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.
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.
We have a fail-safe three to four week amount of dental and four to five days of bath supplies. We know when we land in a new place 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-safes 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. As the weather changes to cold temps we purchase scarves, beanies, and gloves as needed from discount and second hand stores. When it warms back up, we 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.
Personal and Medical Items
If we need sunscreen, over the counter pain medication or other vanity items, we purchase them at a local pharmacy.
We’re traveling with minimal food and what we do travel with is lightweight. When we’re at a destination 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, as hot water is generally easy to get on a plane or a coffee shop. 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.
Take Advantage of Free!
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 for free!
Among the standard lotion, shampoo, and conditioner travel bottles, we've also found mouthwash, q-tips, nail files and sewing kits in our hotel room. Some hotels even provide outlet adapters, you may just need to ask at the front desk.
Getting these amenities for free is even better than buying when you get there, because borrowing avoids consumption. It's nice on keeping the backpack lightweight, nicer on the budget, even better on the environment!