Lightweight Travel

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  • Anonymous


    Over the years I’ve pruned and pruned my hand baggage (I never put things in the hold unless unavoidable).

    My best effort last year (weight versus nights away) was an 8 night trip to the middle east with one piece of hand bagage weighing only 7.5kg – ok so no winter overcoats or hats were needed, but I did take a fleece and sunhat and carried my suit inside the bag (see 5 below). I wore clean underwear and shirts every day. This was based on the following:

    1. Jack Wolfskin ‘Trans City’ Travel Bag (can become a rucsac and has been modified by me with compression straps so that it doubles as briefcase);;

    2. Sony Vaio TZ laptop (charging unit is also lightweight);

    3. Sony Reader eBook; (no more bulky novels);

    4. Nokia N95 (5 MP Camera, iplayer, GPS, PDA all in one – can be charged from the laptop, item 2 above).

    5. Rohan clothing – – excellent lightweight clothing with secure pockets and easily washed in hotel sink; Rohan suits are wonderful!

    6. Geox business boots – breathable and can be worn with jeans – no need to ‘rotate’ footware as they don’t get smelly!

    7. Lightweight toiletries including a 10 mL bottle for aftershave (unfortunately my favourite deodorant only comes in glass bottles) and;

    8. finally, reactolite spectacles that double as sunglasses.


    The following live, more or less permanently, in my bag:

    1/. Bud-Sized Noise Cancelling Headphones (Philips: GBP20 or so from Argos, not the best quality but no worries if lost);

    2/. Pouch containing analgesic tablets (advil) and melatonin tablets (to aid ‘natural’ sleep);

    3/. Swimming Trunks; (very cheap pair – $2 at Dubai Airport when using the pool there);

    4/. ‘Flip Flops’ (better than the hotel ones – liberated these from Egyptair Business Class); these and the trunks live in an Austrian Airlines Business Class ‘Goodiebag’ that I can take to the hotel pool;

    5/. Ear plugs; a dozen or so pairs in various compartments; I bought two boxes of industrial ones (500 pairs a box) and replenish after every trip; I usually travel Economy and sometimes fellow passengers are happy to accept a pair!

    6/. Two packets of Cup-a-Soup – sometimes steak gets so boring…

    7/. A packet of instant porridge and a ‘breakfast bar’ (sometimes I get fed up paying $30 for breakfast);

    8/. A bottle-opener/corkscrew (made from hard plastic and liberated from a Crowne Plaza – I’ve NEVER been stopped at baggage screening!);

    9/. A metal nail file and nail clippers – I bought these once in an emergency and have also never been challenged;

    10/. Sachets of tea (not Earl Grey – yuck; not Fruit ‘Tea’ not Green Tea – just Tea – I travel a lot in German speaking countries and can never get ‘Tea’ at Business Meetings); often I also carry an enamel mug as I’m often offered small china cups…

    11/. An Intercontinental hotels ‘Shoebag’ for dirty laundry.

    12/. a few airline ‘refreshing towlets’ (those from Lot are the best I’ve seen)

    But I usually forget to carry a pack of travel tissues!


    Can anyone recommend any lightweight trainers/gym shoes?

    Most trainers/sneakers are so bulky that they are too troublesome to take on short trips (taking up too much space for your average hand carry luggage). I did manage to find a pair of puma shoes (the upper part of the shoe was mesh that could lie flat against the sole of the shoe when packed. The problem was the sole was just a thin flat piece of foam (or similar substance), so while convenient for travel, it wasn’t very practical as a shoe.

    Hoping there’s something similar in the market with a more substantial sole



    Great list – here’s a few additional items that I alwasy carry that you may find useful:

    Individual vials of refreshing eye drops (I use Blink)

    Individual and disposible moisturised eye masks (from Boots)

    Listering Pocket Mist (mouth spray) or Pocket Packs (dissolvible paper mouth freshners)

    Colgate Wips (diposable toothbrus with toothpaste gel built in – and no water needed to use, so you can brush your teeth in your chair)

    2 tiny jars of aromatherapy creams (you apply to your ear lobes, temples and back of neck) – lavender to help sleep and Peppermint or Tea Tree to make you feel alert

    I’ve now managed to find a pair of ‘flat pack’ trainers (by Reebok) that are becoming a permenant fixture in my luggage

    Annoyingly I too always forget the tissues 🙂


    I’m looking for one of those really modern luggages that are super light- I’ve heard there are some extremely light ones (that I’m sure cost a lot though!) but I can’t recall the brand or where to find them

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