My Manifesto: Travel Light

>_Travel as light as possible. Carry only what you need to have._

I have always struggled with packing way too much. I have been getting better about it over the years. I try to be really conscious of how much stuff I carry around on a daily basis and, even on the smallest of levels, look at ways to reduce it. As an example, in my last post regarding my Circa system note flow, my main goal was to reduce the size of the notebook I carried with me. To me, even 40 less pages of paper matter. I do this with the keys on my keychain. Any key I don’t absolutely need on a daily basis gets taken off and hung up on a rack by the door at home. I don’t even have a fob on the keychain, it is just a ring.

That being said, the main area I have had the most struggle in has been when packing for travel. Perhaps it is because of this I am absolutely fascinated by articles, posts and resources that talk about how to pack lightly and travel well.

I have tried vary hard at geting better at this over the years. I have slowly done better. Mainly because I often pack and then take a look at how much crap I am about to drag around the globe and then unpack a lot of it. I go through each item and seriously question it’s need. Even doing this I still felt like I could reduce a lot of weight and bag size if I just was savvy enough.

I recently became newly obsessed with light travel due to these two posts:

* How to Travel the World with 10 Pounds or Less (Plus: How to Negotiate Convertibles and Luxury Treehouses)

* How does a geek plan for 3 weeks in 4 countries with a small bag & a laptop?

These really set a fire under me. I therefore decided to really give the methods laid out therein a serious go. I had a trip to Cancun coming up. I was going for 5 days and 4 nights and was determined to go as light as possible. Here is what I brought:

* 3 Button Down Short Sleeve Shirts. All are light, easily hand washable and quick drying.

* 2 Pairs of Travelsmith Anywhere Pants. Once again, light, cool, quick dry.

* 2 Pairs LL Bean Supplex Cargo Shorts. Light, quick dry, can also double as swim trunks.

* 2 Pairs Ex Officio Boxer Briefs. Light, quick dry.

* 1 Marmot Ion Windshirt. For rain and wind protection.

* 1 Pair Teva Hurricane II Sandals.

* 1 Kiva Keychain Duffle. If needed for a day bag or souvenirs.

I also packed a travel clothesline designed for pin free hanging as my plan was to hand wash things so that I could take less items with me. For instance, one pair of underwear would be drying overnight and I would still have a pair dry and ready to go.

The result? It worked out very, very well. So well, in fact, that I am loathe to travel any other way from now on. The feeling I now get at the thought of even one extra thing being added to my bag is not simply one of question but one of sheer dread. This is largely because I have seen how very possible it is to do without and the feeling of being able to pack for a week in what amounts to an normal overnight bag is an extremely freeing one.

I have a trip to San Francisco for Macworld coming up in January. My plan: Take away the shorts and sandals and add a light fleece and shoes (which I will be wearing) to the list above. Otherwise, I am not changing a thing.

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