It Pays to Pack Light, Pack Right, and Relax!
Here is a guideline for keeping it simple and packing light for the Florida Keys. As you will see, there are many benefits for staying light and mobile.
Although this page is targeted at packing light for the Keys, you will be able to adopt some of the ideas for your future travels.
“. . .life is short and the world is wide” – Simon Raven
Why Pack Light?
- Flexibility: Less luggage means more mobility. It makes most means of transportation available. With one backpack, you can even take a bicycle. Packing light allows you to be on the move quickly.
- Save Money: No porters, no baggage handling, no extra charges means more savings in your pocket.
- Save Time: You don’t have to be at the airport as early to check your luggage. There is no waiting for your luggage when you land. Packing and unpacking are a snap and you can be on the move and stay on the move without worrying about or waiting for your extra bags.
- Security: One bag (carry-on) means a lot less to worry about. Less to get stolen, less to misplace or leave behind, and nothing gets mis-routed by the airlines.
- Peace of Mind: This to me is the most important. Traveling light (in one pack) is just a more pleasureable way to travel. Less hassle means more freedom!
- Environmental Friendly: Traveling light has other benefits also. It’s a “green” way to see the islands and the world. Less manufacturing needed to sustain you, less machinery to move you, and less fuel for the vehicles that do move you.
10 Great Pack Light Tips…
Pack Light, Pack Right:
- Pack It In One Bag: Become an expert at packing it all in one bag. To benefit from the art of packing light, keep it to one bag. You will be amazed at the freedom you will discover.
- Making The Take List: Make a list of items you think you will need. Now, edit it down. Edit it down again. Now, once more! Even after you edit your list, you will take more than you need.
- The Bag: Now that you have a list, choose the right bag to handle the list, your personal style, and the activities that you will be doing. Personally, I use a backpack. It makes sense for me.
- Group Hot Items: Using small freezer bags or nylon bags designed for packing small items, keep complimentary items together. Keep socks in one bag, shorts in another, toiletries in another, and personal items in another.
- Downsize the Toiletries: Pick up travel-size versions of your favorite products whenever you see them, not just when you’re getting ready to travel. If you can’t find miniatures, buy small plastic bottles and decant from larger products.
- Clothing: Take mix and match clothing. 6 articles of clothing that will create 9 outfits is much easier and lighter than packing 9 outfits. Take less than you think you need. You will thank yourself later.
- Pack Light on the Shoes: Bring 2 pair at the most. Pack one and wear one. Sandals have come along way. They have become very functional and stylish at the same time. You can wear them on the beach, seeing the sights, and even wear them for dress. In the “Keys”, you will never need tails, a gown, or dress shoes. Be comfortable. Pack light.
- Never Double Pack: If there are two or more of you traveling, you can share some things. Don’t double pack what you can share. If you plan on buying it on your arrival, don’t pack it.
- Prescriptions and Personals: Make sure to pack your emergency and personal items. Don’t pack more than you need, but pack what you do need.
- Personal Pleasure: Bring a paperback or magazine. You can always buy along the way. If you are driving, audio books are great. iPods are a good way to enjoy books and music without bothering the folks around you. Point and shoot cameras are a great way to archive your vacation. Lightweight and easy to hide, these cameras are the way to go.
A Case In Point:
You can pack light and still pack too much! On a 2007 trip to the Bahamas, we stayed on Long Island for four weeks. I packed two pair of cargo shorts, 1 swim suit, 1 pair of levis, and 1 pair of docker slacks. In four weeks, I never donned the levis or the dockers.
Florida Keys Must Haves…
- Water container. Take it every where you go.
- Polarized sunglasses. Always protect your eyes.
- Hat. Make sure it shades your face, neck, and ears.
- Long sleeves. For when you’ve had enough sun.
- Long pants. Same as above.
- Bug spray. Especially in the summer months.
- Camera. To archive the great sunburn your mate gets!
More Pack Light Tips…
Think Light, Pack Light:
- When packing, think in ounces.
- Don’t fret. If you need it, you can buy it.
- Don’t take a full guidebook. Photocopy what you need.
- If you are driving, Swiss Army Knives are great but they don’t fly.
- There is no difference in packing for a week or a month.