Why you should travel light
It was way past midnight when the den Bestens came home. Both of them were in a funk. They had just endured a hopping flight from Europe and were really annoyed that despite a two hour wait at the airport, their baggage hadn’t arrived. Or to be precise, Mrs. Den Besten’s bag hadn’t arrived. They were to be the chief guests at an important function and Mrs. den Besten’s clothes for that occasion were in the missing bag! And with the function scheduled for 10.00 am Sunday morning, she had no option but to show up at the function dressed in borrowed clothes. The options available to her from the different wardrobes at home were my own terribly small and tight clothes ( she was a Dutch woman), slightly frumpy but loose clothes belonging to my mother-in-law or those trendy clothes belonging to my teenage daughter who was as tall as her.
Poor Mrs. Den Besten . After all the trouble she took making sure she had the right morning dress with the right morning shoes, she was now going to attend the function looking like a badly dressed foreigner in ill-fitting Indian clothes.
At all times you should make sure your baggage travels with you , especially when you are attending an important function. Click To Tweet
In another scenario, Hubby dear was homeward bound and the only option he had was to take two flights with a short connecting time. Normally this wouldn’t have mattered because the time was enough to make the connecting flight but unfortunately the first flight was delayed and by the time the baggage came along, he missed the connecting flight.
If you have a short connecting time between flights, it makes sense to have a carry-on bag only Click To Tweet
In yet another scenario, if you take a carry-on bag, you don’t have to wait for your luggage to arrive and you can make a quick exit from the terminal.
But of course, these are reasons to travel light only when you are travelling by air. What happens when you are travelling by road or by train?
Frankly, it doesn’t matter how you are travelling : it makes sense to travel light however you travel.
How to travel light
I was all of 5 years old ( I think) when we were called up to the deck of the passenger liner that we were travelling in, to participate in a life safety drill. I don’t remember much of that incident save the fact that I was scared and my main worry was what I should take with me. I think I grabbed my favourite doll, because at that age, that was all that mattered to me .
Today, however, things are different . I would probably take my identification documents and my life saving drugs . I am now older and wiser.
Travelling has been part of my life since the day I was born, as I was born to itinerant parents. My dad’s job in the Indian Navy meant that we were always on the move. If we weren’t moving cities or towns, we were moving houses. So essentially living out of a suitcase became second nature to me.
I am, therefore, an expert in travelling light . Something I realised when my cousin came to pick up my teenage daughter and myself in his huge SUV. Knowing how difficult it would have been for me to lug three huge bags off the conveyor belt, he had come to the baggage area to help . I still can’t forget the look of shock on his face as the three of us stepped off the plane with a back pack each!
Quite sure that we’d forgotten something, he kept asking if we wanted to stop at a store to buy anything before we reached his home. But much to his surprise, we hadn’t.
We were experts in travelling light.
Today I’d like to share some tips.
- Plan your itinerary: If you know exactly where you are going and what you are going to do, you can carry the right amount of stuff . For instance, if you are going to attend a formal function, take the right clothes . If you are going to the beach , take the appropriate clothes. If need be, try out the clothes before you pack them so that you have the “look” right and you don’t take an extra set of clothes.
- Carry your essentials with you : All you really need is your personal effects like toiletries, medicines and underclothes.
- Garments that can be mixed and matched : Before travelling, I always decide my basic trousers and shirts . Black and khakhi are safe options and 2-3 shirts that can be worn with either trouser . This will easily give you 6 outfits!
- Accessories : Scarves, jewellery can dress up and transform an outfit. Decide before hand what will go with the clothes you have chosen. You need carry only 1-2 scarves and one set of jewellery to dress up if required. I normally wear the jewellery and one scarf so that’s two items less to pack.
- Travel smart : I always travel in jeans ( they are heavy and occupy space in a small carry on bag). Similarly, I wear sneakers or walking shoes. Normally I prefer simple walking shoes in black that I can wear with my clothes. I carry a simple pair of flip-flops or Fit Flops that can double up as homewear or a casual shoe.
- 2-3 tees , 3 pairs of socks are all that one requires to get 3 outfits with one pair of jeans. The same tees can be paired with trousers for more casual wear.
Mix and match wisely so that 2 trousers+3 shirts +3 Tees + 1 pair of jeans = 15 days of clothes Click To Tweet
- Lastly, I take along a caftan that I can use to lounge around or wear as a nightgown.
So can you see how easy it is to travel light?
These are items that can easily fit in a carry on bag that will fit in any aircraft overhead bin.
And my medicines and make up fit in my over-sized tote that holds all my travel documents etc.
If by chance you do run out of clothes or need something that you’ve forgotten to carry, make sure you have a credit card that you can swipe.
Ciao and travel light
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