Packing light, going far

By Staci Matlock
Posted 3/29/18

One of the tricks to travel is how to pack light, for extended trips and all kinds of weather. Outdoor adventurers know a lot about packing light. But …

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Packing light, going far


One of the tricks to travel is how to pack light, for extended trips and all kinds of weather.

Outdoor adventurers know a lot about packing light. But then they often are out for days in the wilderness. We're talking here about prepping for trips where you want the right gear for everything from mountain hikes to fine dining.

My daughter and I traveled around five countries in Europe for almost a month with one carry-on size backpack each. Of course, we aren't high-maintenance girls, so that helped. But a single bag each also made it a lot easier to juggle all the various stops and modes of transportation it took for our travels.

And did we still look good stepping out on the town wherever we went? Definitely.

Ever since that trip, my daughter and I rarely take more than one bag wherever we go. The joys of minimalist travel have stayed with us.

Traveling with a single small carry-on or backpack has a multitude of advantages and challenges.


• In and out of planes, trains and automobiles quickly;

• No need to wait around at airport baggage carousels;

• Easier to get through security;

• And, less to lug around from place to place.


• Figuring out the essentials to take;

• Making the most out of every single square inch of that single bag;

• Being prepared for all types of weather and outings on your trip.

Luckily, a plethora of "how-to" websites, Youtube videos and books can guide light packers on the journey.

Here are a few good ones to start with:

• For you gals (and guys) who find it hard to leave behind blow driers and shoes for every outfit, here's beauty queen Mimi Ikonn's video tips on how she did it. How to Pack Light for Travel at

• But the fashionista packing empress might be Bond Girl Rachel Grant, who shows us in a one-minute video how to pack 100 items in a tiny suitcase to travel for a year. Yes, it's an ad too, but that aside there's good stuff in this little vid.

• Who are experts at light traveling? Flight attendants. Conde Nast interviewed several experienced flight attendants for their best tips on going anywhere, prepared to look good without taking a lot. Find the story online at "How to Pack Light: The Flight Attendant's Guide."

• The Carry-On Guy is a fun blog by veteran traveler James Eagleman. It is easy to read, a kind of treatise on the joys of packing light. One of his tips: think like a traveler, not a tourist. Travelers can use public transportation (the cheapest way to get around new places short of walking or biking) because they aren't carrying much; tourists can't because they have heavy bags to lug around.

Choosing experiences over stuff when we travel is key.

As Eagleman says, "It's when we travel lightest that we most become ourselves. Underneath all your possessions you find your true self."


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