair reached most of the way down my back, and the fact of the matter was, a travel size shampoo lasted for, oh, one or two washes.

I tend to bring more clothing than I need, too. This may come as a shock to my mother, but I do at least try to be ready for more formal occasions, should they arise, so a couple of blouses and a skirt generally ride at the very bottom of my bag.

I’ve gotten better in recent years, but I still have a lot to learn. And that’s where comes in. It’s an entire website – and we’re not talking just three or four different pages here – devoted entirely to the art of packing light.

Check out articles on everything from the importance of a packing list (repeat after me: “if it’s not on my list, it shouldn’t be in my bag”) to the knock on wheeled bags – the site is detailed and informative, with a hint of fun.

You might be thinking, why an entire site? Is packing light really that big a deal? But, as explains, packing light can have an impact on your security, economy, mobility and serenity – not to mention on the environment.

I hit the road again in just over a week, on one of those complex, multi-stage trips that requires careful packing for a variety of climates and activities – so I’m off to study up!

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