UK Coast
May 26, 2021

Travelling light: Packing the essentials this summer

The world is opening, and we are being let out to explore once more. The urge to get out and about is strong, but the need to be flexible is still lingering. We may need to skip off at a moments’ notice to ensure we get the break we crave. Therefore, we will all benefit from practising some discipline in packing lightly. 

Before you declare travelling light akin to the mythical unicorn, it is not as hard as it sounds. If you want to feel the freedom of travel, you also need to be rid of the many kilograms of baggage that will weigh you down. Here we gather all the best hints and tips to help you in your mission. 

Getting the basics right

So, there are some basic rules to packing lightly that you will need to commit to before we get into some details.

First, you will need to search for the right bag. Experienced travellers are pretty unified in believing that the backpack is the best bag to use to encourage discipline. It is also a helpful bag because you have multiple pockets to store different items that you might need quick access to on your travels. 

If you are more of a case sort of person, you should invest in some packing cubes. You might think it weird to have bags inside a bag, but these cubes keep your packing organised and allow you to cram more into the space. It is like some sort of magic trick that is well worth experiencing. You will wonder how you ever did without them afterwards.

Second, you should pack for one week of travel. You can always use the local laundry if you are staying for longer. Packing for longer will naturally bulk up your case, and you need to consider the possibility of wearing clothes for more than one day.

A final basic rule is to only pack the must-haves. You might have all sorts of images of what your travels will include. However, if you pack with the mindset that something will be nice to have if it happens, you will quickly need a Sherpa and a donkey to get you to the airport. So, pack with the “must-have” mindset and be disciplined. And remember, the world is full of shops if that fantastic event you imagined happens. Shopping… even more fun!

Master toiletries

The trickiest part of packing light is the selection of the perfect toiletries. If you throw out all caution at this point, you risk carrying a bag full of bottles and potions. The best option is to buy a travel set that comes in a small see-through pack. The travel set will likely come with all you could need for basic comforts, such as toothpaste, shampoo, soap, and the like. You can always replace some of these items with cosmetics if you are going to a hotel.

You can save money and get travel-size toiletries by collecting samples from shops and collecting the little bottles when you stay at hotels. Alternatively, you can try shampoo and soap bars to avoid carrying the water that makes up a large proportion of items like shower gel.

One of the top tips from seasoned travellers is to purchase dry shampoo, which comes in a powder that can be shaken from a can. This is both light and handy for those moments when you need a quick refresh. 

Simple but effective

Travelling light can be simple with some small hacks. For instance, purchasing a microfiber towel can make all the difference to your bag, as it is ten times lighter than a standard cotton towel. Buying yourself some merino wool socks is a good shout, too, as they last a while before getting smelly! 

Whatever choices you make, you should keep to that fundamental principle of only the most necessary items making it into your bag. Then, you can feel completely free as you travel and not be weighed down with possessions.