12 tips for travelling light (or everything I have learned since 2003)

Travel blogs are full of naff advice about packing. My advice might also be useless but there are some jokes in there and I don’t promote expensive rucksacks.

  1. Don’t pack when drunk. You’ll lug 3 cardigans and 4 pairs of jeans round South East Asia just in case it gets nippy in the evenings. It won’t get nippy in the evenings.
  2. Packing cubes actually work.
  3. Use the sachet of salt they give you on planes to remove leeches from your ankles. Apart from that sachets are useless.
  4. 2 in 1 shampoo and conditioner saves time and space.
  5. Girls, go feral. You don’t need a full make-up bag and hair straighteners.
  6. Ditch the first aid kit. They are bulky and you are unlikely to have it on you when you need it. Just buy plasters and insect repellant or whatever as you need it. The exception to the rule is Immodium which you should have on you at all times. Especially on long bus journeys.
  7. A zip through hoodie will get worn more than an over the head hoodie.
  8. Unless you are planning on doing lots of trekking don’t take walking boots. They are really heavy, you won’t wear them and they look ridiculous.
  9. Plastic bags from supermarkets are really handy, cheap and don’t take up much room.
  10. Reporter’s notebooks are the best cos they are light, bendy and you can rip pages out without knackering your book.
  11. Soap is smaller and lighter than shower gel.
  12. A sarong doubles as a scarf, a blanket, a towel, a sheet and probably lots of other things I haven’t thought of.

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