I prefer traveling light for quite a few reasons. One, I save quite some money by avoiding checking-in my bags while flying (most of the cheap airlines charge extra for checking-in your luggage); Two, I don’t have to wait for my luggage to show up on the conveyor belt after I land; Three, it’s just easier to keep a track of everything I’ve carried for the trip (also, it means keeping your things safe); Four, just in case my return flight is late at night and I have to check-out the hotel by 12 in the noon (and I still have quite a few places to see), I wouldn’t find it difficult carrying around my luggage and five, since you only have a few things in your bags, it’s not so difficult searching for something in them. You wouldn’t end up digging deep into your bags just to find something small (This happens almost always when my handbag is huge and jam packed).
When I travel, I always carry just two bags with me. One – A backpack for all my essentials, and two – a duffel bag for my clothes. I do use an occasional sling bag (make this as tiny as possible) just to put in some cash (mostly coins for the bus/train), copies of your travel document and your phone – something that you have quick access to or, you’ll end up constantly opening your back pack which can be a pain at times.
Here is a list of all essentials that every women should have in her back up while traveling –
- A mini refreshing kit: Facial tissue (both dry and wet), Lip Balm, Moisturizer (Face and hand) and compact powder. This can come in handy when you spend the whole day sightseeing and don’t have time to come back to your hotel to freshen up.
- Sun Screen: Sun screens are effective for a maximum of two to three hours, if you’re constantly under the sun (which is most often the case when you’re traveling). You will need to refresh your sun screen every few hours to ensure you get the best results.
- Sunglasses: Sometimes, even if it’s not quite so sunny, I love bringing my sunglasses because they make such a cool head gear to hold your hair in place on a day you decide to let it loose.
- Umbrella: I cannot count the number of times an umbrella has saved my day. When you’re traveling to certain countries where the weather in quite unpredictable, it’s always better to carry an umbrella – it can save you from both the sun and the rain.
- Collapsible Roll up Water Bottle: In countries where you can just drink the water from fountains off the road, this is very useful. A bottle of water is going to cost you a lot and you will definitely need lots of water. If you have one of these, you can just keep filling them up where ever you go. It also saves space in your back pack when compared to the other water bottles.
- Sanitary Napkins: It’s better to carry two or three of these just so that you have enough time to buy some more. If not for you, I’m sure it may come in handy for a fellow traveler. I cannot stress on how important this can be.
- One set of clothes – Make this as light as possible. Avoid jeans. It occupies a lot of space. Cotton Leggings and a t shirt perhaps: This is to ensure that you have back up clothes just in case you decide to check in your clothes bag and somehow it got lost on its way. This has happened to a few people I know and having a back up set of clothes in your back pack can save the day until you get back your luggage!
- Cell phone + Charger: Need I say more?
- Travel Documents: It’s always better to carry your travel documents with you where ever you go. Although, I would advice you to leave a copy of the documents in the bag you left at the hotel room (Just in case!)
- Wallet: For your cash and cards. Always split your cash/cards and keep them in different locations. It may be a little difficult keeping a track of what is where but god forbid, if you were to misplace a bag or if your wallet gets picked, this may save your day after all! I occasionally carry a small sling bag just to keep in some change and coins for quick transactions.
- Kindle/Book: In case you don’t read books, you can skip this. But I cannot travel without my Kindle. It keeps me company during the long flights/inland travel.
- Ear Phones: Of course, for your music
- Digital camera: In case you feel your phone camera is not sufficient.
- Medicines – Allergy medicines (Anti Histamines), Pain killers (Paracetamol), Antacids for indigestion, Band-aids, Antiseptics, etc. Also, make sure you have a prescription for these from your doctor. You may be asked to declare the medicines you carry at customs.
- A few goodies to munch on occasionally: Chocolates, cookies, fruits, etc. These may come in handy during a long inland trip. Also, getting them at a local supermarket will be much cheaper than buying them on a train/plane or at a tourist location.
I know a 15 item list sounds like a lot but, all the items I have mentioned wouldn’t take much space and would easily fit into even one of those small backpacks (Like the one I’m wearing on the picture above!). Having said all this, there is one disadvantage to packing less. For those of you who love taking selfies or pictures of yourself while traveling, be prepared to have a lot of photos with the same clothes! 😉