Johanne and I have learned from experience that travelling light makes a adventure much easier to enjoy so we wanted to share some of the tips we have learned along the way. Based on what we see other people hauling around we are usually among the lighter travellers.
- Luggage verses Backpack. This is easy, if you are going by airport shuttle to the all-inclusive your big luggage with the wheels will serve you well. If however you plan on touring cities and towns your wheels that rolled so smooth at the airport will leave you stranded at the curb.
Our backpack of choice is the Supercontinental from Mountain Equipment Co-op. Mine is the 65 liter model and Johanne’s is the 45 liter. Besides being a very comfortable backpack, the straps can be tucked away making it a very respectable carry case that will not get caught in the airport carousel.
The 45 liter version is actually regulation carry on and the 65 liter comes with a small day pack which we find very handy for tootling around.
2. Clothes. We are very selective about what we are prepared to carry and less is always more. Quick dry is a must and we look for quality well wearing tops and shorts. A small vest and a good quality compact rain jacket come along just in case. To get the most out of the limited space, roll your clothes up and use rubber bands. We wear a pair of long pants and a long sleeve shirt on the plane. “Remember to be respectful of local customs, in many countries you are judged by how you dress, so tidy up as best you can”.
Don’t forget to coordinate (OK I confess here, since retiring my eye for fashion has become slightly murky).
3. Foot Wear. Forget the heals, comfort and quality are the keys. Look for lightweight, comfortable walking shoes that dress up fine plus a pair of sport sandals (Doug loves his Tivas, as the are closed toed, water-resistant and durable). A cheap pair of crocs can be very versatile for beach and everyday use. If you have more than one pair on your feet and two in your pack, time to rethink.
4. Valuables. We love our thief proof fanny pack from PACSAFE. We also bought a wire combination lock and use it to secure the fanny pack to something solid in our hotel room. This really puts us at ease.
Mom always said “keep a little extra money tucked in your shoes”, and once again mom was right!
We do spread our cards and cash around so all would be not lost with one quick snatch. We also carry in my pocket a small change purse with our day money in it. We affectionately refer to it as our “mug money” .
The main page of our passports have been photocopied and laminated for carrying during the day and the passports stay locked up at the hotel. A money belt is also highly recommended, leave the purse at home.
5. Toiletries. We love these mesh bags inexpensive and very functional. Johannes is much bigger than mine! There stuff in there that I would not know how to use.
6. The Little Things
- Clothes pins and a piece of line
- Pocket size camera, we love our little Sony, it is quick, easy and most importantly inconspicuous
- An e reader or tablet, leave the laptop at home, life goes on (trust me)
- First aid kit with scissors, nail clippers, etc.
- Please take a refillable water bottle, with backpack clip. There is already far too much plastic being thrown away
- A collection of zap straps, you just never know
- Shopping bags that fold into a ball, again too much plastic garbage!
- Packable hats
- Assorted ziploc bags for bar soap and things that may leak
- Small LED flashlights
- Our one luxury is our Scrabble board and a deck of cards
If we missed something please let us know, so that we can add it to our list.
Happy Trails from the joyful travellers.