36 Great Tips for Keeping Travel as Simple as Possible (and Two Poems)

“He who would travel happily must travel light.” – Antoine de Saint-Exupery

By Leo Babauta

When you travel, do you want to be as light as possible? A light bag, and a light itinerary?

Many of us have had the nightmare experience of lugging around too much luggage, waiting in the baggage claims area, trying to cram too many activities into each day, and generally being so stressed that we need a vacation when we get home.

Instead, simplify your travel.

A few days ago, I asked the readers of this blog for tips for keeping travel as simple as possible. The result was an amazing outpouring of useful information, in the comments and via email!

I’ve compiled some of the best tips, combining some of them or choosing tips that were representative of a lot of comments. There are dozens more, so if you’re looking for the full list, see the comments in the original post.

I’m definitely going to be following some of the tips. Although there are a lot of great suggestions about useful items, my biggest aim is to pack as lightly as possible and to keep my itinerary loose and light. Here’s my packing list for my small backpack right now:

Anything else I need, I’ll buy in Thailand.

“I travel light; as light, that is, as a man can travel who will still carry his body around because of its sentimental value.” – Christopher Fry

What to Pack
Many of the tips were about packing: how to pack light and what items are essential or useful. What follows are some of the best, but be aware that there may be contradictory tips — choose the ones that will work best for you.

On Planning and Doing
Aside from what to pack, there were some great tips submitted about what to do when you get to your destination (along with some tips en route to the destination):

And a couple of poems
A couple of readers submitted short and sweet poems that summarized simple traveling so well I had to reproduce them here:

From Elise:
Open your heart and mind to everything
Accept everything and everyone
Forget your own background, habits and norms
Follow your heart (or nose)
Reinvent yourself moment by moment

Light Haiku for Trips
by Maggie Marie Dougherty

Pack light and remain
open to light in people
who bless you with smiles.