Top 10 Ways to Travel Light – backpack tips
Take yourself to a camping store and find a super thin, super absorbent towel. These can be squashed down to the size of a handkerchief and are big enough for showering and sun bathing. They start at about €13 – which isn’t bad for a long lasting, space saving travel necessity.
2. Online Diaries
Instead of taking your entire diary just take a small note book, crammed with essential contacts and travel details. Copy everything else into an e-mail and send it to yourself. This way all your important names and numbers are stored online, they can be accessed from anywhere and if you lose your contacts book – you know it’s backed up somewhere that’s easy to access.
3. Small Toiletries
Collect as many small bottles as you can before your trip. You can de-cant larger bottles of shampoo and so forth into these, purely for when you travel. When you’re staying somewhere for a while buy more of the toiletries that you need – but for travel keep the cosmetics to a minimum. This lowers the weight of your backpack and makes things a lot easier when it comes to getting hand luggage cosmetics past customs – especially during times of heightened security.
4. Easy To See Inventories
Put everything you plan on taking into small, transparent plastic bags before you put it all in your backpack. Not only does this make it easier to find everything you need, it also makes it blatantly obvious when you’re taking too much of one thing. Four jam packed bags of socks aren’t necessary on any continent.
5. Online Journals
Sort out your own online, blogging website before you set off on your journey. By keeping your family and friends up to date online, it saves you having to lug a heavy journal around with you. Also if you’re one of the many modern backpackers who don’t travel without your laptop, you can be assured of free Wifi in most hostels.
6. Socks And Pants In Shoes
Put your socks, underwear and swim gear in your shoes. It sounds obvious but you’d be surprised how much space this saves. Also these fillers stop your footwear being squashed during transit – when your backpack is underneath several tonnes of assorted luggage in a plane’s hold.
7. Medication To Go
If you’re require a lot of medication on a long trip – for diabetes or anything else, organise this with the health authorities at your destination, before you leave. You should still take your own reserve stock, but when you know that what you need – is where you’re going to, you don’t have to worry about taking as much. Some travel insurance companies even help you to organise this forward planning so it’s definitely worth making a few enquiries.
8. Book Swapping
Don’t take a backpack full of books with you. Just take one or two titles that you wouldn’t mind saying goodbye to. Then when you arrive at your hostel and finish your first read – start asking around to see if anyone wants to swap their book with you. Lots of hostels have huge libraries – jam packed with books that have been left behind, so you should have lots of great books to choose from.
If you’re a fan of jewellery then leave the expensive stuff at home and just pick up cheap stuff that you don’t mind losing – on the road. Not only does this free up space in your backpack from the start, it’s also safer. According to a great little book called Backpacking Safety Tips, expensive accessories: “might draw attention to you and make you a target for thieves.” This way you travel lighter and safer.
10. Cash Withdrawals
Don’t carry huge chunks of cash around with you. OK so it might not weigh that much but like the jewellery – it attracts the ‘heavies’ and once they have your cash, you’re in trouble. Traveller Cheques and cash withdrawals at your destination are the way forward. There might be small charges and commissions involved but it’s a small price to pay for a huge weight off your shoulders.
Hope you enjoy our backpack tips!