Experience will reveal to any traveler that there is an art to packing for a trip. For all of us, that first trip as a “newbie”, where we lugged half of our world possessions around for a week and a half, set us on the course of discovering ‘less is more’. From that point forward, we continue to practice the fine art of reducing our overall luggage weight, yet bringing all of the essentials to enjoy your trip.
In this age of checked bag fees, shrinking carry on size & weight limitations, dinky international rental car sizes, and the need to ‘lug’ your own luggage, our focus is on going compact, light weight, and good quality. Some of the strategies we pursue to put our luggage on a diet are:
- Make sure the bag you are packing things into is light weigh to begin with
- Choose lightweight clothing that will wash and dry quickly and will mix and match into different outfits
- Adopt a “packing system” to help keep your gear organized and simplify packing / unpacking
- “High Tech” clothing such as waterproof breathables, windstoppers, micro-fleece, etc can make a big difference and provide great function while saving on pack weight
- Refine your travel accessories over time substituting item with new stronger materials & lighter weight
- Invest in good quality gear – broken handles, wheels, zippers, etc can be high stress problems when you are isolated on the road
- Opt for electronic items that operate on ‘World” voltage & current (120 to 240volts, 50 to 60HZ)
Stretching Your Travel Dollars
For most of us, traveling is expensive. Travel costs are probably one reason why only between 35 to 39% of Americans hold a valid passport – and travel costs continue to rise.
There’s nothing wrong with splurging on high-end amenities during your vacation, but there is nothing wrong with trying to reduce your travel costs either. Its simply a choice. Even for those travelers that have the means, we often choose to stay lean on travel costs to stretch our travel dollar and take more trips.
Our personal approach is that we typically stay ‘budget conscious’ both when arranging a trip and while we’re traveling. For us this might mean: nice but modest hotel accommodations, mostly light meals and checking out the local market for ‘lunchables’, buying tickets and passes in advance, using frequent flyer mileage programs, looking for travel packages (but be careful here), traveling slightly off-season.
To balance out “traveling on a budget”, we also fully support each other’s ‘go for it’ moments. These are time where one of us might want to buy a shiny object that caught our eye, eat at a particular upscale restaurant, or sign up for a fun and maybe a bit extravagant activity. We both know that we’re likely to only be in that place once, so when that happens, there’s no question, we just ‘go for it’.