How to Pack light and Pack Right

I pack light. Really light. For a one-month trip, these days I bring a small rollerbag or carry a 40L backpack and maybe a small purse, depending on airline allowances. I strive to always bring carry-on luggage only, which speeds check in and arrival, and virtually guarantees my luggage never gets lost.

I haven’t checked a bag in years.

I spied this Rollerbag Goddess in Scandinavia, heading for the ferry. Check out how chic she is! Photo by Charish Badzinski.

I’ve had my luggage lost by an airline. Have you? If so, you know how it can bring your travels to a screeching halt.

People are typically astounded by how light I pack. Some hosts have commented that I’m the first traveler they’ve met who packs sensibly. My goal is to have several outfits with interchangeable items, enough to get through a week. After that, I do laundry–either doing the wash myself, or paying to have it done. I have a lot of black in my travel wardrobe for many reasons, because the pieces are interchangeable, and they hide travel grime when I inevitably slop on my clothes.

A typical trip for me, whether a week or a month, typically includes a selection of:

  • 2-4 lightweight dresses, often t-shirt material
  • some biker shorts to wear underneath dresses for those long days of wandering
  • two pairs of shoes (one to wear on the plane, one water-ready pair)
  • 1-2 pairs of leggings
  • a couple of shirts, lightweight, that can be layered if needed
  • 1 lightweight wrap
  • 1 thin jacket
  • 1 plastic poncho
  • underthingies – I never skimp on them as they are so small and reusing is disgusting
  • socks when hiking or in cooler climes
  • a couple of pairs of earrings and my silver globe chime necklace
  • Virtual office technology: my phone, laptop, earbuds, and chargers
  • jammies
  • Swimsuit
  • my in-flight comfort pack, which includes an inflatable neck pillow (amazing space saver!), iPod, eye mask, lavender oil, and lip balm. Oh, and a book or magazine.
Me and the 40L backpack that holds everything from laptop to clothes for a week (after which I do laundry, of course!) Photo by Charish Badzinski, snapped while traveling in Slovenia.

I was recently asked to contribute to an article about how digital nomads pack, which was posted on the MightyGoods website. It was great fun to be featured, and even more fun to read about how other digital nomads pack their bags. Who knows? There may even be some useful tidbits for your next journey.

Check it out: 12 Digital Nomads Share How they Pack Their Bags and Live Nomadic. 


What are your tips for packing for long or short-term travel? 

charish red

Charish Badzinski is an explorer and award-winning features, food and travel writer. When she isn’t working to build her blog: Rollerbag Goddess Rolls the World, she applies her worldview to her small business, Rollerbag Goddess Global Communications, providing powerful storytelling to her clients.

Posts on the Rollerbag Goddess Rolls the World travel blog are never sponsored and have no affiliate links, so you know you will get an honest review, every time.

Find Charish on Twitter: @rollrbaggoddess and on Instagram at @rollerbaggoddess. You can also read more about Charish Badzinski’s professional experience in marketing, public relations and writing.

Rollerbag Goddess Rolls the World by Charish Badzinski is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.


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