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How to Travel Lightly Around The World With a Tote Bag

How to Travel Lightly Around The World With a Tote Bag

It took us some time to master the art of traveling lightly with just one bag, and our bag choice always was a tote bag. It makes planning so much easier and smoother after some practice as it’s always the same size (depending on tote of course!) We use roughly a bag that holds up to 40 pounds (20kg) (maybe no and is sized roughly at 10L). Keep reading to learn how to travel lightly.

We have found it to be the perfect size for each travel as it can carry all of our essential items easily. It is suited for trips of 3 days, 5 days, or 2-week trips. While two weeks is starting to be long for some, experienced travelers know how to extend that time to indefinitely.

Traveling with just a tote bag requires planning ahead. You might need to cut down the number of essentials and instead buy them at your destination. Only take what is absolutely necessary for you to enjoy your trip. Make a packing plan and stick to it no matter what!

Where Can I Travel Lightly With a Tote Bag?

I have traveled successfully with a tote bag in many different locations for various lengths. The simplicity of a tote bag comes in handy no matter if you are traveling by car, bus, plane, or boat.

d successfully with a tote bag in many different locations for various lengths. The simplicity of a tote bag comes in handy no matter if you are traveling by car, bus, plane, or boat.

In the end, the travel destination doesn’t matter, because a tote bag gives you all the flexibility you might need for the quarks of the place you’re going. Just remember to plan ahead to have the best experience. Excellent planning of the unknown comes a long way.

What Should I Pack to Travel Lightly?

While it differs a lot depending on you who ask, I’ll share what worked for me! From my experience, I have made trips anywhere from three days to a couple of months with the following setup, a little bit of sustainability and care comes a long way. 

If it feels intimidating, don’t worry about it. Follow these tips for your next trip, and you’ll realize soon that minimizing is the way to go!

I would always pack for three days worth of clothes and the absolutely necessary items like medicine, items where I can’t guarantee to have access to in the destination.

Tips to keep everything light:

Clothes

Just downsize everything you can, especially look at the number of clothes you’re thinking to take with you and cut the amount in half. 

I know that might be tough, but trust me it is worth it when you realize how little you actually need to function and still have a wonderful time!

Clothes are your main bag filler so think twice at every choice you put in your tote:

Emphasize on wearing layers at your destination if it’s a cold one. Like a shirt that goes well with your pants, you’re already wearing. 

The key is to bring clothes that can be used on the daily and they match with everything you bring with you. 

Don’t take too much essential clothing! Things like t-shirts, underwear or socks. You will manage with a supply of only three days just fine. The trick is to keep them clean. So your best friend will be a laundry soap (Use only a good one, that will not dry your hands because that wouldn’t be fun) You should always be able to get some sort of laundry soap in your travels, but if you aren’t sure, just take a bar with you! Don’t like the idea of washing your own clothes at your hotel? Try a local laundry service instead, it’ll come in handy when you forgot to wash some clothes the night before, oops!

Essentials

Limit the list of your essentials to a bare minimum. Taking a harder look into the items you think are necessary, you might be surprised to see you won’t need all of those things.

Passport, wallet, and other documentation. 

I additionally take another flexible smaller tote with me, so I can easily fit groceries at the location, so I don’t buy single-use bags there either.

How To Pack

I like to roll up my clothes into tight rolls as they are a natural fit inside the tote bag!  You could always try something like a packing cube to squeeze more space out of your tote, but I guess that would defeat the purpose of packing super lightly in the first place.

I would only fill my available tote bag in half way no matter what.  Only then I can ensure that I have space for some emergency stuff I might have forgotten. The possibility to clean your belonging on location is such a savior! 

The crucial part of packing your tote bag is to think about what you’re going to wear while you travel in the first place. Like I said before the key is to wear clothes that match everything you bring with you. 

When traveling lightly, I would wear shoes, a pair of sturdy jeans, a warm hoodie, or a jacket to save space. As a rule of thumb always wear your bulkiest clothes on you if possible. Sometimes it might be a little uncomfortable to do this, but it’s definitely worth it.

Learn how to pack to the beach under 60 seconds here!

The Benefits of Traveling With a Tote Bag

I have saved the best for last. There are multiple benefits with traveling light, and here are the best ones!

Makes your trip a more enjoyable, less stressful, and lighter experience. 

Using a smaller bag than usual will force you to think creatively about you really need in your travels and in life in general.   

With a little time and craftsmanship, your tote bag should be hackable to your specific needs. Whatever extra you might need you can modify your bag to be the bag of your dreams for traveling.

It really doesn’t weight anything. A tote bag is not like your old carry-on bag that weights a couple of pounds, it’s basically weightless and therefore makes it easy to carry around. 

It really doesn’t weight anything. A tote bag is not like your old carry-on bag that weights a couple of pounds, it’s basically weightless and therefore makes it easy to carry around. You will always know how much your bag will weight. 

Save a ton from checking and excess baggage fees. You wouldn’t think how much this actually saves on the long term! 

When planned correctly, you can speed up your packing time to basically nothing. No more wasting time on eternal planning.

You can travel easily.  The ability to have your hands free when traveling is underrated, you can do so much more when you are not holding your heavy bags. Like taking a tour into a whole different place on a whim. Being free from your belongings frees your mind to explore more. A tote bag is exceptional even in the tightest public transport imaginable. 

A lighter bag means it’s lighter to your body as well. Trust me, hiking around a city for hours waiting for the check-in at the hotel to open, is not fun. 

Your vacation starts the second your transport arrives. No waiting for bags at the airport or anything. You’re ready to go from the first second you step on the location. Also, having a tote bag on the plane is just very convenient. 

Never lose sight of your bag in stress. While you might not ever lose your large bag, but a bag in your hand is harder to disappear in thin air!

Remember not to pack restricted items when flying, although the things would be too heavy in the first place. Most of the times, everything you need can be found at your destination, if not, be creative with the challenge!

To travel light with a tote bag is rewarding many in ways, which will surprise you positively after you get the hang of it. The first step to traveling light is to change your mindset that you can absolutely do it effectively! Become a minimalist superstar in a matter of your first lightly packed trip. 

Hopefully, you gained some knowledge on how to travel with a tote bag to your next location! If you’re in the market for a new tote bag, do check our store for some unique tote bags. Click here!

In the end, a tote bag is simply the best bag for traveling light.

Learn about 126 other great ideas to use your new or existing tote bags. Click here!

Have a great day,

Xavier, Xantiago.

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