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Top Ways to Travel Light on Your Next Holiday


If you want to enjoy your holiday the number one secret is to take only what you need. Sounds obvious doesn't it? And yet many travelers end up by ruining their holiday by dragging huge bags all over the place. Remember the old saying: you only need half as much as you think, but take double the money!

Start by making a list of all those things you would like to take. Go ahead! Add whatever you like - including the kitchen sink - we will sort that out later.

Now visualize yourself at the airport with that huge load of goodies. You have dragged them up to the check-in counter and your bag(s) are the biggest and heaviest of all the passenger bags you can see ... oops!

Now go through your list and delete all those items you will NOT NEED on your holiday. The key word here is "NEED," not "WANT." Check every item on your list and ask yourself whether you really NEED it. Could you manage without it? Could you buy it cheaper at your destination? If the answer is "yes" then delete it.

Now the list will begin to look manageable, but you are not there yet. Go through your list one more time with the intention of deleting at least half the items. That's right - at least half!

Here are some guidelines:

People tend to over pack clothing. Have you chosen the right clothes for the climate? Do you need that thick pair of trousers or that heavy dress? No! Remember, the Philippines is a tropical climate, and unless you are planning to visit Baguio you will not need any heavy or warm clothing. Light cotton clothing should be fine. Do you need that fancy evening dress? No! Or that pair of high-heel shoes? No! Or that stylish handbag? No!

And how about toiletries? Leave most at home - pack only essential toiletries and cosmetics. Many resorts and hotels offer complimentary shampoo and soap, so you may be able to save some space by not packing those. Once you have chosen the items you feel are essential make sure you take only the smallest sizes - for example, don't lug around large shampoo and conditioner bottles.

The same goes for vitamins and medications. You know the amount you take each day and you know the length of your stay, so take only those you will need on your holiday. Leave the rest at home. This may not sound like much of a saving, but you will be surprised at how these little things add up.

Now you have the items to take, what about travel bags? For cabin baggage make sure it complies with the airline's weight and size restrictions. For checked baggage buy a light bag with wheels, and preferably one that matches your cabin bag so you can piggy-back them. That way you will not have to waste time searching for a baggage trolley. And since you will almost certainly be buying souvenirs to take home, either leave some space in your checked baggage, or pack a light, collapsible bag as an extra.

Remember, the trick to packing light is to cut, cut, and cut some more until you get down to only those items that are essential to your trip.

So there you have it. Packing light saves space, gives you less to carry, and more freedom to enjoy your holiday.

Happy traveling!

Allan Miller, 19 January 2009

  Copyright © 2008 Allan Miller

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