We have all done it - packed everything & the kitchen sink in for a holiday trip, only to curse as you lug it around, struggling to lift it, difficult to fit in to vehicles & then the worst of all … not wearing half of the contents.
Several years ago, my Mom took very ill during her cancer treatment & the eldest daughter & I had to suddenly fly out to South Africa with just 12 hours notice.
We literally just threw some things in to a small carry on case each, changed some currency & took the first flight at 6am the next morning.
One thing it taught me was that everyone has a washing machine & it is easy & liberating to travel with much less luggage. It does not matter how often you wear the same things, no one cares & you can make 6 outfits last a whole 3 weeks quite easily. If you forget something, there are shops & it is not a problem. Daughters & I have since travelled out to Africa several times in midwinter with just a small bag each …
I convinced Ms M to travel light to India - we had 2 train trips & 5 domestic flights as well as our long haul flights to & from India so we were moving around a lot & that meant we had to be able to manage our luggage along the way.
This is our luggage for 3 weeks - a cabin size carry on bag, a shoulder bag & a handbag that could fit in to the Cath Kidson when needed. All were locked for transit in case they were deemed to large …
Ms M embraced it wholeheartedly & at times we could even say: I still think we brought too much!! Yes - all the hotels had toiletries, had very efficient laundry services & we really did not feel in the least that we were missing anything by travelling light.
We made sure we carried a compact first aid kit with additional paracetamol, something for insect bites & anti-histamine tablets for allergies. We carried this with us all the time in case of problems while out all day. We didn't need it but it gave us peace of mind.
This is our luggage being transferred by boat for our stay in Varanasi on the Ganges …
Our our Toy Train trip from Shimla to Kalka, our luggage fitted under the seat & our other bags looked just right on the vintage luggage racks ….
Yes - in the train waiting room - all our worldly travel belongings ….
Our luggage at our Havela (family hotel) in Jaipur. We each had 4 plastic compressed bags so we divided our clothes in to undies, tops, trousers & evening wear - each folded in to the bag then gently leaned on to compress the clothes then sealed. The clothes were remarkably uncreased & they fitted in perfectly!
My one indulgence - my Canon 5D which fitted in my handbag which then fitted in my Cath Kidson bag.
We took a black, pleated pull on long dress & some glitzy pumps to use at night in the smarter hotels & had some lovely cotton tunics made in Jaipur at the tailors as our clothes were too hot -
If you are travelling light, use hotel laundry services which were efficient & reasonably priced.
Even the family run Havela in Jaipur turned our washing around very quickly & delivered it in a cotton bag - all sun dried & it smelt heavenly.
All the places we visited, from tiny home stays in Delhi, to Havelas to large hotels - all offered shampoo, conditioner, body wash, hairdryers & more, so there was absolutely no need to worry about all those things. We could have left most of those at home. We took face cream & a small make up bag with the essentials.
It is liberating to travel light. What is your experience & what do you pack? I look forward to your comments re travelling …