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Why You Should Pack Less When You Travel

Posted on December 17 2020

Why You Should Pack Less When You Travel

Sometimes, less is more. One area of life where this rule definitely applies is packing for travel. The wish to bring a lot of stuff on a journey can be strong. You may feel that there is no harm in packing a lot for a vacation -- but you would be wrong. Opting for a light, efficient packing strategy will make for much better travel experiences. Here are six reasons why.
 

  1. Less to carry. Unless you view hauling luggage as an opportunity to get in better shape, there's no upside to carrying huge, heavy bags with you. Dragging around heavy luggage will become miserable quickly, especially in hot and humid locales. Even bags that seem light when initially picked up may feel burdensome after prolonged carrying. Navigating airports, public transportation, and city streets with large bags is just not fun. 
 
  1. Lower cost. Packing more stuff can cost you a lot. Heavy packers are almost guaranteed to spend more. Airlines generally allow just one free bag. Each additional bag may carry a steep fee. While this rule applies especially when traveling by air, it can also be true on buses and other forms of transportation.
 
  1. More flexibility. Too much luggage will only hold you back when traveling. Bags that are easy to manage allow you the freedom and flexibility to travel as you please. Taking an unplanned, spontaneous side trip, for example, is easier with fewer bags. Travelers who bring less stuff with them are better able to respond to the unexpected problems that inevitably arise when traveling, such as rushing to catch a connecting flight following a delay.
 
  1. Less time wasted. More baggage means more time. The time spent waiting to pick up checked bags at the baggage carousel can be eliminated with an efficient approach to packing. Multiple heavy, bulky bags also greatly slows down walking speed and lengthens the time it takes to navigate public transportation.
 
  1. Better safety. Sadly, tourists are often targets of thieves and other unscrupulous characters. The more bags you lug with you, the bigger a target you are -- anyone dragging heavy luggage stands out as a visitor like a sore thumb. A minimalist packing approach means you can keep all your possessions close by you at all times, drastically reducing the chance anything will be stolen.
 
  1. The right attitude. Bringing fewer bags can be as valuable psychologically as practically. Travel is all about adventure. It's hard to have an adventurous spirit if you are dragging half your worldly goods around the planet with you. Having less luggage fosters a feeling of independence and self-reliance that is liberating.
 
Packing less simply makes for a better travel experience. While you may have to leave behind a few items you'd rather have with you, the trade-off is well worthwhile. If there is a need to pack just a little more then try vacuum sealing your items so they take up less space. Although, almost never does a traveler wish they had brought more with them.

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