Whether you travel solo, with friends, or with family, the packing cannot be too different as you will invariably need most of the things you have packed as essentials. The mantra you need to follow is “Pack smart”. Which doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to pack light. But having said that, minimalist packing is a good approach for solo women travellers.
While we will educate you on some expert tips on minimalist packing, let us first look at some of the reasons why you need to travel light.
- Mobility. It is common knowledge that light luggage is a zen state of mind. Imagine lugging heavy pieces of suitcases around versus a lightweight duffel. It is clear what sounds more pleasurable.
- Save money. Another big issue is that with luggage being overweight, money has to be shelled out at airports as only a certain amount of kgs are allowed for check-in and hand luggage. And this varies for international travel. Hence, refrain from packing that extra pair of jeans.
- Accessibility. Lesser the stuff, the easier it is to be found. Light luggage will allow for room and you don’t have to make a mess or fumble around looking for those AirPods. Will be a welcome respite for others travelling with you too, in case you are sharing a room with fellow travellers.
- Health & Well-being. Even if you are the fittest person in the room, it is a pain to carry heavy luggage. So by packing lightweight, you are giving your body a much-needed breather.
- Carry-all travelling. If and when you do learn the hack of travelling smart, you can carry hand luggage only, which means no waiting around the carousel for your luggage.
Now that we are on the same page, let’s get a once over on what are truly the essentials that you need. Travelling solo can be intimidating, especially if you are a first-time solo traveller. But armed with the right knowledge, it can be a breeze. Take a plunge right into the nitty gritty of packing the right luggage for you.
First things first, so what should you pack your stuff in? This is an age-old debate that can never get boring. What with the type of luggage becoming more and more travel-friendly these days. So what should it be? A suitcase or a backpack?
Well, this one is a toughie as it all depends on your travelling conditions and personal preferences. Also, although both are good options and at par with each other, they can be excellent at times and less than ideal at other times. While this decision is being made, it is likely that once the luggage type has been zeroed in on, it will be the luggage of choice for a few years at least.
Yet, to make an informed decision, here are some tips you need to consider.
- Advantages of a suitcase: There are some die-hard suitcase fans, whether it’s a solo or group trip. The reason is that it is easier to pack all your stuff in systematically as it is to find everything in the same place that it was packed in. In the case of urban travel, it is very convenient due to the wheels it has which make it easy to lug it around. Besides that, suitcases generally have hard shells that are sturdy and give more life than backpacks.
- Advantages of a backpack: The backpack travellers are a cult by themselves and whoever hasn’t heard of “Backpacking through Europe”, please raise your hand. Travelling on an adventurous solo trip, backpacks are the popular choice. The reason is the manoeuvrability and versatility of the backpack, you can walk dirt roads, climb mountains and cross streams with it, imagine doing that with a suitcase! And also, a backpack comes equipped with so many pockets and flaps that it becomes easier to hide valuables and definitely makes it a tough job for a pickpocketer to crack. Finally, what is better than having your belongings strapped on your back?
Minimalist tips & tricks for solo travel.
- Smaller suitcase is ideal
- Plan ahead of time
- Coordinate your outfits
- Take only what is absolutely necessary
- Travel sized toiletries
- Rolled clothes take up less space and remain perfectly ironed
- Always make a list of the things you packed
First and foremost, pack right keeping in mind that there can be some unforeseen circumstances that may crop up depending on the destination. For example, if you are travelling to a mountainous region, there can be sudden rainfall and that light windcheater or rainwear can certainly come in handy. While such gear essentially depends upon the season, reason and region, let’s look at the top five fundamental things to carry to elevate your game plan.
- Comfortable Shoes: This is a no-brainer but oh so needed for any and every Women’s adventure holiday, solo or not. We travel to places to see the sites and it involves a lot of walking. Nothing but a comfortable pair of sneakers can do justice to touristy trips. Imagine tottering in heels with a backpack or slipping on some rocky terrain in sliders! Duh!
- Wet Wipes: Something as simple as this will prove its importance on a trip. Wet wipes and even tissue papers are essential commodities that we take for granted. You cannot have your 7-step skincare routine on a trip with an itinerary that is curated so that you can take all of the destinations. But you also don’t want to leave your skin to chance. Cleansing is an important part of every woman’s skin and believes me, wet wipes are the saviour.
- Battery Bank: How is the feed on your Gram going to react if you do not upload those pictures in time? Everyone back home eagerly waiting to see your stories as you traipse through the ubiquitous meadows of Himachal Pradesh? A Battery bank is a lifesaver at times of your beloved phone is dying out on you in the middle of nowhere. A phone is a necessity now what with its role-paying as (Google) maps and a radio station all-in-one.
- Curated First-Aid Kit: We are always uber careful before and during a vacay, but who’s to say what nicks and cuts we may have to endure through a steep climb or just a normal headache and nausea due to acclimatisation or even a stomach boo-boo because you just had to have one more bite of that local delicacy? For all these unforeseen and even foreseen circumstances, you must carry your very own First-Aid kit. Not every street may have a pharmacy and even if they do, it may take you a while to get there with new directions et al. We recommend a medical kit which has bandaids, antibacterial wipes, an over-the-counter medicine for stomach aches, headaches and any allergies that you may be prone to. And don’t forget your multivitamins!
- Money Belt: Although this one is questionable, as not everyone wants to be burdened with wearing a money belt, it is a crucial and convenient way to travel worry-free. On a fun solo women’s trip in a foreign land, who wants the headache of making sure all the valuables and documents are hidden in different places gloriously? Keeping all your credit cards, travel vouchers, cash and papers in one place which is strapped to your body under your clothing seems to be the best bet. We say you are never really strapped for cash while having it strapped to yourself this way.
Besides these top five essentials that you must make part of your travel kit, the world is your playground. Take protein bars, filter water bottles, masks, sanitiser etc.