Travelling light: Packing the essentials this summer

As we come into the summer, it appears that COVID restrictions will slowly but surely be unravelling to allow us more opportunity for holidays and trips away again. It is fair to say, we are all excited enough to sing about our chance to travel once more. The summer is coming, and the lockdown is easing, and we want to see new places again! 

So, let’s build that anticipation for these summer holidays to come by looking at what we should pack to help us travel light.

The important rules first

Packing lightly is more complex than you think. If you want to feel some freedom as you travel, you will have to show some discipline when choosing what to take. 

Rule one is simple: buy the right bag. A backpack is usually best for packing light. However, there are packing cubes that will make your life easier. A set of seven packing cubes can help you cram more into a smaller space – and ensures that your toiletries are all together when you go through security.

Rule two is challenging. You need to pack those things you must-have rather than those things it would be nice to have. Knowing the difference is harder for some than others, but discipline here is the key. You don’t need to be over-prepared.

Rule three: pack for one week. If you are travelling for longer, you can use the laundry services available. You will do this better if you choose versatile items that can be used for more than one thing. If you are packing a cocktail dress for that potential for a party on a yacht that you might attend, you will not pack light. Remember there are shops in countries across the world.

Get your toiletries right

You need a toilet set that will allow you to pass through the airport while covering all your basic grooming needs. Some sets come in zippered bags and contain bottles with leak proof caps and compact jars.  These sets tend to include shampoo, soap and the like, and some places will provide these for you. You will then have a chance to use the space created in your pack for some beauty products as extras.

If you are camping, you might want to consider dry shampoo that comes in a powder shaker. It is a great way to keep your hair fresh daily, meaning you can carry a smaller bottle of traditional shampoo. It is safe to use in water such as lakes and rivers, as these shampoos are biodegradable.

If you really want to be smart and clever, you can seek out samplers offered by some shops. Remember, if you’re going to carry liquids onto a flight, you cannot exceed 100ml as carrying on items on a flight.  You can get around these by purchasing bars of soap and shampoo rather than carrying shower gel. The majority of the liquid soap and shampoo is water.

Other clever tips

There are items you can pack that are compact to store and multi-purpose. For instance, merino wool clothing can keep you warm when it is cold but keeps you cool when it is warm. You can also wear merino wool socks for days without them getting smelly. While you will pay a little more for these clothing items, they are perfect for travelling light – and long-lasting too.

Another handy tip, especially if you are camping, is to get yourself a microfiber travel towel. Not only is this towel ten times light, but it also dries much quicker than a standard towel. Remember that these towels are not meant for rubbing you down. You should shake off excess water and then pat yourself dry with this towel.

Finally, take a smaller pack that you can use to carry items around you need for a day trip. While a bag within a bag takes up room, it will become essential when you are looking to strike out from your hotel for a day or more.

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