Two short stories about traveling light. Not that I've lost 30 kg, but "light" in terms of traveling with very little luggage and why it makes sense.

A few years ago, when I worked as a programmer and project manager at Travelmarket, we outsourced some of our development to Ukraine. I was the project manager for a couple of amazing Ukrainian guys. My memory goes back to the day when we were supposed to have a meeting in Denmark, and we eagerly awaited the arrival of two Ukrainian guys who were traveling here and staying for a couple of days. The journey was definitely an experience for the two Ukrainian guys – Sergey and Kostya.

They were supposed to fly to Copenhagen and then take a train to Vejle. When I received them at the train station, I wondered where Kostya’s luggage was. I asked him where his luggage was, and the answer was, “I have my suit on, a toothbrush, and a pair of underwear in my pocket – we’re only going to be here for 2 days.”

I must admit that I have traveled with very few things around the world, but this definitely beats my record. Basically, all we really need is our passport, money, some clothes, a toothbrush, and for many people, their mobile phones.

Daypack, boombox, and whiskey

Several years ago, my friend Kenneth and I went to Egypt together. We had agreed beforehand that a daypack would be enough for a 14-day trip to Egypt. It wasn’t because of cheaper airline tickets in a low-cost carrier; we just wanted to travel with only a daypack. Our purpose of traveling with a daypack was different. We didn’t want the hassle of traveling around with a big backpack.

Now you might think that there isn’t much room for anything other than what you exactly need with a small daypack. In fact, we managed to squeeze in a small boombox along with our clothes, guidebooks, and fiction books, which at that time were only available in paper form. We had all of that in the backpack, and it worked out fine with the space.

At the airport, we, being fond of whiskey, couldn’t resist buying a bottle of whiskey for the journey, so naturally, that also went into the backpack.

Tip: 40-50 degrees Egyptian hot whiskey is not so good… but that’s a whole different story.

What can you learn from this?

The message I’m trying to convey is that it’s worth considering how much you actually need to travel with. Often, we fill our backpacks or bags with things we don’t really need. Try turning everything upside down and say to yourself, “On this trip, I will only have one daypack.” By limiting your space in advance, you ensure that you don’t end up taking too much and that you only bring the essentials.

If you happen to need something along the way, it’s often much cheaper to buy what you need in the big world than it would cost to buy it in Denmark. Countries like India, Indonesia, Thailand, Laos, Egypt, and many other destinations have clothing that is considerably cheaper than in Denmark, so why not take advantage of getting something new along the way instead of dragging it from home?

5 advantages of traveling light

  1. When traveling with low-cost carriers, you avoid extra fees if you only have a daypack.
  2. You don’t have to wait for your luggage to come out on the airport baggage carousel.
  3. Your luggage won’t be delayed or lost when traveling by plane.
  4. You avoid carrying around a heavy bag.
  5. Public transportation is easier due to greater mobility (you don’t have to ask someone to keep an eye on your bag when you need to use the restroom).

Have a good journey and enjoy your adventures!