Packing a carry-on bag and nothing else for an extended period of backpacking may seem a little crazy. However, you’ll experience a whole array of advantages if you learn how to travel light.
More people than ever are deciding to swap their heavy backpacks in order to travel light. You’ve maybe seen the seasoned backpacker types, tanned from head to toe and dressed in their baggy elephant pattern trousers. They get off the plane with their trusty day bag and head down to the baggage reclaim. Only they don’t stop to wait for their main bag. No these are minimalist travellers, and that little day bag just so happens to be the only one they’ve brought.
But why might anyone want to do this? Well stick with me because I’m about to help you find out.
Minimalist Travel Equals Easier Travel
Ever had to catch a specific bus/train, only for it to arrive already overflowing with people? This is a stressful experience at the best of times and not all drivers have sympathy for your situation. Some charming characters won’t even wait until everyone has boarded before closing the doors and setting off. Save yourself the agro of trying to push on with a massive bag and keep it under 40litres. Plus, a smaller bag increases your transport options: small buses and shared cars are still possible. I’ve even been on the back of motorbikes with mine.
Possess Increased Flexibility If You travel Light
You may be in the situation where you need to kill a couple of hours in a temporary location. Well your bag is small enough to carry around. Although maybe a little inconvenient, there’s no reason why you can’t carry your smaller bag around. It also means you don’t need to hunt around for somewhere to store it.
Small Backpacks Save You Money
No one likes to waste money when they’re travelling. By bringing a cabin size bag you avoid paying extra fees to check it into the air-plane hold. Not just that, but I’ve known taxi drivers to charge more based on the number of bags in the boot! Additionally, you’ll avoid paying locker storage fees should you need to kill a few hours exploring.
Keeping your belongings with you means your stuff is less likely to get stolen, or accidentally taken. If your bag is small enough, you don’t need to put your bag in the hold below buses. Someone mistakenly took my friends bag on a 12 hour night bus in Ecuador. The stress/anxiety it caused was unreal and getting it back was by no means an easy feat. You’re also less likely to be immediately highlighted as a potential target by thieves preying on tourists.
Taking carry-on luggage means you don’t need to be at the airport 2 or 3 hours before your flight. Also you won’t need to wait to collect your luggage at your destination, which is such a simple travel tip. Not to mention the loss of time avoided if the airline were to make a mistake in putting your luggage on the plane!
Won’t Lose Stuff
Having less items in your bag means you can remember exactly what you have. You’ll therefore be more likely to spot if something is missing from your bag as you are preparing to move location. I’ve been in tiny hostel dorms where people have a mountain of belongings piled up near another person’s belongings. This is a recipe for disaster but don’t take my word for it, ask to see what’s in the lost property of your next hostel!
How to Travel Light
I know what you’re thinking. These are great reasons for travelling light but you don’t actually know how to do it. You already travel with the bare minimum and you just can’t get your packing list down.
Well don’t worry, because you can read my other post where I set out in detail exactly how you can pack lighter. Trust me, it is easy when you know how!!