4 Things Being a Light Traveler Has Taught Me
When I first traveled solo, my travel bag was fully packed. I fit all my clothes, toiletries, and travel essentials in one backpack. And knowing that I used to be an over packer, I felt accomplished. But just as I was about to leave the house, the strap suddenly gave up on me. I panicked because I had no other extra bag to use at all. I was just so lucky that my sister was able to contact someone who could lend me a bag at the last minute. I consider that incident as the first problem I’ve ever encountered as a light traveler. But little did I know that as I keep traveling, I’ll learn a lot more things from being a light traveler — especially when I'm going on solo trips.
1. Investing in high-quality travel products
After that trip, I found myself booking more flights than before. Although my friend’s mom was able to fix the strap of the bag, I let go of it. Instead, I got myself a new sturdy bag that I can bring with me whether I travel light or with check-in luggage. Before, I’d only go with the cheapest items as long as they do their jobs. After all, saving money had always been my goal so that I can travel more. But I realized that if I don't take the quality of my stuff seriously, I’d have to spend more money to buy new items every time I travel.
2. Keeping my things clean and protected
Packing like a pro doesn't only mean that I roll my clothes instead of folding. I also need to make sure that all my things are clean and protected at all times. I remember finding my best friend's hiking bag cool because it comes with a bag cover. It was only plain red, but it protected her bag especially when she checked it in when we hopped on the plane back to Manila.
So, I’m pretty happy when I received my first bag cover ever from Wanderskye. It’s an item designed by Filipino artist Dan Fajardo. While it fits a 30-liter bag alright, it was also enough to cover my 44-liter Cabin Zero bag. When I went to Bali this April, I didn’t have to worry when the driver placed it at the back of the car. When we had to transfer islands via boat, it also saved my hot pink bag from getting dirty. The material is waterproof, so it’s perfect for an island trip. And I don’t know if it’s just me, but I think that it’s also a good thing to have a bag cover especially when you’re avoiding airport scams like laglag bala!
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3. Making room for back-ups
I know that I won’t be traveling all the time with family or friends who always got my back. So, if there are things that I should do to make my trips hassle-free, I’d do it. Even though each item I carry when traveling light is a necessity, I still make some room for back-ups. Like an extra foldable bag if I go on an emergency shopping. Or an extra lock if in case I lose my first set. It’s true that every pound counts when you’re traveling light. But if I can squeeze in some items that I may need as I go along, I’d do it to avoid spending extra cash during my journey.
4. Unpack ASAP
Caring for your travel items doesn’t only mean that you’re going to cover your bag or passport. It also includes packing your used clothes neatly and unpacking shortly after the trip. Wash everything right after your journey, too. Having a bag cover doesn’t mean that you can keep it dirty until it turns black. Make sure that you always keep your belongings in its top shape so it won’t look like trash as it ages.
After each of my travel, I make sure that I unpack my things ASAP. Laundry is the first order of business once I come home. And if I still have some toiletries left, I use them at home so I can refill the bottles for my next trip. That way, I won’t have to deal with expired or spilled items just because I was too lazy to take care of it.
Traveling light makes a person a better strategist. The fewer items you have to carry, the more you realize each one's importance during your travel. You learn how to prioritize the things that matter and the things that you can live without for at least a couple of days. And it's a good thing because aside from traveling, the important thing is that you're learning. You’re becoming wiser. And whether you're a light traveler or over packer, isn’t that what we all want to happen when we travel?