Life from an outsider's perspective…

The benefits of travelling light.

Advice on travelling light. Check in vs carry on baggage. Travelling with a backpack vs suitcase.

This is a dual-part article on the how and why of travelling light. This part inlcudes some pertinent facts about travelling light which you might not have thought of. Part 1 offers some very sage advice.

  • You almost always accumulate things as you travel, so it pays to start off even lighter than you think you should.
  • Really try to envisage yourself using anything you’re considering while on your holiday vacation or travel adventure. How many people do you see “backpacking” in hostels with mats and tents and sleeping bags. A lot of people never use any of it, and they’ve lugged it all around the globe for nothing!
  • If in doubt, leave it behind. Why? Because you can quite simply buy any items you need while you are away, but it’s hard to get rid of the things you started with, especially the main bag itself.

Benefits of travelling light: 

  • You’ll find it easier to travel. I’ve seen backpacker with rucksacks so unwieldy that they were forced to catch taxis everywhere to arrive to the hostel. With a lightly packed bag, you can simply walk around on your own. For instance, you’ll smugly waltz right by myriads of suckers waiting at bag collection terminals at airports all over the planet.
  • You’ll reduce your carbon footprint by a suprisingly large amount. I recently calculated that saving 15kg of luggage will save between 100-200kg of CO2 emissions on a return flight from London – Tenerife. (to emphasise how much greenhouse gas this represents, 100kg of CO2 gas occupies 50,930 litres at standard atmospheric pressure!)
  • You’re more likely to get on the plane. If you are running late and you need to check in your bags, that’s another delay you don’t need.
  • You’ll save money on excess baggage fees, taxi fares, porters and the like.

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