Every traveler has a personal way of defining what travel gear they need for comfort on the road. Whilst every traveler should decide what they need to have with them or not, I prefer to keep my list of travel gear short. I only learned to do so because of my experiences as a traveler.
On my first trips to Malta and South-Africa, I started off with packing a lot of travel gear. I didn’t make a travel gear list before my trip and just started packing all the stuff I assumed that would come in handy. In the end, I always ended up with packing way too much travel gear. My travel bags were completely full when I left home. It’s easy to guess that I ended up never using half of the travel gear I took with me. I also didn’t have much space left in my bags for souvenirs to take back home with me on my holiday.
When I was traveling in South-Africa in 2013, I had to walk a few long distances with all my travel gear. It was then when I realized that packing light has a lot of benefits. I took way to much travel gear with me on that trip.
The same thing happened in Malta the year before I visited South-Africa.
Table of contents
A short list of travel gear
Making the same mistake for a couple of times learned me to make my list of travel gear short.
Making sure that you pack your bag light also helps to decrease the level of stress on the road because you have less stuff to worry about. Taking less travel gear with you decreases the chance that you lose something when you are traveling.
Traveling helps you learn how to better enjoy the simple things in life. Not having to depend on too much stuff also helps a lot. I really enjoyed the freedom of having a light backpack with me. It allowed me to walk anywhere with all my stuff. This was especially useful when I had to move from one hostel to another.
Taking too much travel gear with you kills a lot of opportunities because you spend a lot of effort taking care of all your stuff instead of spending it on experiences and feelings; it slows you down.
When I left off to India for 3 weeks, I only had a 12kg rucksack with me. Only taking with me what I was going to need on road. This was my list:
Tip: I always pack every different category of travel gear in separate plastic bags inside my bag. This helps to keep things organized so you know where to find something you need in your bag. Another great benefit of doing this is that in case of rain or if you drop your bag in water, your stuff remains dry. This is especially essential for clothing and electronics. You don’t want your travel gear to become broken or unusable.
Clothing & bathing gear
As I was going to be able to wash my clothing & textiles in backpacker hostels or hotels abroad; and if necessary buy new textiles on the road, I only took with me in my bag and on my body whatever I was necessary for the Indian Climate.
- Three of my favorite comfy T-shirts
- Two shorts
- Two long trousers
- A week’s supply of socks and underwear
- One red swimming shorts, just because I like the color.
- A Smartphone
- A Camera
- Phone & Camera charger
- A power bank for charging your phone
- A plug adapter
- Toothbrush and toothpaste
- A bar of soap
- Two tiny soft bathing towels
Other useful travel gear
- Sunscreen & Sunglasses
- A brass lock with a key (for the lockers in the hostels)
- A small notebook with a pencil (for drawings and notes)
- A few plastic bags (and Ziploc bags)