Today I'm leaving for a fabulous week in Barcelona, and as usual, I'm traveling light. I'll have everything I need in a single backpack. When you travel, less is more. By that, I mean that having to carry less offers me the freedom to do more. While everyone else is standing around a luggage carousel, my vacation is already started.
Sure, I'm not the first person to figure this out. But it's still amazing to me how much unneeded junk people bring with them, and the negative effect that has on their travel. I take very little, but I'm always working on ways to make that even less!
It might seem like very little, I'm actually taking a lot with me. In addition to the clothes I'll wear on the plane, I'm taking three pairs of pants, four shirts, four pairs of socks, four changes of underwear, dress shoes, and gadgets. And it all fits!
Okay, so it's a lot for that bag, but is it really enough when I'm going to be gone for 8 days? I say, yes! I've chosen three pants and shirts that all match well together, but which are all different, so that different combinations can make as many outfits as possible, and I can be properly dressed for any situation. If I were anticipating a formal event, I would wear a suit or sportcoat on the flight, but I know I won't be needing any such thing on this trip.
Making it fit
Well... I made a video to demonstrate. Watch for yourself!
My iPhone is indispensible when I travel because it also has maps, dictionaries, and other useful apps that can help you out. And I just can't imagine flying anywhere without my iPad, which is loaded up with Italian books and movies, so I can continue my study while I'm away. These two devices have have a profound effect on my comfort when traveling.
One of the many advantages to Apple products is that they all use the same electrical adapters, and the adapters are... well... adaptable! Thanks to Apple's World Traveler Adapter Kit, you can snap on the plug connector for the country to which you're traveling, and charge everything with a single charger.
And speaking of the crazy power connections of the world, you don't want to bring them all when you're packing light, so I just click over to Wikipedia's page about power plugs and sockets, and figure out which one I will need for my destination.
Since I will only have a carry-on item, there is no way the airline can lose my luggage. And if something gets broken I have only myself to blame. It's also lightweight, so I can carry it with me for a long time without getting tired. While most people will rush immediately from the airport to the hotel to dump their luggage, I can take my time and do whatever I want.
Possibly one of the best things about traveling light is that you increase your personal safety. In addition to being uncomfortable, carrying large luggage also marks you as an obvious tourist, and therefore an easy victim. (Especially in Barcelona, the pickpocketing capital of the world.) With a small backpack, I will stand out less.
In crowded places, I can easily turn it around and wear it backward to ensure that no one is digging in it behind my back. And as long as I'm wearing it, there's really not much chance of it getting stolen.
And while I'm talking about security, there's one more thing I do to travel light: ditch the wallet. Seriously. All I need is an ATM card, a credit card, and my passport. That's it. And those things will be somewhere that a pickpocket can't reach them, whether it's a hidden pocket, just the inside pocket of a sportcoat, or in the safe at the hotel. In a crowd, you can't stop the pickpocket — I'm not going to make it easy for him. And as a bonus, it's much more comfortable when I sit.
Well, that's how I travel light. What about you? What are your secrets?