Should You Pack Light? Hand Luggage vs. Checked Luggage
Oli and I are getting ready for our next trip, and even though, at 2 months, it's longer than most people would usually go away for, we feel like it's a pretty short trip. One of the lessons we learned last time, is that you need a lot less 'stuff' than you think, even when you are constantly on the road for 7 months like we were. Some of our favourite long term travel bloggers only take carry on rucksacks with them, and seem to manage fine despite also being self sufficient digital nomads. So, can we do it?
Can we travel for 2 months with only hand luggage?
Well, we're gonna try.
We both have hand luggage in the form of wheeled cases and holdalls but the style we prefer is a backpack as it's just a lot more suited to the activities we partake in.....namely, walking around in the blistering heat trying to find somewhere to stay for £1 less than the previous place.......
So, backpack it will be. We both already have 60 litre backpacks plus 20 litre daypacks so we are aiming to downsize by almost half.....we will both have a daybag too -- I'll probably keep my current tan satchel & Oli will most likely take my Berghaus daybag. We now just need a suitable 30-40 litre rucksack......watch out Blacks, we're armed with credit cards and we're coming for you.
Technical, and somewhat boring, details aside what will we actually take? More importantly, what are we gonna ditch to downsize into our new minimalist luggage philosophy.
Taking Microfibre Towel| This is a must, despite the fact it isn't the nicest thing to dry yourself with as it packs down so small, is lightweight and dries super quickly. A beach towel is an unnecessary luxury and we didn't even take one last time.
Lightweight Sarong/Scarf| This was probably the most hard working item in my backpack last time and multitasked as a beach towel, cover up for temples, dress, blanket and wardrobe upgrade. So yes, I am taking 2 this time.
Lush Solid Shampoo/Sunblock| To be honest, I will probably check in my rucksack on the flight to Singapore as unfortunately, I can't take 100ml toiletries for the entire trip (This frizzy hair needs a stack of conditioner!). Halfway through and certainly on the back however, I anticipate having significantly less toiletries so should be able to keep everything with me in the cabin. Regardless, the most important space saving item I will have, and am never without is my caboodle of Lush solid products. They have a stack more shampoo bar varieties (hello honey flavour) so I will be investing in a couple more. I'll also take my solid SPF 35.
DSLR, Small Digital Camera & Laptop| These are all tricky additions and seem a bit bonkers given my massive downsize but I anticipate using these a lot more than the stuff I took last time (iPad & iPhone). We will need to work whilst away, so a laptop is totally necessary for both of us. We will be sharing the load anyway and I imagine Oli will carry the laptop most of the time....thanks in advance Oli.
2 Bikini's| We will be on the beach a lot more this trip but regardless, I only need 2 as they are so easy to wash and dry. I actually can't imagine travelling to anywhere cold.......
3 pairs of Shoes| I actually didn't take too many last time but I'm probably packing smarter with a pair of flip flops, Nike Free Runs & my Leopard Print Espadrilles. I'm hoping that these 3 will be more than enough to cover al eventualities.......
Tangle Teezer| The logic behind leaving this gem behind last time is completely beyond me.
Snorkel Gear| This is pretty bulky but will save us a fair amount of money, given that we will be almost exclusively on a beach!
Books| We had a lot of books last time and had to post them back as we finished them (we are old fashioned and wanted to keep our Lonely Planet collection in tact) so I think this time, we are only taking one book (Southeast Asia on a Shoestring and the rest will probably be on iPad).
Makeup| I'll be taking some, but a fraction of what I took with me last time and I'm aiming for 1 single toiletry bag to house everything I need for the trip inc. deodorant etc.
Mosquito Nets/Repellant| Honestly, nothing really stops the bugs from biting us so we'll probably just take our plugin which lasts for ages and we can pop it on in the evenings to keep the critters away. The mosquito nets featured as our least used items in almost every trip roundup last time, so they are a no brainer.
Razors| Obviously I'm not going au naturelle.....I'm just gonna take my epilator instead (eeeeshk), which I may live to regret.
Tampons| Again this may be TMI but since August I have been using a mooncup instead, which is amazing and will save a decent amount of space, although I always used applicator free tampons anyway which are small.
If you want to try packing light and need some advice, the links below helped us out.
I haven't started packing yet, so we'll see how that all pans out and you'll be the first to know when we have finished our packing:)