Minimalism / Travel

IN PRAISE OF TRAVELLING LIGHT

05.14.17
IN PRAISE OF  TRAVELLING LIGHT. A minimalist approach to travel. Why I choose to only travel with a carry on suitcase.

In praise of travelling light

Take a look at my Instagram and you’ll see that I love to travel. This is nothing new, I’ve always suffered from the desire to wander but lately, what I take with me has changed significantly. I take so much less. Maximising my luggage allowance always seemed likethe the necessary thing to do because I’d want to take as much as possible away with me, you know – just in case.

Travelling lighter has happened gradually as a result of owning less clothes and becoming more mindful about what I actually need – you can read more about that here. Gradually, my supersize case became emptier to the point where now I only need my carry on suitcase. This was finally confirmed to me in March when I managed to pack it for a week of skiing and even had room for my ski boots. So, I sold my big suitcase and now I only take my carry on wherever I go. Because this is unusual, people struggle to understand it but I can’t imagine ever going back. Here comes my defence.

Ten reasons why I love travelling light

1. It’s cheaper. If you only take what you actually need whilst you’re away, I guarantee you’ll not be tempted to do anywhere near as much shopping that you would normally do in the lead up.
2. No more stressful weigh-ins the night before you leave. Lugging my case into the bathroom and trying to elegantly balance it on my scales whilst checking the weight at the same time, isn’t something I miss. I never have to worry about my case being overweight now so I never bother weighing it. One less thing to worry about.
3. Less time spent thinking about what to pack. If your goal shifts from creatively packing a suitcase with as much as possible to only taking the necessities, the time required to do so reduces significantly. All this time you get back for you!
4. The airport is a breeze. I feel so sorry for all those people struggling with mountains of luggage – they don’t know what they’re missing.
5. Baggage fees don’t apply to you. I have fallen foul to this so many times both going away and coming home. It puts me in the worst mood when I have to pay extra because my luggage is overweight.
6. There’s a strong feeling of freedom that comes from travelling with less, which I love.
7. Choosing what to wear is easy when our choice is limited. Yes please!
8. Less time spent thinking about what outfit to wear. I don’t even want to think about all the precious time I have wasted planning outfits and choosing what to wear when I should’ve been out and about enjoying every minute of the holiday.
9. You’ll feel so much calmer. Not being physically weighed down with loads of stuff has a really positive impact on my mood. I enjoy the experience so much more.
10. Less laundry when we get home. Everyone hates this, right? I knew someone who hated it so much she would send all the contents of her suitcases to a cleaning service where it would be washed and ironed before it was returned neatly folded in piles. My laundry is done in a couple of washes max when I get back.

So, maybe bear these benefits in mind when you’re packing for your next trip. Focus on the real joy of travelling – the experience. All the stuff you take with you doesn’t mean anything compared to the memories you bring back. Focus on making those.

To get started, think about what you actually wore on your last trip – maybe browse through your photos if you forgot. What did you actually wear? What did you take with you but bring back unworn or unused? Think of all the time and money you could save by simplifying and travelling lighter. I’m off to Paris next weekend, so I’ll be sure to expand on this post and let you know what I take in my tiny suitcase.

IN PRAISE OF TRAVELLING LIGHT. WHY I ONLY TRAVEL WITH A CARRY ON.
IN PRAISE OF TRAVELLING LIGHT. WHY I ONLY TRAVEL WITH A CARRY ON.

13 comments on “IN PRAISE OF TRAVELLING LIGHT”

  1. Number 4 all the way! For me, I get severe anxiety thinking about having to navigate a busy airport with luggage- so I’ve always been a carry on packing ninja. I am travelling for work this week, and everything I’m bringing fits in my briefcase and carry-on! Have fun in Paris!

    1. The times I’ve struggled with loads of heavy luggage, so silly. That’s going to make the whole thing so much easier for you! I’ll be following along on your insta stories. Have a great time.

  2. Great post! Another Reason, take loads of stuff with you and i guarantee THere wont Be nearly as many Hangers as you need. Cue clothes over every CHair, end of the bed, on the floor, on the hanger to put your wet towEl- ugh Messy!

    1. Ha ha there never are! So true. Arghhhh the thought of a messy hotel room is stressing me out! Calm and tidy please.

  3. SO I’VE BEEN STRUGGLING WITH WHAT TO PACK WHEN I GO PLACES. WHEN I WENT TO DENMARK FOR MY WEDDING, I DEFINITELY DIDN’T PACK CLOTHES THAT MADE SENSE, PLUS I OVERPACKED. SO IT WAS NOT A GOOD LOOK. I’M GOING ON A TRIP NEXT MONTH, AND SO I DON’T END UP MAKING THE SAME MISTAKES, I’VE BEEN LOOKING FOR BLOGS LIKE THIS ONE TO HELP GUIDE ME IN THE RIGHT DIRECTION. GREAT STUFF!

    LYNN | https://STAYALOHA.BLOGSPOT.COM

    1. It’s so hard to get it right but you’ll get better with practice. That’s all I’ve done. I like to travel a lot and so I’m planning to include what I take on each trip in a blog post. It sounds like that might be something you’d find useful? Hope I’ve given a little bit of guidance by outlining the benefits for you. Just got back from Paris last night and the laundry this morning was a breeze!

      1. That’s actually such a great thing to include in a travel blog, and the ones I’ve written to be posted have actually included what I took (what I needed and what I didn’t even touch!) It’s really helpful for those who are traveling far from home and don’t know what it’s like on “that” side of the world. For instance, I live in Germany, and the weather can go through all four seasons in one day! 😛

        1. Living in the UK I know all about that! Packing for hot climates is easier – a pair of denim shorts, a couple of dresses and some t-shirts does the trick then. Will have to take a look at your posts! I’m INTRIGUED…

  4. I LOVE YOUR REASON NUMBER 6 “THERE’S A STRONG FEELING OF FREEDOM THAT COMES FROM TRAVELLING WITH LESS, WHICH I LOVE.” – I’M GOING TO NORWAY ON FRIDAY FOR A WEEK AND IT’S THE FIRST TIME I’LL BE TRAVELLING WITH JUST A CARRY-ON BAG. AS I’LL BE TRAVELLING ACROSS THE COUNTRY ON TRAINS + BOATS, I KNEW THIS WOULD BE THE PERFECT OPPORTUNITY TO TEST MYSELF. I’D NEVER HAVE ATTEMPTED THIS 6 MONTHS AGO, BUT SINCE ‘MINIMALISM’ AND CREATING A CAPSULE WARDROBE (AKA THE BEST THING I’VE EVER DONE FOR MY WARDROBE) JUST IMAGINING MYSELF LUMPING A BIG SUITCASE OF STUFF AROUND GIVES ME ANXIETY. I CAN ALREADY FEEL SUCH A HUGE SENSE OF FREEDOM NOT HAVING TO WORRY ABOUT WHAT I’M TAKING ETC. I’M JUST REALLY LOOKING FORWARD TO EMBRACING THE EXPERIENCE FULLY AND EXPLORING WITH JUST A BAG OF ESSENTIALS ON MY BACK 🙂

    1. Hi Melanie. Thank you so much for your comment! So happy you enjoyed the post. Very envious of your trip to Norway – I’m going for New Year but I bet it’s beautiful in the summer. You’re going to have a great time and travelling light is definitely the way to go. Enjoy!

  5. Great post! “9. You’ll feel so much calmer.” – so very true. Traveling light is better than I could’ve ever imagined. I used to be one of those people that had a suitcase just for shoes…#ashmed. Now when my husband and I travel, we bring small hard-shell carry-ons and/or small backpacks. I love my Fjallraven for weekend trips especially.

    1. Oh no, a suitcase for shoes is extreme! Ha ha. My husband is hanging on to his XL hardshell for now but it’s getting emptier and emptier the more he’s getting rid of. Travelling light is definitely the way forward!

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