How do I manage to live out of a suitcase 90% of the year? It sounds like an impossible task but trust me when I say it’s doable and as a digital nomad, it’s also practical.

Let’s face it, the challenges of travelling starts even before the journey begins. I hate packing. But I’ve been officially living out of a suitcase for a couple of years now and it’s safe to say I’ve truly mastered the art of packing smart.

I’ve had my fair share of baggage dilemmas: I’ve dragged 2 suitcases for about an hour on a beautiful white sand in Lombok – if you haven’t tried pulling TWO 20kg bags on sand under the agonising island heat, let me tell you it’s better to NOT have clothes than to carry them like that. I’ve also travelled on a train to Scotland’s Fort William with 3 massive bags while I trekked on pebbles under the rain, looking for my hotel at 1 AM in the night. Or that one time I spent the night curled up in a tent because there wasn’t enough space left after stuffing my bags in.

Also Read: Wandering Around Scotland: Day 1

Those are just some of the obstacles I faced as a result of ill-packing until one day I decided to put an end to my self-inflicted misery.

1)  “Pack Light and Go Further” 

No matter how old this quote gets, it’s still one of the most sensible advices on travelling there is.

But how can you pack light and have all your necessities in one place too? What I normally do is carry a hiking/backpacking bag for the times I have to go further. For example: If I’m going further than Bali, I would leave my big bag in the hotel/hostel and pack light to backpack the nearby islands.

I don’t even mind paying a little extra for safe luggage keeping. If you pack lighter, you avoid paying for excess charges and you can take any mode of transport you want.

2) Organise 

I cannot emphasise how much my life has become easier after I invested on organisers. I can fit more things than I could ever have and I’ve stopped wasting time on searching for my things.


This is a gift from my brother’s girlfriend but you can get something similar here.

3) Get Rid Of Unnecessary Things

Yes, you read that right. The only way to get more space is to make space. I finally came to terms with the harsh reality of having to give up things without feeling heartbroken.

I’ve given up lots of pretty dresses to make space for more dynamic clothes. I realised that I didn’t even need them! I honestly don’t even use everything that I carry.

4)  Be Versatile 

Train yourself to be able to adjust to all sorts of things that may come your way when travelling. Similarly, buy clothes that are versatile or useful in any season.

Get jumpsuits and jackets. Or skirts! Skirts are always a good idea, you can wear it with stockings on winter or sport bare legs on summer!

Winter:

Take off the scarf, jacket, stockings and you’re good. You can also switch to a light pair of foldable ballerinas if the boots are too hot. 😉

Tip: Buy 2 pairs of good thermal inner wear that you can wear underneath any outfit during winter.

5)Invest On A Good Suitcase 

I dont mean buy a Louis Vuitton suitcase but rather pay attention to the smallest details. You’ll be surprised by how convenient and favorable having 4 spinner wheels are when maneuvering through trains and tight spaces! I also like expandable bags with built-in TSA locks since I often leave them at places.

6)  Choose Your Shoes Wisely 

I love shoes. But I know I don’t have the luxury to pack all my shoes so I normally carry one boots that can be used for any season, sandals, sneakers and slippers.

Buy boots that can be paired with a dress like this one:

Who would have known your entire life is packed in a box?

7)  Accessorise  

No, I dont mean the brand. I mean the art of accessorizing. You can spice up an entire outfit and make it Instagram-worthy just by adding small (and lightweight) details like a scarf, a hat or sunnies!

I have lots of ornaments that I can play around and pair with different clothes. Adventures are meant to be fun, don’t do it colourless. 🙂

Well, hopefully you can pack better after reading this post and you’ll soon realise it isn’t that hard after all!

Ciao,

Mandy xx

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