Long-Term Travel Hack #1: Don't Pack What You Can Buy
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As we've researched, prepared for, and done some travel, we've come up with some tips, tricks and hacks to make long-term, light weight traveling possible. Here's a tip that may make things a bit easier for you.
1. Don't Pack What You Can Buy
Within reason, if you can buy it when you get there, why pack it? The idea is pretty simple. You can prepare for every contingency and scenario and pack your cold weather gear, hot weather gear, umbrella, hat, etc., along with your toothpaste and shampoo. In the end, you’ll be caring a pretty hefty pack on your back and possibly having to check it in at the airport. Or, you can opt to pack light, with the bare minimum and then buy what you need when you arrive.
- We have a fail-safe three to four week amount of dental and bath supplies. We know that when we land we can spend a few bucks and replenish, as well as buy anything else we may need. Also, each hotel we stay at will have token toiletries we can use to replenish our fail-safe’s with.
- We’re traveling with light pants, shorts and light jackets. We have one long-sleeve top each and sport arm sleeves we can use for additional warmth as well as sun protection. Over the next several months the weather will change to cold temps and we’ll purchase scarves, beanies and gloves as needed. When it warms back up, we’ll donate the items.
- Don't pack umbrellas or rain jackets. These are easy enough to buy at most corner shops and you can donate when you no longer need them.
- If we need sunscreen, over the counter pain medication or other vanity items, we'll purchase them at a local pharmacy.
- We’re traveling with minimal food and what we do travel with is light weight. When we’re within a country we generally prepare a vegetable medley that can be eaten on the road. When we’re traveling from one destination to another by plane, train, etc. we carry dry oats with us. We eat oats dry or cooked with hot water that’s easy to get on a plane, or any coffee shop or café. When we arrive in a place we’ll be staying at for a while, we purchase larger quantities of food that will last us a few days or the length of the stay.
- Know what your local accommodations provide for you. Hotels and Airbnbs (use our link to get $40 off your first stay!) will often provide essential toiletries along with some unexpected items. We have found mouthwash, q-tips and nail files in our hotel room. Nicer hotels provide robes and slippers along with a gym to workout in. Ask if the place offers an outlet adapter, or if you need them for sightseeing, binoculars. This is even better than buying when you get there, because borrowing avoids consumption and is free. Nice on the backpack weight, nicer on the budget, even better on the environment!