It's been a week since I got back from an all girls trip to Boracay but I can still feel the island vibe and the laid back life. Therefore, it's just fitting that I write about traveling. And what's more appropriate for the budget airlines revolution than to talk about about HOW TO PACK LIGHT. No missing baggage, no long queue. There's truly merit in traveling with just a purse and a 7-kilogram hand carry.
Now I do not live and breathe traveling light. My control freak self becomes weary knowing I'll be in a foreign place with very little of my everyday comforts so I usually end up bringing more than what I can realistically use. In fact, it took me years of practice, a number of valuable items confiscated in the airport and one too many overbaggage fees before I finally get the hang of it. It differs from one individual to another actually. A seasoned backpacker can live out of a bag traveling the world for months. Others require a three-piece suitcase for a weekend trip. No judgment here, to each his own.
Personally, I prefer to have checked-in baggage for longer trips that require different sets of wardrobe i.e. corporate attire, casual clothes, outdoor gears. Or for trips where shopping is inevitable and extra space comes into play on your flight home. But for weekend getaways like beach trips where, ehem, very little clothing is expected, then I'm perfectly fine with just my handbag and my trusted powder blue Samsonite backpack.
Want to hear about the things and tips I've learned along the way? Read on and let me know what you think. Share your tips, too!
1. Make an outfit calendar. Seriously, mapping out your outfit for the rest of your trip is not just for vanity's sake. It will prevent you from bringing more that what you actually need. It's good to have a few extra pairs, but be sensible. You won't need 10 pairs for a 2-day trip, right?
2. Go for versatility. Bring clothes and accessories that you can wear a number of ways or times. A good pair of denim shorts, a 2-in-1 flowy dress/skirt or a cardigan that you can style and wear more than once will make a lot of difference. A comfortable, closed flats is also a good idea. Good for walking and safe for places where no open toes/slippers is allowed.
3. Invest in good quality travel essentials. If you travel often, it's smart to invest in lightweight but durable items like backpack, sleeping bag and towels. Aquazorb offers ultralight but absorbent towels that easily fit in your bag. Visit your favorite outdoor and sports brands to check their latest offering for comfortable, light traveling. It's the name of the game nowadays!
4. My secret weapon --- SCARF. This is probably the most important thing I bring whenever I travel. It can warm you on a freezing flight, protect you from the scorching heat, double as a sarong and even substitute a beach mat. It can even spice up a rather boring shorts and shirts ensemble. Bring at least two and you're good to go!
5. Keep toiletries and makeup to a minimum and repack them in travel size bottles. Save yourself from hauling full bottles of shampoo, creams, lotions etc. Most toiletries are offered in smaller packages or even sachets. You can also repack in clear bottles and keep them in zip locks to prevent spills. Choose makeup that has multiple use. I usually go for BB creams because I get sunscreen, mositurizer and makeup base in one tube. Lip and cheek stains work wonders, too!
6. Drop the baggage and just enjoy the moment. Literally and figuratively. You're in a vacation. It's your chance to break free from worldly things that occupy your mind at home --- job, bills, possessions you may or may not need. Bring the least amount of "baggage" and decide on what truly counts and matters in your journey. You'll be surprised that you need a lot less than you thought. Sometimes, arriving in a new place carrying less will give more space for new things, opportunities, experiences, memories, even people!
That's me for now. Have fun in your next travel! :)
*photos from Google images