How to Travel Light on your next Overseas Trip

I admit it. I use to have an over packing problem. I'm not sure if this problem was seeded by the years in Girl Scouts where the motto is "always be prepared"... which translates into bring anything you may possibly need for any situation or weather condition, or the fact that I spent summers of my childhood in South Dakota in which the weather could and did change from one moment to the next. The little town of Spearfish holds the record for the largest temperature change in the shortest amount of time, 49 degrees F in a matter of 2 minutes... kid you not.

Anyway, back to packing....I love to travel and I love photography. It's important to travel light in order to enjoy your time and not be weighed down with extra luggage and gear. Plus you have to admit it's pretty lame to be walking down a cobble stone street in Florence with your luggage rattling 2 feet behind you.

Nerdy as he may be, I'm a big fan of Rick Steeve's travel series. It's from him I learned that it didn't matter if you were going on a 10 day trip to Europe or a 30 day trip. You really need the same things.

Here's what's in my bag for my 10 day trip:

  • Clothes
    • 5 shirts- these are my favorite travel shirts from Exofficio
    • 2 pants
    • 1 jacket
    • 1 light weight sweater or cardigan
    • 1 pair of shoes (brought a pair of Ecco shoes)
  • Other
    •  travel clothes line (do your laundry in the sink)
    • small travel pack of laundry soap or bring it in a small bottle
    • toiletries
    • outlet adapter for electrical appliance
    • guide book (mine was a year old as I may have gone in 2013 too....)

What to pack in:

My husband came across this amazing bag at REI.  It's a standard size for carry on. It has wheels if you want to tote it along but also has straps if you would rather carry it on your back. There is even a clip off day pack so you can use a small back pack while you are out sight seeing, and it's large enough for my 17" MacBook Pro for the air plane. The inside has pockets for all your accessories, undergarments, electronic adapters. 

REI  Stratocruiser
REI Stratocruiser back
Detachable Included Day Pack
Nylon Packing Cubes

Packing Cubes: These things rock. If you take a traditional backpacking backpack along, like we did last year, these packing cubes are perfect to keep all your stuff organized. A lot of time the backpacking backpacks are more like a large vertical duffel bag without these things get stuffed in and lost.  I ordered a set from Amazon for me and one for my husband in different colors.  A set of 3 costs between $20-$30.

Photography Equipment:

I know for most photographers it's hard to bring just one lens with you but it's very freeing not to loaded down with heavy gear and to be worried about the safety of your gear. Make sure your gear is insured and get a Spider Holster and enjoy.

I'm looking forward to sharing some of my travel photos with you on the bog and on the Etsy shop.