traveling man

Packing Light for a Stress-Free Trip

Waiting for your luggage at the arrival area takes a lot of time and, sometimes, mental preparedness for those lucky situations where your luggage never arrives.

It has happened to many travelers taking tight connecting flights or transferring airlines. Yes, they assured you they would safely load your luggage onto your next flight, but for some reason, it goes to a country thousands of miles away from you.

Save yourself from all that stress by traveling light. If backpackers can fit their lives in a bag for an entire month, so could you. And it doesn’t have to be a backpack. It could be a comfortable four-wheel carry-on luggage you could run with if your connecting time is short.

Packing light is an acquired skill. Most of us have so many hang-ups and comfort things we can’t let go of. Some travelers bring small water heaters with them because they never know if the lodging they got has a reliable water buffer tank. Others bring irons and steamers for their clothes, not wanting to shell out the extra costs hotels charge for these services.

You may have your own needs too, but generally, what we have in this list are the most basic things that could get you by for even a month of traveling.

Extra pair of shoes

Unless shopping is on top of your itinerary, you don’t want to spend your vacation time in malls or boutiques looking for a pair of shoes if the one you’re wearing is accidentally damaged. Also, there will be establishments that would have dress codes. So have an extra pair that is comfortable to wear as a substitute for your sneakers or flats but formal enough to get you into bars or temples.

Don’t bring something you just bought a day before you travel. It could get very uncomfortable after a day of walking since new shoes are often still stiff. If you couldn’t avoid buying a new pair while traveling, break into it as fast as you can so your feet won’t suffer.

Cloth pants and light dress

As mentioned, some places would require you to wear respectable clothes. You can’t go to an orchestra, a temple, and some clubs and bars using jeans or shorts. There might also be a restriction on the dress or skirt’s length. Cloth pants are the best travel wear. It’s flexible enough to be used for casual or formal occasions.

There are religious establishments that don’t allow women to wear pants. Of course, you could skip them if you feel like the rule goes against your principles. But if you don’t mind following some old traditions, bring at least one dress with you.

You could hand-wash these light clothing in your toilet sink if you need to since they would dry easily. And since they’re not as thick as jeans, you could pack more pairs into your luggage. Bring colors that could match with any of your tops.

person waiting for the train

Big but thin shawl

Temperatures can vary a lot as you move from one place to another. The plane ride might be freezing. But once you get out of the airport, the sun could be burning hot. In one trip, you might be going up humid mountains as well as lounge on the beach. A thin but big shawl would be very handy in these varying conditions. It won’t suffocate you if you use it as a wrap-around when the temperature becomes a bit chilly. On the beach, you could use it as a screen to shield you from the direct sting of the sun. You could even use it to dry off after dipping in the waters.

A sturdy sling-bag

You know it’s a hassle to rummage for your wallet or a pen when you’re dragging your luggage with you. Instead of putting it in a backpack or a tote bag, have a small sling bag that you could put in front of you. Small enough that it wouldn’t interfere with your movements, but big enough to hold your essentials such as your passport, your wallet, phone, boarding passes, and a pen. Don’t use some fancy bag with unreliable straps. You don’t want something thieves could easily cut or tear from you.


Most hotels would offer shower gels, shampoos, dental kits, and even lotions. But except for a handful of establishments, they usually get their supplies from the same company that doesn’t care if your skin dries up or your hair falls off after using the products. In short, they’re not custom-made for your needs. There are travel kits where you could put in your lotion, shampoo, and bath gel into small, convenient containers allowed in carry-on luggage.

Other than these things, you only need to worry about your travel documents, phone, and wallet. If you’re bringing work with you, a laptop bag is allowed on top of your carry-on, so this wouldn’t compete with your luggage space.

Many times we bring stuff we don’t get to use. To be even more efficient with your luggage space, you can plan out your outfits for your entire trip. A comfortable trip is all about proper planning, not bringing your entire wardrobe with you.

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