Traveling light is traveling smarter. It’s easier to get around because you’re more compact and mobile, you’re less of a target because you show less, and if you do it right, you won’t have to check a bag.
Here’s my every trip bare essentials:
Wear on the plane
Passport = Take a picture of it with your iPhone to have a back up copy.
Driver’s license = In case you want to rent a car, and it works as a secondary ID
Credit Card = I use a United Explorer mileage card, no foreign transaction fees
Back up card = Sometimes your primary card will leave you hanging, it happens.
Belt = to hold your pants up
Toe shoes = or some other slip on shoes
Ziploc Baggies = Bring a handful of 1 gallon bags to waterproof important stuff.
In your Carry on/Checked bag
iPhone = This puppy is a camera, map, laptop, music player, and notebook all in one.
GoPro = The best video camera in the world for action shots
Plug converter = so you can charge your shit in any location
Camelbak All clear water bottle = takes 60 seconds to have drinking water and a full charge lasts days
*Braven Speaker = Not a must have, but you can play music through blue-tooth and charge your iPhone while you hike.
2 pants = 1 for town and 1 for the wild. Keep that order and you shouldn’t have to wash either the whole trip. If one pair is zip-off, then you have shorts too. Get creative.
3 shirts = 1 short sleeve, 1 long sleeve button up, and 1 under layer. Wear all 3 at the same time and you are set for most temperatures outside the snow zone.
Board shorts = Any comfy shorts will work for lounging around. I like these best because they double as swimming shorts.
2nd pair of Toe shoes = I wear these everywhere (except in snow), no socks needed, I bring 2 because they get pretty nasty if you wear the same pair everyday.
1-3 socks = Just in case you do an activity where you need socks (bowling, diving, snowboarding, climbing, etc). If you know there will be snow, then pack shoes too.
Underwear = 100% optional, I usually go commando but pack a few pairs in case. They take up no room.
3 day backpack = all this shit should fit nicely in a 3 day pack.
If you’re going diving, add: Dive computer, Log book, and C-card, other stuff can be rented at the resort.
Going overnight hiking, subtract 3 day pack and add: Rucksack, sleeping bag, stove, headlamp, rain coat, poncho, tent, GPS, and gloves.
If you’re going snowboarding, you can figure it out.
That’s it; the point is to keep it simple. You’ll end up buying more T-shirts and crap on your trip so pack light. Traveling should be an adventure away from the comforts of home, not an extension of your home. Toiletries, additional socks, rain gear, beanies, and knives can be purchases when you get to country. Worst-case scenario is you come up short and have to rough it for a little while. No biggie, I’m sure you’ll survive and you’ll go home with a story to tell.