Monday, July 06, 2009

The Holy Grail of Ultralight Travel?

I just returned from a month in Santa Fe, traveling with nothing but what could fit into my carry-on luggage. I still feel like I brought too much. Here is a good article on how to travel for six-weeks with only 15 pounds of luggage:
Is it possible to travel for six weeks with 7 kilograms of luggage in one small bag? I’m a person who takes a bootload of gear for a weekend away but on a recent 40-day trip to nine European countries I achieved the light traveller’s Holy Grail.

It took lots of planning but it was worth it. I was smugly self-congratulatory as my bag measuring 45cm x 30cm x 18cm and I fitted unobtrusively into crowded trains and buses; as I effortlessly tossed it onto luggage racks; as I bypassed taxi queues to stride easily through city streets; as I unpacked and repacked in five minutes flat. Not once did I wish I had brought more stuff…

Travelling light makes you feel independent, liberated and, well, superior. But it takes a stern approach and a willingness to accept strict limitations in your attire. Here are 10 steps to success.
Read the whole thing, including a recommended packing list.

While I can claim to have mastered the art of traveling small (I made it to all 7 continents without checking a bag), I am still working on the art of traveling light. The three things things that killed my weight on this last trip were: 1) bringing two textbooks, 2) two laptops (one of them being my netbook), and 3) my DSLR camera. If I had to do it over again, I would have left one (or both) of the textbooks and my netbook at home. (I was in Santa Fe for summer school studying complex systems at the Santa Fe Institute and needed more computing power than my netbook could provide.) On this trip, however, my dSLR was worth its weight in gold through a combination of quick-shooting, great picture quality, and incredible battery life. I'd be hard pressed to leave it at home for future excursions. (I'd love to get my hands on a Canon G10 at some point and see how well it would work as a dSLR substitute.)

(HT One Bag, One World)

1 comment:

Shailendra Singh said...
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