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Why Pack Light and Travel Light?

That’s the major ideology of this site. But why should you pack light and travel light? Any pros of doing so?

In my self-introduction, I briefly talked about why I travel light these days, with just my mobile phone. I used to travel a lot with my heavy gear, but I have had enough. Certainly one of the reasons was because it was just too heavy. But another reason was that the cameras on our mobile phones these days are just so good – good enough to do the job most of the time!

Photo by Capturing the human heart. on Unsplash

 

Why Travel?

To start with, why do we travel? Or why do you travel? That is a question for self-reflection.

For myself, I travel to broaden my horizon, to learn about new cultures, to meet new friends from all around the world. As a result, travelling is the key, photoing comes second. But some people may do the opposite – they travel to somewhere spectacular because they want to make stunning photographs.

So, make sure you know what you want to achieve. Do you travel because you want to take photos? Or you take photos while you are travelling?

I do believe there is a subtle difference between travel photography and photographic travelling. There is absolutely nothing wrong in either of both, but just make sure you know what you are doing.

 

Photo by Element5 Digital on Unsplash

 

Travel Light as an Ideology

Travelling light is an ideology – meaning that you should pack light for all your gears.

The word “all” means that everything is included, and not just photographic ones.

Your clothes, your gadgets, your… Well, what else do you need? Before you pack, ask yourself, do we really need that?

“Well, I may need that just in case…”

Then don’t bring it! Chance that you will use that particular item is close to zero!

Why? Because you are packing with a mindset based on the present. You are at home, you have lots of plans for your trip, everything sounds super ideal.

But many of you have had this experience before too – you planned your itineraries, and at the end you could only finish two-third of it, or even less.

That is because you are here, not there. When you arrive at your destination, there will be new information and distractions. You may find a restaurant or a bar you have never seen online. Or there is a balcony giving you a great view of the night sky. Chance that you will be bored at the hotel and play your Nintendo Switch is zero.

Remember, there is always something to do. If you are bringing something from home for those just-in-case scenarios, you probably should really think twice – if you can play those at home, why do you play the same thing in Paris?

 

Photo by Jamie Fenn on Unsplash

Travel Light – The Pros

What can you gain from travelling light? Here is a non-exhaustive list.

  • You save the environment by bringing fewer unimportant items. The lighter you travel, the lower the carbon footprint. Imagine travelling with 20kg of baggage vs 7kg. Your car/ train/ airplane needs to carry and burn more fuel simply because of things that you will not be using at your destination.
  • You will be less tired carrying your belongings around. I told you my story of bringing 2 cameras and 5 lenses to a trip, and I was completely exhausted afterwards.
  • You have more time with your family and friends. That is absolutely true. Have you ever been complained by your wife ¬†because you spent too much time setting up your tripod to take a photo? Or have you ever spent over an hour to pack your baggage before you check out? Packing light will help.

 

Photo by Arnel Hasanovic on Unsplash

 

Ways to Travel Light

  • Bring a smaller luggage or bag. A larger bag will have more space for your unnecessary items. By limiting the available space, you are forcing yourself to go through an evaluation process, and to choose only those that you need.
  • Fly on a low-cost carrier. Kind of similar to the first one. Many low-cost carriers have stringent baggage policy. Some require you to pay extra if you want a checked baggage. Think about it carefully, especially if you are just flying domestic for a 4-day trip. Do you need a checked baggage?
  • Think multi-purpose. A windbreaker keeps you warm from wind. It protects you from rain as well. So definitely you don’t need another raincoat. And you also don’t need your heavy umbrella as well. Another good example is of course your mobile phone – it is your camera (that is why there is this site!), but also your compass, your map, your radio, your MP3 player, your torch… etc.

 

Photo by Ian Schneider on Unsplash

 

Travel Light is Not a Slogan – Act!

You now know the theory, the ideology. That is the very first step.

What about start packing light for your next trip and let us know how it went? Comment below if you have anything to share!

If you like this article, share it to your friends too!

Before you leave, why not check out my travel photographs?

Thank you for reading.

Administrator of TraPhoner. Based in Asia. Traveller-photographer with just a phone.

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