When we set out we agreed to travel light, packing only one carry-on suitcase and one “personal item” each. (No, Fred does not have a murse. He has a messenger bag.) This is normally standard operating procedure for us; but this time it was a particular challenge. We were packing for more than six months away and for climates ranging from tropical jungle to glacial, for styles ranging from urban chic to beach bum, from cultures ranging from Muslim to Hindi to Catholic.
So here’s a short list of the things that have helped me travel light and have been the most useful in terms of the space and weight in the bag that they occupy. The most bang for the kilogram, so to speak. BTW – I will receive no compensation for promoting these items, no payment for linking to these websites… nada. This is not product placement. This is my honest opinion and a genuine acknowledgement of products that truly rock my world.
#1: Solid shampoo from LUSH. This stuff is amazing. It takes up hardly any room in your suitcase, is super light, and doesn’t need to go in the ‘liquids and gels’ sandwich bag. I have the Soak and Float for my dry scalp, and NEW! because it smells nice and Soak and Float is stinky. I can’t believe how well it lathers up, and it seems to last forever. I’ve had mine for months now and they are still going strong. I’m not as enamored with the solid conditioner, unfortunately. It smells great but is not as effective in getting tangles out as most any other liquid conditioner.
#2: Charlie’s Soap laundry powder. One tablespoon is all you need for a large load of laundry, so in a small Ziplock bag I have enough laundry soap to last six months. It’s non-toxic and biodegradable and it gets our clothes really clean. I use it to hand wash laundry and I use it in machines. When you wash your clothes often you don’t need as many outfits. And when you have laundry powder on hand it’s much easier to deal with the last-minute-late-night-I-have-no-clean-underwear problem. Charlie’s Soap has been a lifesaver. On the downside, I think it has caused me to get stopped in the airport security line a few times. Oh the laughs I’ve had with TSA officials over the unmarked white powder brick in my suitcase…
#3: Wheelie Bag. The night before we left we had dinner with a friend in Cabo and he laughed at my suitcase. “How can you be backpackers if you don’t have backpacks?!” Well, for the record, the wheelie bag is the new backpack. It has saved my back and shoulders considerable stress and has never once been an impediment to our more rugged adventures. Not once. The wheelie bag rules.