Explorer’s Essentials: A Guide to Packing Light While Travelling Abroad


Life is all about finding a balance. Between work and leisure. Between time with your friends and time for yourself. Between the chores and relaxing. It can be tricky, but with a bit of practice, you can strike a nice balance in life.

And one thing that can weigh the scales on the leisure side of things is a holiday abroad.

There’s nothing quite like exploring a city you’ve never been to, tasting the tastes and seeing the sights.

In this useful article, we’ll share the explorer’s essentials and unpack a guide to packing light while travelling overseas.

Pack Binoculars

Did you know you can find extra small binoculars? When you think of binoculars you probably think of the big, heavy pairs that you’ve probably owned or seen before.

But some great, compact pairs are perfect for travelling light. There’s no compromise on quality either, a smaller pair will still magnify what you look at.

This is a perfect purchase for bird and whale watching, which many people enjoy doing while abroad.

Microfibre Towel

One of the bulkiest items that you will usually pack on a trip is a towel.

And you’ll need a towel, especially if you’re staying at backpacker venues where there is no towel provided, unlike a hotel.

A microfibre towel is extremely lightweight and dries exceptionally quickly.

Once dry, it packs away with a minimal footprint in your backpack or luggage, making it perfect for travelling light.

A Kindle

Imagine going on a trip overseas with enough books to read the whole time, especially if you’re heading away for a few months. That’s a lot of paper and a lot of weight.

Instead of packing multiple books, invest in a Kindle.

This is a small, compact reader device that you can load ebooks onto. You could travel away with 10 books loaded on a Kindle, and the Kindle itself weighs next to nothing. This is a super hack for bookworms who like to travel.

A Word on Clothes

This will depend on where your destination is, but if you can, try to avoid packing heavy fabrics.

Try to stick to synthetic, lightweight fabrics, or nylon and polyester. Cotton and cotton blends are a little heavier but still manageable.

Avoid wools and fleeces, as these are heavy, and take a long time to dry as well.

If you are heading to a cold destination, you might want to consider picking up a second-hand set of winter clothes from a charity shop beforehand, then donating them when you move to a warmer part of the world. This will keep you travelling light while allowing you to stay warm. Using packing cubes would also help you organize your clothes and would reduce the hassle of unpacking.


While sandals, thongs and other lightweight shoes might seem appealing, they may not be practical. Especially if you’re doing lots of walking.

Don’t go all the way to the other side of the spectrum of shoes, and bring Doc Martens, as these are heavy and clunky.

Instead, consider a multi-purpose shoe that is comfortable for days spent exploring but will not suffocate your feet. Sneakers might be the right choice here.

A Compact Conclusion

In this useful article, we’ve shared how to pack light when travelling abroad.

Pack some compact binoculars to see the sights, and a microfibre towel to stay dry. A Kindle is a good idea to help pass the time, as are lightweight clothes. Again, the choice of clothes will depend on the climate of your destination.

Finally, pick the right shoes – not too heavy, and not too light.

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