On Packing Light

When I travel, I try to pack light. This is something I am trying to teach my son, who seems to think that he needs to bring everything that might entertain him. He also seems to think that he needs a ton of other supplies when we travel.

But he is young, and doesn’t really “get” it yet.

packing light

I like packing light because I don’t enjoy being encumbered by all of those things. It’s difficult to maneuver through an airport when you have multiple bags. On top of that, I find that, as I get older, I “need” less and less. I want things to be easy, convenient, and enjoyable. I don’t care so much about having a bunch of stuff with me.

Even when my car is packed high with stuff that’s coming across the country with me as I move from Utah to Pennsylvania, I still feel like I need to pack light. The stuff that I actually use is stuff that I want accessible, and I don’t want a lot of it. Just a little bit of it is fine, since I don’t like to make multiple trips to the car in order to get everything into the hotel room.

Here’s what I do to help me pack light:

Bring only the clothes that I need

I start off by only bringing the clothes that I need. My son still thinks that he needs multiple clothing combinations in order to be successful, and make sure everything is covered. I was probably the same way when I was his age. Now I just want to make sure that I have the requisite underwear and changes of clothes. This makes it fairly simple when it comes to getting my stuff in and out of the car. Normally, I just need two bags: the one containing my clothes and the one with my laptop.

Consolidate entertainment

It does help to consolidate my entertainment options. There’s a whole lot less to carry around these days, thanks to my smart phone. I can download podcasts to listen to, as well as access music. If I’m flying (and not driving), my iPhone has a Kindle app that allows me to access my reading material. Sometimes I slip my Kindle device into my laptop bag anyway, but things are still relatively light with that setup.

Focus on the essentials

Really, it’s about focusing on the essentials. What will I really need to make this happen? If I bring a bottle of water and a few small snacks, I’m usually ok. I don’t need to bring a bunch of food. If I have a couple of credit cards and some cash, I’m usually just fine. There is rarely the need to bring multiple backups. All it does is bog me down, whether I’m looking through my purse, or whether I’m trying to get something out of my carry-on.

When I focus on just packing the essentials, everything becomes much lighter and easier to manage. And, really, that makes for a more enjoyable trip.

About the Author

Miranda is a freelance writer and professional blogger. See more of her writing at MirandaMarquit.com. Her book, Confessions of a Professional Blogger is available from Amazon.