Whichever way you look at it, travelling is a wonderful experience and a fantastic way of broadening your horizons. Experiencing life in different cultures can make you more resourceful and help you gain new skills that come in handy when looking for a job back home. It is not surprising that large numbers of people choose to go on a backpacking trip, and although traditionally backpacking was considered the domain of teenagers and recent graduates, today people of all ages decide to pack their bags and travel the world.
Of course, “packing your bags” is easier said than done. It is obvious that you are not going to take your TV, microwave, or washing machine with you on a backpacking trip, but you definitely need clothing and personal care items when you are travelling. But how many of them do you need? How much is too much? Below you will find some tips that have helped experienced travellers backpack their way around the world with just a small bag.
The fifty per cent rule
Start by laying out everything you think you might need on your trip. Once you are done, take fifty per cent of the items away. Do the same with the remaining items. It might feel scary at first, but the vast majority of travellers who have chosen to travel light say that they simply cannot imagine a better way of travelling. Don’t be afraid to be ruthless, and chances are that you will not miss all those items you left behind.
Don’t fall in the “just in case” trap
Let’s imagine you plan to be travelling in countries where the weather is mostly warm. It doesn’t hurt to pack a jacket, a jumper, and a raincoat, or does it? Well, if you pack “just in case style”, chances are that you will end up with a heavy bag and lots of items that you will simply not use during your trip. If it gets cold, hot, or rainy while on your trip, you can easily buy anything you need on the road.
Send it back
But what if you plan to be backpacking through Russia before heading to South East Asia? Obviously you will need some warm winter clothes for at least half of your trip. But is there any need to lug around heavy winter coats in the tropical heat of Thailand? No, there isn’t. If you find yourself in this situation, you can always send a parcel home with the items that you do not need anymore. Companies like MyParcelDeliveryspecialise in shipping parcels internationally at affordable rates and with the option of tracking the item until it reaches its destination. Whether it is clothing, a hairdryer, or books, you can make room in your backpack by sending them back home.
The best way to travel light is to carry items that serve more than one purpose. A sarong can be used as a bath and beach towel, a scarf when the temperatures drop, a light blanket, protection against the sun, and even as a curtain on a bunk bed if you are staying in hostels. Take a look at what’s in your backpack and get creative thinking about the different uses of your favourite items.