I tend to travel like Mariah Carey and Elton John on a world tour. I feel the need to pack anything and everything into my luggage and then curse myself for bringing so much unnecessary things with me. It is that need to have something for every eventuality, the 'correct' clothes for the places I am visiting and the toilettries I might possibly need in case of a 'beauty emergency'! I am being ridiculously over the top, but the point I am trying to make is that we take far too much with us on our travels. The advent of the budget airlines, combined with my natural cheapness, means that I tend to pack much lighter than I used to so I can save on their extortionate baggage charges. Aside from the downside of making sure I do not incur the wrath of the airline ground staff by trying to carry on a bag 1cm outside of the approved dimensions each airline allows, doing this has made me think about what I can manage with for my travels and has, I believe, made me a much better at packing light for my travels. I am especially thankful that I do this when I am lugging my bag around some Eastern European capital looking for the hostel or when I cannot find anywhere to store my bag before checking in. Its light weight is its huge advantage! But how about this for an idea...Rolf Potts, a man who chooses to travel with no baggage. Check out this article he wrote for the British newspaper 'The Guardian':
I am not sure I am brave enough to go this far, but it is food for thought. For example, on my trip to Krakow in Poland last year, in my panic to ensure I had packed my bag and associated liquids correctly for my hand luggage, I had forgotten to pack my toothbrush. Horror of horrors...I was soon calmed down from my fit of hysteria when I realised there was a convenience store selling (cheaply) the very same toothbrushes I buy back home! And, I think there is something to think about when you next travel...you can buy most of what you need there. Struggling to get your liquid allowance down thanks to that huge bottle of shampoo? Simply pop into a shop in your destination; they probably wash their hair in the country you are visiting. Your deoderant too big for the little plastic bag in which your liquids are stored? Buy it there! The people in the country you visit are likely to use the sweet musk of anti-perspirant to reduce any foul odours! I have heard stories of people simply rocking up in Bangkok with a small bag of essentials and buying everything they need in the super cheap markets found there. But, Rolf's approach goes that step further. I would love to hear from anyone who has tried this and with what success.