The Rule Of Three
I’ve developed a formula for packing that makes travel a lot easier and helps you become more flexible. This allows you to react to various situations and adds a whole new meaning to adventure.
Today I’m going to talk about packing using the rule of three. Whether you’re traveling for a for a weekend, a fortnight or taking the trip of a lifetime over a six month period this packing philosophy will help you to travel lighter. At the outset I want to point out that if you are traveling with children, especially young children or an elderly relative. Forget this advice and take whatever you see fit to have a comfortable and enjoyable trip.
I have never met anyone that decides to pack heavier, transporting luggage these days can be a hassle but it needn’t be. In the 20′ and 30’s most people who travelled were affluent and had servants to carry their trunks. Luggage at the start of the twentieth century was big and cumbersome. I would image that an empty trunk would weigh as much as todays luggage allowance. People used to pack their whole wardrobes and transport everything they owned across huge distances just to be able to relax and enjoy their holiday.
Today companies are trying to cram as many people into an ever decreasing space. Just so they can turn a profit, I don’t blame them as costs for providing a holiday have sky rocketed. I also understand why some companies have changed their carry on luggage rules as the overhead lockers can no longer take the stuff people insist on carrying aboard. I always wonder why people take stuff into an aircraft cabin that they don’t use during the actual flight. If we all only took the items we actually used in flight then there would be amble room on-board.
I know companies create rules and regulation which almost cause the problem of having to take 10 kg on-board with you. The price to check in a bag these days can be more than the actual flight. So we stuff what we can into our carry on just to save paying for checking in an extra bag. I doubt airlines are going to change the system any time soon so the answer is to take less.
There are hundreds of videos online on how to pack light and my favourite is by Rick Steves. Watch it here:- Rick Steves – Pack Light Pack Right – Video
I have finally settled on a packing technique that works extremely well, reduces the stress of travel and ensures I have everything I need. I pack using the rule of three and I don’t mean I take 3 suitcases. Whatever the length of my journey, be it a week or a whole year I take the same amount. I may not take the same stuff but it is now down to 7 kg check in. This also allows me to avoid checking in bags altogether if I have to. When I’m on a photo assignment I carry most of my fragile gear as carry on and check the 7 kg bag. This bag contains my clothing requirements for my trip and the contents change depending on the trip. The principal of packing 3 outfits is so I can wear one, wash one and dry one. Yes it means I am washing more but the advantages of being more mobile far out way the fact I have to rinse my smalls in a hotel sink.
When I’m not working I like to explore Asia. I’ll grab my backpack and throw in 3 x T-shirts, 3 x light weight shirts (2 x pairs of shorts 1 x pair trousers) I usually take those zip off trousers, this means I carry even less. I have swimming shorts which double as my PJ’s. The rule applies to underwear and socks too but not shoes. I only take a light weight pair of Sketchers and my flip-flops, depending on where I travel I normally would buy flip-flops in destination as they are a lot cheaper and I don’t have to carry them. I have a Karrimor wash bag which I can hang in small bathrooms or on a branch if I’m wild camping. Wash bag consists of razor, soap, shaving brush, toothpaste, travel toothbrush and roll on deodorant. I use soap to shave rather than carry a tin of shaving foam as its more compact and lasts a long time. I also always carry my Sawyer water filter so I can filter everything from tap water to water from a river.
2 Week Holiday
Usually a small carry on size suitcase with the all the same stuff as above. I buy what I need in resort as this saves space. Sunscreen, toothpaste and shower gel can all be purchased almost everywhere these days.
You may know that I work in the Travel and Tourism industry and I’m lucky enough to work in some fabulous destinations. I get a healthy luggage allowance as I’m usually in destination for a minimum of 6 months. This year I will be in destination for at least 12 months so I will be taking a lot more than usual. However I am supplied with a uniform so I only need to pack what I need for my day off and when I go out. So apart from the uniform I take the same as back packing with extra shoes and trousers. I still manage to get my luggage to be less than 20 kg and that’s for a season. I will buy most things in destination, however this year I know that its cheaper to take what I need rather than buy it locally.
So you have read through this article and decided there is no way you are packing light. The good news is I have the perfect solution to traveling light and that is by using the service provided by send my bag. I have used this company on many occasions to transport everything from my clothes to care packages and they perform perfectly every time. I even recommend them to new recruits who haven’t worked abroad before. I tell them to pack a suitcase with all their other stuff in and leave it with a relative. If during the season they want that extra case they can just have it shipped over. I still pack a small case with a few luxuries in like chocolate, sweets, magazines, etc. I then send for the case halfway through the season as a reminder of home. It works great for Christmas too as sometimes I’m away from home and pack an Xmas suitcase of goodies including decorations for my apartment.
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So next time you are going away try to follow the principal of three for packing, I challenge you to take less. You’ll notice huge benefits not only does it help reduce the stress of traveling but you can make quick decisions and change your plans in an instant. I recently stayed in George Town, Penang for a month and although George Town is a world heritage site and fascinating it has a few issues. First there are no pavements which makes wandering the streets a challenge. The roads are busy with cars, trucks, buses but most annoyingly mopeds. These moped riders nearly always cut through small gaps close to where the pavement should be. Sometimes when there is a piece of land you could call a pavement they park on it. This makes navigating the town as a pedestrian very difficult and impossible when you have to drag a suitcase around when looking for you accommodation.
I decided that George Town was too busy and seen as it was my 3rd time there I decided to hop on a train and explore Ipoh. Ipoh is the second largest city in Malaysia, when you arrive you wouldn’t know it. It is a lot quieter than Kuala Lumpur or George Town and they have great pavements. This change of destination was made easier by the fact I was only carrying 7 kg of luggage in my backpack. Also I discovered that the local laundry service would was my clothes for only a few pennies, meaning I didn’t even have to wash my own clothes.