The freedom of travelling with just a small bag, sleeping on friends couches to limit expenses and being able to cut past the luggage carousel at airports is far from the norm.
But if this appeals to you, here’s a tip for getting started for those who want to travel light — or ultralight. To be ultralight having roller bags is lugging too much, because you can’t run upstairs with it with ease, or carry it all over a city without worrying about stowing away your luggage somewhere first. It’s so much easier to travel ultralight.
Start by getting a small backpack (less than 20 litres) and then just travel with what fits in that.
You’ll probably want some guidance on what to put into the bag, and how to travel with so little. Read on…
Travel with a lightweight laptop (e.g. Macbook Air), a few clothes, phone, earbuds and some charging cords, toiletries, and almost nothing else. A lightweight windbreaker for wind and light rain. An eye mask and ear plugs. A collapsible water bottle. Passport. That’s about it.
No extra shoes. No books. No suit. No travel pillow. No extra camera other than your phone.
Bring clothes that you can wash in the sink or shower and that will dry overnight. Lightweight stuff that you can layer. Often they’re workout-style clothes that travel well. Don’t bring enough underwear or socks for every day of the trip, because you can wash them every couple of days. Maybe only bring one or two extra T-shirts.
Bring minimal toiletries: razor, toothbrush, floss small tubes of toothpaste and shaving cream, deodorant, nail clippers, ibuprofen etc.
For cold places, have thermal underwear and a couple long-sleeve layers, and a beanie.
For warm places, bring jandals and togs, and leave most of the colder layers behind.
That’s enough for a long trip, for a shorter trip of a few days you can bring even less!
You will really love travelling this way, and be more than willing to sacrifice bringing extra things for the luxury of traveling lightweight.