Best Packing Tip for World Travel

August 28, 2012

beautiful sarong makes for a great packing tip

When it comes to world travel, the key is always to pack light because that grants you much more freedom and as a reformed over-packer I can tell you that one needs MUCH less than you think. I've written about packing in our Top 10 Family Travel Tips , How to be a World Traveling Fashionista and 10 Best Tips for Family Friendly Travel, but will be writing more on this topic.

One year we  traveled around the world ( 26 airports, 13 countries) over 12 months with just a small carry-on piece of luggage each and stayed on our $23/day per person budget as we've done continuously over these last almost 7 years of non-stop world travel to 44 countries on 5 continents.

We started our world travel with more luggage, but the longer we travel the less we find we need.

Yes, it's true, families can live luxuriously, cheaply without over packing!


One of the keys of light packing and cheap, but luxurious mininalist living, is to think multipurpose when ever possible, and this beautiful sarong/pareo/kanga that I bought in Bora Bora is a great example. It's high-quality, beautiful, takes up little space but can be used as skirt, bathing suit cover, sheet, pillow, picnic blanket, table cloth, shawl, dress, towel, head cover, kids toy tent, beach towel, nightgown, and more. Goes nicely too with my basic black wardrobe. I could have bought one for cheaper in another country, but it's a fabulous souvenir too that gives me great pleasure every time I look at it.

We started our family world tour with microfiber towels instead, which work in the exact same way, but I left mine in Moorea with our couch surfing friends, thus I switched to this beautiful sarong which works perfect in Asia as well as in Europe. It's particularly nice if one travels to warm weather areas like we tend to.

What is your favorite packing tip and what do you want me to write about on this topic?

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Jeanne, thanks very much for your post on packing light. I've been trying to pack light for our 2-month overseas holiday, but so far haven't been very successful. My main problem is that I have to plan for 2 climate zones, tropical and cool-ish fall. If you feel able to tell us, I would love to know what you carry in your pack, so that I could have a few ideas on what an experienced traveller finds to be essential. Regards, Elizabeth.

Jeanne @soultravelers3

Thanks Elizabeth, I will get more up soon. it's always a bit tricky with our packing list because it changes a bit depending on where we are going.

You are right that traveling to 2 or 3 climates during extended travel makes it trickier, but we've done it with our 1 carry-on each.

We're actually extremely light in clothes as tech ( and some toys, books for kidlet) take up more room than our clothes.

Always wear your heaviest layers on the plane ... one way to help with cold weather things needed. ;)

You are not going to see the same folks every day, so no one but you know you are wearing the same things every day and it actually makes life easier. ;)

I wear and use this sarong every day now and also use it as my "blanket" at night as the fan makes it cool here in the middle of the night. ;)

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