Perfecting the art of traveling light

I’m about to leave for Hawaii for a week. Enjoying hassle-free travel, I like to pack light. How light? My whole setup fits in my large-but-not-oversized backpack. This means not only do I never have to check my luggage in, it’s also with me at all times and never gets lost by airlines.

The trick is to roll your clothes, not fold them flat. You can even get fancy with it, if you want. Once rolled, build layers in your backpack, standing it up.

I also advise to wear the bulkiest clothes on yourself while traveling, such as your coat or jacket, so as to not have to worry about using precious bag real-estate for that. You can fit said jacket in the overhead bin, during the flight.

Here is what I’ll be bringing along with me for 8 total days of travel, in tropical weather, in that one backpack.

  1. Clothes
    • 12 t-shirts (long+short sleeves; rolled, not folded; 4 layers of 3 t-shirts in bag)
    • 1 pair of black jeans (rolled; I’ll be wearing a 2nd pair while traveling)
    • 2 casual buttoned shirts (folded flat, against the back of the backpack)
    • 2 pairs of cargo shorts (rolled, takes up 1 layer)
    • 2 bathing suits
    • 7 pairs of short socks (warm weather)
    • 7 pairs of underwear
  2. Electronics
  3. Other
    • Passport (for which I’ve verified the expiration date well in advance)
    • Printed ticket, just in case, on the way out of Canada (we cross US customs in the Montreal airport).
    • 1 travel neck pillow, hanging off said backpack.
    • 1 pair of hair clippers (hair and beard)
    • 1 razor and blades
    • 1 toothbrush (I buy toothpaste, deodorant, etc on location)

And, voilà! The only other things I’ll add to this list are not things, but actions:

  • Check-in online as soon as you can.
  • Charge all of your devices to their full capacity before leaving. Not all airlines/airports will provide you with [free] power.
  • Do make sure to use full-disk encryption on as many of your devices as possible, and lock them all with a password/PIN.
  • If you travel with a computer and/or mobile devices, back them up before you leave, and leave the backup drive at home. If anything gets stolen, you’ll be able to set up a new machine once home, or even have it shipped express to you if absolutely needed.
  • Spend time with your family. You never know, maybe you’ll decide to stay wherever you’re heading, forever. ;p

Note: I’ve packed planning not to have access to a washer and dryer, or reasonably priced laundromat. I sometimes go lighter. With all of that in, I’d still have enough room to pack a pair of dress shoes if absolutely required.

4 thoughts on “Perfecting the art of traveling light

    • Ah, indeed. But you’ll note I end up with only one bag. Meaning I’m still allowed another carry-on bag, still not having to check anything in.

      I often use that fact on the way back, when I buy things at my travel destination. :)


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