Pack smart

Amrita Prasad
Sunday, 23 July 2017

Traveller and blogger Swati Jain tells us how packing light gives us more mobility and makes travelling hassle free

Nothing can be more liberating than to be able to move around without ‘much burden’ while on a globetrotting spree. If you want to travel hassle-free and not spend much time at the airport waiting for your luggage to arrive and pay for excess baggage and, most importantly, explore your destination freely, you have to learn to do away with extra luggage and travel light with basic items. The basic tip by most travellers is: Never buy a backpack/ suitcase that is bigger than carry-on size because if your travel pack/ suitcase is small, there is no possible way to overpack.

Swati Jain, Delhi-based full-time travel blogger (www.buoyantfeet.com) and freelance travel writer, says, “No matter how long or how far I am travelling, I always manage to fit my clothes in my limited spaced rucksack. It’s not only about travelling light but also travelling smart. I learnt this from experience,” says Jain, who worked as a PR consultant for eight years and later made up her mind to explore the world hence quit her job to set out on travel expeditions. 

Says Jain, “When I missed one of my flights to Srinagar because I was busy figuring out my overweight luggage, I realised how important it is to travel fuss free by travelling light. A lighter suitcase translates to easier mobility. Dodging other travellers in the terminal can be done with greater manoeuvrability when you’re only carrying a backpack or a small light suitcase.” 

Jain has been solo travelling for a few years now and her blog got listed in top 10 female solo travelers by Holidify within months of its launch. “It’s a myth that for longer travels we need more stuff. I have seen many people struggling because of the same,’’ she adds.

What to put in 
Jain suggests a few quick tips to pack your bag: 
- Pick up stuff which have multiple use or can be used multiple times. For example, I carry yoga pants which are easy to carry and can be worn with multiple tops and look good with everything.
- While choosing outfits prefer a dark combo say, black, blue and so on. They can be worn many times during the trip and save space for extra clothing in the bag.
- If you are travelling in winter, carry light multi-layers as they help more in blocking the chilled air reach the body than the full blown sweaters. You are carrying the jacket anyway. 
- Roll your stuff. Don’t pack them straight as this takes more space and sometimes the ironing gets ruined. Rolling ensures more space and doesn’t do much damage to the ironing. 
- Instead of carrying ‘10 matching’ pairs, carry the ‘best matching’ shoes which can be worn with everything. I usually swear by my sports shoes which are not only comfortable but also go with anything I wear. They haven’t disappointed me at all. If you want a change, carry a slipper or flip-flop.
- Buy mini versions of toiletries. You don’t need to take the full versions along and add to the burden.
- Packing has been made simpler with accessory kits where you can keep your accessories safe and organised. 
- Carry a small daypack along in which you can keep your camera and other important items. If not anything else, it helps in giving you an extra space in case you decide to shop around the place and carry souvenirs. My camera bag generally does this trick for me.

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