My family has been traveling for years, and everywhere we go we meet people who want to travel. Excitedly, they list all of the places they want to see, experiences they want to have, and friends they would like to bring. Then comes the “but”. Everyone has one. Whether it is work, school, lack of funding, or simply insecurity, all wanna-be travelers have an excuse.
I’ve found that the most common reason people around the world don’t travel is their addiction to “stuff”. It’s a typical love/hate relationship where one hates the stress of dealing with mountains of personal belongings, but can’t tear themselves away from the comfort of hoarding all that stuff.
I must admit, I am no exception to this. As we are nearing our trip to Thailand, my family is getting rid of most of our things. I’ve been amazed at how many toys, books, clothes and electronics I’ve collected over just the past six months. Getting rid of these things can be hard sometimes. But think about it. When you’re hiking up a mountain on a dirt road do you really want five hundred books, a gaming device, fifty outfits and all your electronics? Here’s some tips for pairing down a little before a big trip:
1: Don’t pack your whole wardrobe!
Choose three everyday outfits you love, and then throw in a dinner outfit and pjs. Although this may seem limited, less luggage can mean less stress! Pick things that are similar and mix and match them so you have more than three options. Then, get rid of everything else!
2: Think about how many electronics you really need.
Most people now have way more electronics than they need, and packing light doesn’t work when you have an iPod, at least one computer, and a gaming device. Take only what you need, or unplug completely if you can!
3: Read using a Kindle, iPod Touch, or other small handheld device.
Reading is a big addiction for me. For years, I’ve struggled with bringing a small library wherever we go. I’ve found that switching to a small iPod Touch has had great advantages! Although this adds another electronic to your bag, an iPod has a much more travel friendly weight than twenty books, and you have a near unlimited supply of downloadable reading materials!
These are just some of many great tips for pairing down before you travel. Click here to see some other great ideas!