MINIMAL TRAVEL LUGGAGE
The essential items for traveling in hot places can be much less than expected. Though, it depends on the type of traveler you are. We will see the bare minimum for an n-day trip in a hot weather place. It’s very important to note that the time you will spend on travel is not so important. Of course, the items you want to bring with you can vary whether it is a weekend trip or a year trip; but not as much as you can think. You should bring almost the same items whether it is a journey of 7 or 365 days.
MY NOT-SO-SECRETS IDEAS FOR TRAVELING LIGHT
- The first secret for minimal clothing is LAYERING, LAYERING, LAYERING.
- The second one is MULTIPURPOSE, few, but SMART clothes.
- Follow the number 3. It’s the perfect number for traveling. 3 items for the clothes you wear directly on your body, so you can have 1 clean on you, 1 dirty to clean (or cleaned if it’s already washed it), 1 multipurpose which serves as pajamas and/or as a reserve in case of needs. Yes, if you’re traveling for more than some days you’ll need to do laundry more often but if you use Merino Wool, not as much as you can think. This fiber holds much better than the synthetic ones. But everything comes with a price, and Merino Wool it’s pricey. Anyway, you can add more clothes in your backpack, of course, but it will be heavier, bulkier, and generally less comfortable to carry around; plus, probably you’ll pay more for the flight luggage and to deal with it during the travel (taxis instead of walking and luggage lockers), and will waste time waiting for it and carrying around.
- 3 t-shirts: I absolutely suggest merino t-shirts (best base layer even for cold weather, it’s an all-year item) or sporty-oriented synthetic fibers, they hold the odors better than normal t-shirts and are studied for repelling your sweat.
- 3 pairs of socks: I absolutely suggest you the socks with the fingers, much more comfortable and better in any way, in my opinion. Merino is the best fiber also here (yes, it’s the best practically everywhere).
- 3 pairs of boxers/slips: it depends on your personal preference. Merino rulez.
- 1 short: which serves as hiking and swim short. You can add 1 more as a backup or to use it as pajamas if you wish. It must be lightweight, breathable, and strong.
- 1 long pant: I always carry at least one. Sometimes I use it also in hot temperatures depending on what I’m going to do, and the weather, of course. They are definitely the best to wear during the chilly flights and nights or during some mundane event, like a dinner out or for the nightlife. I suggest an all-in-one item such as softshell pants which are lightweight, strong, weather-resistant, and good-looking even for nightlife (not the ones from the outdoorsy brands, they’re unwatchable).
- 1 sweater/fleece/jumper/sweatshirt: carrying one of these can be useful for the flights or the trains with strong A/C and during the nights if they’ll become chill. Also here, I recommend merino fibers, but synthetic should be good as well. I usually bring with me a medium heavy-weight merino fleece with a zip, so I can open it up as I want.
- 1 rain jacket: always, always have one with you, all the time, wherever you go, in every season. It starts to rain? Is there wind? You want to sit in a dirty place or on the beach and you don’t have the beach towel? Here’s the simple solution! An all-in-one perfect piece of clothing, very useful.
- 1 travel shirt or a dress: for women, a simple and lightweight nice dress for almost-every-occasion can be useful; for men a nice linen shirt or a travel synthetic shirt (nylon should suit well) is enough, you can pair it with the long pants and you’re good to go.
- 1 pair of sunglasses: protect the eyes is very important; I can’t stay outside without it.
- 1 pair of flip-flops or sandals: they are beneficial to use it inside, or at the beach or in the shower (especially if the place where you stay is a dirty hostel).
- 1 or 2 water bottle: here a little tip that can save you a lot of money, check always if the country you’re traveling in has a potable water source. If yes, you don’t need to buy the water for the entire trip (and the environment will thank you). If the country hasn’t a potable water source you can check for some of the water purifiers on the market, it will cost you more at the beginning but it will be cheaper in the long run (and you’ll help the planet, a lot).
- 1 torch: can be handy on multiple occasions such as waking up in the hostel during the night or while you find a cavern hiking.
- 1 travel cushion: if you wish more comfortable commuting. The inflatable ones are the better solution: cheap, lightweight, and it doesn’t take any space. I don’t suggest the furry ones, they heat you up too much.
- 1 set of cutlery: to enjoy the food bought in the supermarket meanwhile you’re outside, or even during the flight. If you like to travel cheaply this is a must.
- 1 smartphone with the offline maps of the place where you’re going (google maps is perfect for most uses, in case of hikes there are free and paid apps with detailed maps).
- 1 battery bank.
- 1 tablet: just if you really can’t live without it or if the trip is very long (in this case it can be useful in some situation).
- Power adaptors and cables for all your devices. A tip: long cables are very handy in the hostels, when, inevitably, the electrical outlet is far from your bed.
- 1 go-pro: if you have it and want to immortalize your adventures
- 1 sanitizer for the hands (I always brought one with me even before the coronavirus).
- 1 soap and 1 solid shampoo: in case the place where you’re going to stay doesn’t provide it.
- 1 toiletry bag: for all of your personal care essentials (try to minimize them as much as possible, you will realize on your own that you don’t need so many).
- 1 suncream: nothing’s worst than a sunburn on the first day of your travel. It will ruin everything, believe me.
I used these items on an 8-day trip to Lanzarote, with some subtractions. I had a restricting 40 x 20 x 25 cm (16 x 8 x 10 inches) luggage and everything fitted nicely. I would added very few items on this list for a longer trip. My start point was Milan (Italy) during winter (early February), so quite cold and I had to start with all the heavy clothing, so every bulky clothing I brought with me was on me during the flight. Always the best choice for the flights if your luggage must be small 😀
Always curious, keep exploring, Wo/a\nder