Travel Light – the Scandinavian Way

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Travel Light - the Scandinavian Way

Scandinavians are known for their minimalistic design. In general, they also know how to travel light – and smart. Learn more about traveling light – the Scandinavian way.

As a frequent and experienced traveler, I am mostly traveling with only one carryon-size suitcase. The length of my stay may vary depending on my assignment, but very seldom I need more than my well-used travel bag. It will also be easier to get on and off the plane, and you won’t have to pay to check a bag.

It’s all about getting together the essentials, not filling up a suitcase with your whole wardrobe. Too much baggage will weigh you down during your travels, and it can be expensive if you’re traveling by plane. Fortunately, traveling heavy is completely avoidable. By downsizing your luggage, packing more efficiently, and being selective with your clothes, you can travel light on your trip.

Travel Light - the Scandinavian Way
It’s all about getting together the essentials, not filling up a suitcase with your whole wardrobe.

You might also find the New York Times/Wirecutters article on The Best Gear for Travel useful.

The article continues below the image. Our writer Shawn Mack has written an article on what to wear in Scandinavia. By clicking the image below, you can read his article.

Travel Light - the Scandinavian Way
Laearn what to wear in Scandinavia by clicking the image.

Most people find themselves packing all sorts of stuff that they think they might need, but actually don’t. It’s perfect natural. It gives most people a sense of control over an unknown situation.

Small suitcases or bags will force you to be efficient during the packing process. When you’re shopping for luggage, look for a size you think would hold everything you need, and then choose a suitcase or bag in a size down. You’ll be more selective about what to bring when it comes time to pack your bag.

The article continues below the image. Ellie Coverdale has given our readers packing suggestions for a trip to Norway. You can read her article by clicking the image below.

Travel Light - the Scandinavian Way
Get advice on packing suggestions for a trip to Norway by clicking the image.

When you don’t check luggage, there’s no need to worry about your bag being lost, damaged, stolen or even just not arriving on the same flight as you.

My travel packing revolves mostly around clothing, a jacket (blazer), pants and shirts. I bring two shirts (light and dark) and two pairs of casual slacks (also light and dark, matching both pants). I wear the blazer on, so it doesn’t take up space in my bag.

If you’re not so experienced, sit down and make a list of all things you think you need, and stick to that list. Next time you travel, you can use the same list, or adjust it, according to your last experience.

My footwear is a pair of good walking shoes. They make acceptable dress shoes and can double as hikers if necessary. For pools and boats and strolls on the beach, I take a pair of flip-flops or sandals.

Travel Light - the Scandinavian Way
Most people find themselves packing all sorts of stuff that they think they might need, but actually don’t.

Throw in two t-shirts (light and dark), some socks, some boxers, and a packable rain jacket. That’s it for clothing.

If cold weather is expected I just adjust the above base and add a sweater or two. As I’m wearing almost half of the above while actually flying, everything else takes up about 3/4 of the space in my roll-aboard suitcase. The rest of the space is filled with laptop, tablet, my camera, charging plugs and a Ziploc toiletry bag.  I’ve never failed to find anything else I might have forgotten at my destination.

As I know my trip itinerary before packing, I list my plans for my trip — restaurants I will visit, events to attend and attractions I’ll write about. Knowing what you have planned will tell you exactly what clothes and other items to bring so you’re not packing for the unknown.

Travel Light – the Scandinavian Way, written by Tor Kjolberg

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