I’ve travelled for different lengths of time to different locations, for different purposes. However, unlike my partner, I do not do any specific work or sports that requires certain equipment e.g. surf boards, climbing shoes, crampons or diving gear. For me, I actually end up needing a very similar repertoire of items. Of course this would vary if I were going to a cold destination but more often than not, this is the guideline that works for me.
I prioritise packing light for many reasons. Firstly, I’ve been brought up like this which definitely makes it easier. My mum is a ‘clearer outter’ and I’m so glad about it! We have always been fairly minimalist without really trying. Some of the main reasons to pack light are:
- there’s a lighter load on your shoulders. If you’ve ever backpacked then you’ll know… this is the way you realise that that amount of stuff is NOT worth it.
- It’s easier to find whatever you’re looking for
- It’s more environmentally friendly; the heavier the plane/train/car, the more fuel it uses. Plus having a limit hopefully reduced the amount of things you buy.
- It’s cheaper. Often it’s the add ons like luggage that kick up an air fair.
- Less stuff, less stress. Living simply is delightful. It’s you and your pack, you’re light and ready to rumble.
And so, I pack just hand luggage wherever possible. The only times I check on a bag is when I’m moving to live in another country (even then I often don’t check on a bag – just take what you NEED).
I made a list of everything I took to Bali with me last month to check that my make-shift list really is genuine and so here is my real life packing list that (very almost) nailed it.
What to pack: ALL HAND LUGGAGE
- Yoga notebook
- Thermometer (for tracking my cycle)
- Travel cards
- b12 spray
- Hemp seeds in glass jar
- Tea: rose and goji in glass jar
- Steel water bottle
- Bamboo spoon/fork
- Steel straw + cleaner
- Face suncream
- Tinted moisturiser
- Brow brush
- Dry body brush
- Eucalyptus soap bar (folded in beeswax wrap)
- Toothbrushing powder
- Bamboo toothbrush
- Toothbrush case for the bristles
- Copper tongue scraper
- Micella water put into recycled small glass jar
- Neal’s Yard beauty balm decanted into small reusable container
- Lavender & lime essential oils
- Travel roll on oil
- Hair brush
- Muslin cloths to wash face
- shampoo/conditioner in small containers
- Moon cup + some organic cotton tampons/pads (because I still struggle with the moon cup sometimes after many months)
- Cotton and silk eye mask
- Compression socks
- swimmers: one piece & bikini
- Throw over beach dress
- Yoga tights
- Shorts x2 (work for yoga and running)
- Yoga tops x4 (2 double up as running kit)
- Running bra
- Yoga crops
- Flimsy bra for under sundress
- Linen jumpsuit
- Nice top x2
- Flares (it was far too hot for trousers so didn’t actually need these)
- Socks for running
- Bed socks (for if it gets cool – my hands and feet are the first to feel the cold but I didn’t end up using these)
- Microfibre towel
- Tote bag
- Rain jacket
Wore on the plane
- Yoga pants
- Yoga bra
- Running top
Wear your heaviest bulkiest items because then you don’t have to fit them in your bag and carry them, plus it gets cold on planes and they might try to offer you a plastic wrapped blanket – be cosy already in your best hoodie/scarf/comfy socks.
Of course the only thing about taking hand luggage is that you can’t take any liquids over 100ml but this is quite a blessing in disguise because it’s often liquids that come packaged in plastic that is used once then discarded when the contents are finished, heading straight for landfill to live on longer than you. Allow this challenge to spur your creativity by perhaps hand making your cosmetics or just looking to buy from companies that have eliminated plastic as well as probably the liquid element; for example, powdered toothpaste, shampoo bars, homemade herbal teas etc.
Flying by aeroplane is without doubt very detrimental to the environment and it shouldn’t be taken lightly. We all make our choices and should hope to be able to stand by them. I could never argue that flying around the world is sustainable for the planet, yet it’s something I do. In what ways can we lessen our impact though travel?
- Travelling light and plastic free – say NO to all plastic wrapped food & drink
- Paying the extra fee to offset emissions
- Choosing to fly from/to more sustainable airports that are aware of their footprint and input practices to reduce it e.g. solar energy
- Plant new trees
Flying is a modern day environmentalist’s dilemma, the best option would be not to create the emissions in the first place. It’s something that’s played on my mind for sure, what sacrifices can be made in the name of our great Mother Nature. It is a time for radical action.