The Art of Lightweight Travel

The Art of Lightweight Travel

I have been wandering this globe for over 3 decades and if there is one thing that I’ve learned it’s that the lighter your load, the more enjoyable your trip will be. 
Reading The Art of Lightweight Travel 4 minutes

1 Month-6 kg with my HOBO40 travel backpack

When it comes to travel and trekking the saying “Less is more.” holds significant truth. I have been wandering this globe for over 3 decades and if there is one thing that I’ve learned it’s that the lighter your load, the more enjoyable your trip will be. 

The number one newbie-traveller mistake is overpacking. I laugh when I think back to my early years of travel, dragging around an oversized bag from country to country. Not only is it physically exhausting to lug so much stuff around but it is way less convenient and sometimes expensive. If you can manage with only a carry-on bag, you can often get much cheaper flights. This used to be the case primarily on domestic flights but I’m seeing it more and more often on international flights as well. Airlines are cashing in on the era of minimalism and lightweight travel.

Let me start off by dispelling the myth that lightweight travellers are unkempt, smelly and wear the same outfit, unwashed, for weeks at a time. No doubt you will come across such folk along your travels but this is due to life choices (no judgement) rather than the size of their luggage. I pride myself on being clean and tidy. Don’t get me wrong, I fully enjoy a muddy bushwhack but this is never my permanent state. I am super-organized and have, over the years, refined the art of lightweight backpacking.

Finding the perfect bag makes all the difference. I have a checklist of things that I want in a bag. Over the past decades, I have tried out many packs but never found exactly what I wanted. One day, I stumbled across the CarryPro HOBO40 on Amazon. I knew from first glance that this was a well-designed bag and that someone who has actually experienced backpacking was behind this product. I tested it out on smaller trips around Kerala, Tamil Nadu, and Andhra Pradesh. I then felt confident taking it on an extended trip. It has lived up to my expectations with its hidden pockets for valuables, an entire built-in organizer for all of my bits and bobs, and most importantly, it is very comfortable to carry for long periods of time. I have really kicked this bag’s ass and it still looks new.


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Me with my HOBO40 backpack

I took my HOBO40 backpack on a month-long trip to Myanmar. The pack along with my stuff weighed less than 6 kg. When your destination is a warm climate this is easily possible. I did buy warmer clothes just before trekking in the mountains and donated them to local women on my way down. That is what lightweight travel is all about. You carry only what is needed and give it a better home when you are done with it.

I hiked through Myanmar’s central highlands, where there were no hotels or restaurants. I slept in villages and ate what they gave me. This was one of the best trips of my life. I would never have had such a unique and life-changing adventure, if I had been burdened with carrying more. 

So once you have the bag you want, there is still the question of what to bring. 

Here are 5 of my Lightweight Packing Tips 

  • Take lightweight, thin clothes like cotton or rayon
  • Only bring a couple changes of clothing…you can hand wash each night
  • Roll your clothes, put in a large zip-top freezer bag and push out all the air
  • Try using a shampoo bar and bring only mini-sized toiletries (you can always get more)
  • If you only want 1 pair of shoes bring wet/dry sports sandals with a good hiking tread

Travelling light is much easier than you may imagine, especially with the right bag. If you would like to see more of my current adventures you can follow me on Instagram @dawned_onme

Written by

Dawn Lwakila