The perfect packing list for traveling light

Less stuff means more opportunity for experience when you pack light


It's an essential part of coordinating a successful adventure. A well thought out packing list can be the difference between a miserable, complicated trip and an easy well prepared adventure. The key to a good packing list is to stick to the bare essentials. Because if you choose your essentials wisely, it frees you up to fully experience your destinations with flexibility and spontaneity, unfettered by unnecessary tools or gadgets.

A good packing list is fully customized; but everyone can use a little help to either get started or fine tune their list. Below is the perfect packing list for the minimalist traveler. It fits into my 30L backpack with room to spare.



- Deodorant
- Toothbrush: Buy a travel toothbrush that folds into itself. It saves space and it's more sanitary.
- Hairbrush
- Hairtye
- Lip Balm
- Floss
- Toilet Paper (stored in a Ziploc bag): Don't take toilet paper for granted. Nature calls when it wants to, regardless of whether or not you're near a traditionally furnished bathroom. Whether it's a a day trip to Tijuana or a month long excursion across the globe, always pack a roll of TP. Remove the cardboard in the center for easier packing.
- Toothpaste
- Soap
- 1 Microfiber Towel: If you're traveling light, a traditional towel takes up way too much space and can get really heavy when wet. A microfiber towel packs down to almost nothing and is just as effective and drying off after bathing.
- Nail clipper
- Baby Powder: If you're going to be anywhere remotely hot and humid, or if you plan on doing any hiking or adventuring, this will come in handy.



The name of the game with clothes is quick dry. With quick drying materials, you can travel with 3 sets of clothes and be perfectly dressed for any occasion – well, 90% of occasions. Rather than waste time and money going to laundromats to constantly wash your clothes, you can wash your clothes in the sink or shower and let them dry overnight. You'd be amazed at how versatile and comfortable many of these materials can be, and how much space you can save in your pack.

- 3 Merino Wool Socks: Merino wool dries quick and takes way longer to accumulate odor than regular cotton socks
- 3 Quick Dry Underwear: "Only 3 pairs of underwear? Really George?!" I know it sounds crazy, but Exofficio makes a great product that not only keeps you dry and snug in any situation; it's also super light and packable.
- Bathing Suit/Running Shorts: Do yourself a favor and buy a pair of Myles Running shorts. They double as a bathing suit and you can even where them out to dinner in a pinch.
- 3 Nylon T-shirts: Unlike a lot of synthetic shirts, these T-shirts from Exofficio are light and breathable; and they dry crazy quick.
- 1 Button Down
- 1 Tie
- 1 Pullover
- 1 Suit Jacket (optional)
- 1 Pair of Sunglasses
- 1 Pair of Eyeglasses
- 2 Bandanas
- 1 Running Jacket
- 1 Pair of Linen Pants
- 1 Pair of Bluffworks: Best pair of travel clothing I've ever purchased.
- 1 Pair of Slacks/Jeans (optional)
- 1 Pair of Running Shoes: These will be your everyday shoes so choose wisely.
- 1 Pair of Boots



- iPhone: Android works too. Bottom line: unless you're traveling for heavy duty business, you can do most of your work on a smartphone.
iPhone Charger
- External Battery: Lifesaver
- GoPro: I recommend purchasing the older 3+ model without the viewfinder. This allows you to be more present while taking photos instead of constantly perfecting your pictures. GoPro has a super wide angle which allows you to capture a lot of images without sacrificing your attention.
GoPro Cable
- Transformer: If you're traveling to a country that uses different outlets, this is a must.



- Passport
- Insurance: Travel Insurance is something you hope you'll never need, but is always good to have. Various plans cover theft, injury, or flight issues. World Nomads does a great job and isn't very expensive for a lot of coverage.
- Money belt: Invest in a nice silk money belt. Use it for documents you won't constantly need or for an extra store of cash. It's great for keeping your income sources separated, but don't be that guy who whips out the money belt at the dinner table; it screams tourist.
- Credit card
- Bank Card
- Travel Bank Card: It's a good idea to have several bank accounts for your trip. If you're curious, you can read about why here.



- Foldable Daypack: Even when packing light, some days you just don't want to lug your whole pack with you. Get a foldable daypack and problem solved!
- Business Cards
- Sleeping mask: A good sleeping mask lets you sleep anywhere. Even if it's just because you saw a bug and have to leave the lights on in your hotel room. Not that that's ever happened to me or anything.
- Earplugs
- 2 Locks
- 1 Metal Cable: The locks and cable allow you to secure your bag wherever you are. In case you stay at a sketchy hostel or need a nap on the bus, this will give you peace of mind.
- 1 Notebook
- 1 Guidebook: You can find a lot of this information online nowadays. But I still like to have a hard copy of Lonely Planet wherever I go just in case I'm without power. Plus, books are cool.
- 1 Literary Book
- 2 pens



- 1 Roll Athletic Tape: Has a thousand different uses. A great asset to add to your arsenal.
- Imodium
- Aspirin
- Hand Sanitizer
- Malaria Pills
- Electrolytes



- Vitamin C: For that stretch of days without fruits or veggies. It happens sometimes, and it's good to be prepared.
- Chia Seeds: For some extra fiber when you need it.
- Almonds
- Protein Bars

One Last Thing

I use a compression bag for my clothes when I travel abroad. It's super simple to use (no technology required) and it gives me way more space in my pack. That space let's me gather souvenirs or simply be more mobile wherever I'm going. Remember, less stuff means a greater opportunity for experience. Best of luck on your next adventure!

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Three Things to Consider When Planning Your Vacation

There are plenty of things to consider when planning your vacation. Make sure you have all your bases covered by the time you buy your plane ticket!

Going on vacation is wonderful after months of stress and work. There's just one last hurdle before hopping on that plane: planning.

There can be an overwhelming number of things to consider when planning your vacation (COVID-19 not least), but putting them in an itemized list helps. Here's a quick cheat-sheet for you to get a jump-start on that.

Vacation VacationUniversity of Kentucky

Remember Your Budget

If you make a budget, which you definitely should, stick to it. Don't spend more than what you can afford when you start vacationing. Vacations are meant to be relaxing, so saddling yourself with debt will only dampen the fun of your trip. How much are you spending on living accommodations, food, activities, travel? How much are you setting aside in emergency funds in case something happens?

Plan for the Length of the Trip

Are you going out of town for a few months, or do you only have a week off? How much time you have can affect where you can go and how much you can enjoy it. If you only have a week and a half for a trip, then it's best not to go somewhere that's a 16-hour flight away. Half the trip is going to be spent on planes, and the other half will be spent being jet-lagged.

Trip length can also affect how you have to deal with your home while you're away. If you're away for long periods of time, do you need to hire people to cut your grass? Do you need to hire house sitters or babysitters? There are even things to know if you need to board your dog. Keep all these in mind for extended vacations.

Consider the Weather

You never want to ruin your vacation by heading somewhere beautiful in its offseason. Depending on the time of year, most activities could be canceled due to weather restrictions. Some places are ideal for winter trips, and other destinations are made to be enjoyed during the summer heat. Plan accordingly, and don't show up in a swimsuit when it's 50 degrees outside.

That rounds up the basics, but there are plenty more things to consider when planning your vacation. Give yourself wiggle room if any unique considerations pop up in your planning process.

There has never been a better time to learn a language than right now. While we can't really travel, we can still get ready to explore the world and other cultures through film, music, and food. But the key to all of this is language. It can be hard getting started on your own and so we found the perfect solution: Rosetta Stone.

We've been loving hunkering down and digging into Rosetta Stone, a language learning app with many different languages, the best lessons, and an affordable subscription. It's flexible and made to work for you, no matter what level you're starting at. Jump back into French without dusting off your highschool books or pick up Mandarin with a clean slate.

Thinking about Rosetta Stone for your language lessons? Here are the answers to your most pressing questions:

What languages do they offer?

With Rosetta Stone, you can choose from 25 different languages including Spanish, Arabic, and Japanese. When you get the Unlimited Languages subscription you gain access to all 25 and can switch between languages. While you may be intensely learning German, you can take a break and pick up some conversational Korean — all in one app.

What are the features?

What makes Rosetta Stone's lessons really work are the incredible learning features.

Phrasebook will teach you short, useful expressions that are sure to come in handy during your travels, letting you see the practical application of what you're learning. Seek & Speak brings the fun back into learning by having you do a scavenger hunt for everyday household items and taking photos of them to get the translated name. Even in an app, Rosetta Stone turns any environment into a classroom.

TruAccent is a speech engine within the program that provides instant feedback on your pronunciation so you know if you're on the right track. You'll grow more confident about speaking aloud and it's like having an accent coach in the room with you.

How long does it take every day?

Rosetta Stone's lessons are bite-sized, so all you need is 5 -10 minutes a day to sneak in some practice and work towards your language goals. Of course, you can do more if you want but there's no regimented schedule or pressure to speed ahead.

How does it compare to in-person classes?

With the Rosetta Stone app, your learning is within your control and designed to move at your pace. The app will tailor to your particular interests, strengths, and weaknesses! Plus, with the recent explosion of online classes, most people have fallen away from in-person instruction anyway.

Rosetta Stone brings you expert teaching, fun engaging lessons, and a multitude of language options all on-the-go. Take your classes whenever and wherever works best for you, conveniently on the app.

Is it suitable for all levels?

Absolutely. When you first start, the app allows you to choose a study plan based on your experience level. So, if you're a beginner you can start from scratch and those with some proficiency can advance to where they're comfortable.

How much does it cost?

The Unlimited Languages plan works out to be $7.99 a month and grants access to all 25 languages, cheaper than Netflix. You get an education at a great value and the best part is no ads while you learn!

We look forward to our Rosetta Stone lessons and highly recommend it to anyone eager to learn a new language or even brush up on an old one. This program makes learning fun, practical, convenient, and most importantly affordable.

Say bonjour, to the go-to language learning app and have the world right at your fingertips!

Update: The folks at Rosetta Stone are extending a special offer to our readers: Up to 45% off Rosetta Stone + Unlimited Language Access!

Like so many out there I haven't been traveling. With everything going on these days I've been staying home, which I love, but it does have me itching to travel. The international section of Netflix just isn't satisfying my travel bug like it used to (trust me, if it's been recommended I've watched it).

I was looking for another way I could travel without leaving home so I did the rounds of take-out food: Chinese, German, Italian, and Mexican. This was fun and tasty but a pricey way to explore the world.

A friend of mine suggested taking a prepping approach to travel and try Rosetta Stone: a language learning program that offers an annual plan with access to 24+ languages.

I've always wanted to learn a new language but have had trouble committing. I was a bit wary about starting Rosetta Stone but ultimately decided to give it a shot.

The Unlimited Languages plan works out to be $7.99 a month for 12 months (what a deal). While I was determined to learn Spanish in anticipation of my dream trip to Spain, this plan allows me to switch to any of the other 24+ languages.

I was excited to get started and use the app. I figured with all of the extra time I had until I could actually go on my trip, I'd aspire to be near fluent by the time it happened.

Jumping right in, I took a ton of lessons through their app and really binged the language. I loved the focus on conversational language, phrases, and vocabulary but after about a week I had burned myself out a bit.

I ended up pulling back and doing 10-minute lessons a day. This was manageable and easy to incorporate into my schedule whether it was by doing a lesson over my morning coffee or winding down right before bed. Learning in bite-sized amounts helped me digest the information and really process what I was being taught.

After a couple of weeks, I was getting really comfortable with Rosetta Stone and was actually enjoying the learning process… even though I wasn't a big fan of language when I was in school. What really set this experience apart for me was the Phrasebook and Seek & SpeakⓇ features.

Phrasebook teaches short, useful expressions that I know will come in handy on my trip. Seek & SpeakⓇ definitely brought the fun back into learning for me, as it has you do a scavenger hunt for everyday household items and take photos of them. Once you do this it gives you a translation of each item (I've never enjoyed looking for cucumbers in my fridge before).

Watching so many telenovelas I knew how important the accent is (in any language) but difficult without an in-person instructor. Rosetta Stone realizes that too and uses TruAccentⓇ. The speech engine within the program gave me instant feedback so I knew that my pronunciation was on the right track and it made me more comfortable speaking aloud.

Rosetta Stone turned out to be a great choice for me. Now I'm daydreaming about traveling and feel like when the time comes I'll be ready to. I'm so confident in my learning that I've branched out and have done some lessons in Italian and French! I'm thinking, after Spain… maybe Rome and Paris? My destinations list is endless now!

Honestly, with Rosetta Stone, I feel more inspired than ever to travel and all this inspiration is happening right in my home. I can't wait to take what I've learned on the road but until then the preparation is still incredibly fun and useful.

Update: The folks at Rosetta Stone are extending a special offer to our readers: Up to 45% off Rosetta Stone + Unlimited Language Access!