Ok… We all know that travelling with a lot of luggage totally sucks. It’s heavy, it gets in the way and you worry about it all too much. Now, here’s your chance to be the minimalist traveller you always wanted to be. Once you get over all the stress and initial panic of not having anything, it’s actually quite easy. So, don’t worry.. if you don’t know where to start, I’ll help you out.
The first thing you need to do is throw everything you know about packing out the door. Yep. Just forget it. Now, make a massive pile of everything you think you need to take with you. Seriously – chuck everything you want to take into one big pile. And, forget about it. Just walk away… Leaving a nasty old pile of stuff in the corner will help you not over stress about what you think you need to bring.
Then, when you’re pretty close to being over the panic of “OMG, that’s a massive pile… and, how the heck will I ever manage carrying all of that,” come back and take your packing pile apart.
What you want to do next is to sort that nasty old pile into categories that work well for you. What I do is put all the tee’s into one pile, underwear and socks in another, shoes in another, toiletries, computer stuff… chargers, cameras… stuff like that.. just section everything off… Now, when you’re done sorting out that massive mess, walk away, have a sleep… and don’t worry.
This is where things get interesting. Take everything you’ve got in the piles and cut pretty much all in half. Like, do you REALLY need to take five pair of socks? Probably not. Do you REALLY need four pair of shoes? And, perhaps leave the UGG boots at home because come on it’s Thailand and it’s gonna be hot…
When I went around I went #AroundIrelandOnAPushie, this is exactly how I managed to take three months of clothes and pack them into two tiny panniers. You can pretty much see from the photo I’ve got all elements covered for summer Irish weather. Looking back, I actually think I took way too much stuff. I could have culled the five yoga pants down to just two and could have gotten away with just the purple half gloves because the black ones were actually too small for my hands.
Ditching two of my long shirts out of the five would have been smart – because I only really wore three. The long black wooden shirt got the most traction because it looked the best when I had to look like a normal person.
What you aren’t seeing is the 150 koalas that I also took with me. The koalas disappeared after the first week I was in Ireland but, I ditched them as fast as possible because extra weight meant extra pedalling.
One thing I did not factor in was the amount of stuff people would be giving me whilst on the road. I received books, shirts, fitness supplements, you name it… people wanted to give me stuff, and sadly, I just didn’t have the room for everything. That’s probably one good tip to keep in mind – you’re gonna collect stuff when you travel so if your bag is feeling a bit empty – GOOD – keep it that way.
Now, when I travel, I normally carry a backpack. To me, I prefer to just walk freely around with everything on me. I fid it way easier to manage because I seriously hate dragging a rolling bag around – it’s just a pain in the arse. I also use those small washable bags to stuff all my clothes into separate compartments. You can get these from any travel stores or if you want, you can use those reusable bags you get at the supermarket checkouts or those cotton bags you get at the trade shows. It’s pretty helpful if you get the bags in different colours, because when you’re looking for stuff, it’s easier to figure out which bag it’s in.
Got any life-changing travel hacks? I’d love to hear what they are. Please share your best-of’s in the comments!
A girl gone walkabout in the great big world!