Why packing light is amazing
Packing light offers a lot of benefits, especially when going to a place like Argyll. With its many fun activities to try and places to visit, being unencumbered by heavy bags and whatnot means you get to do a lot if not all of them without worry.
Many places in Scotland and in Europe, in general, have a lot of unpaved and or cobblestone roads. Lugging around rolling luggage over there is never a great experience. Having a single bag gives you the freedom to move about whenever and wherever your travels may take you. Plus it’s actually cheaper too making airport check-ins a breeze.
Knowing is half the battle
Like in everything, careful planning is important to build your lightweight packing list. Start by reading up about your destination noting its climate, things to do, as well as local customs.
Argyll is in Scotland which is known for its cold climate as well as its many outdoor activities. This will be especially challenging if you are used to warmer places and have little tolerance for the cold. With this in mind, you might skip on the sundress or button-up and instead opt for comfortable t-shirts.
Pack according to the activities you want to do during the trip too. If you are planning to do a lot of hiking and trekking, perhaps limit yourself to a single pair of swimwear, if not at all, on the off chance that you do decide to swim (and you’re brave enough). The trick is to be focused on maximizing your packing list to be tailored to your trip’s needs while having ample wiggle room for flexibility.
Stick to the basics
Every good packing list starts with a good foundation. Experienced travelers swear by basic shirts and pants as foundation pieces, and with good reason. They fit in almost any setting and are flexible enough for most occasions whether you are high up in the mountains or having a night out in town.
The materials used are important too. Choose clothes that are made from lightweight yet durable materials such as cotton, silk, or synthetic fiber. Instead of fleece, you can opt for the much lighter down or nylon option. Merino wool is also something to consider. Though a bit pricey, they are great both for cold and warm weather making them quite versatile pieces.
Clothes made in lightweight materials might seem out of place in cold places like Scotland, you might think. These materials, after all, were made to be as thin and light as possible. This is where layering comes in.
Think of clothes in layers instead of packing outfits for different purposes. This makes your packing list adaptable and modular. Then, whenever the weather changes, you can add or remove layers accordingly. This also helps you dress up or dress down depending on your activity.
Prepare for the weather
Scottish weather is known to be quite fickle. It’s nice and sunny one minute and then it’s raining quite hard on the next. When packing for your trip, it’s best to prepare for such unpredictable weather.
The best footwear to bring is a good pair of waterproof boots. Choose one that’s comfortable to wear with grippy soles so you get to enjoy the outdoors regardless of terrain and weather. Though generally lighter, regular walking shoes aren’t ideal in Scotland where weather is unpredictable.
If you are planning to go on hiking and trekking, you can bring waterproof hiking shoes instead. Sturdy trekking shoes are great too, just make sure that they are properly insulated and have great traction.
Invest in a good rain jacket
If it isn’t clear at this point, rain is pretty much inevitable when you visit Argyll. From light drizzle to heavy downpour, you will encounter rain in some way or another. Umbrellas are not always practical as they can be pretty bulky and quite easy to lose.
What you need is a good lightweight rain jacket. This should be easy to pack, breathable, light yet sturdy. Not to mention it has to look good on photos as you will be taking a lot of them during your visit. This jacket can also be layered on top of your thermals whenever the wind gets too chilly for your liking.
Hats and gloves
If you are visiting during any season other than Summer, it’s a good idea to bring a warm hat and a good pair of thermal gloves. This is especially useful when you go trekking in the mountains or out near the sea where it gets too windy. You might not need this when strolling about outside on a sunny day but those are few and far in between.
Other things to bring with you
Here are some other things to consider bringing with you on your trip:
A reusable water bottle
Staying hydrated is crucial especially when spending a good amount of time outdoors. Having a reusable water bottle helps you hydrate anytime plus they can be easily refillable. A one-liter bottle is sufficient for most needs.
A good bug spray is a must during Summer in Scotland. During this season, Scottish midges—small black flying insects—are active, especially during sunset. They have a nasty reputation of swarming their victims and biting every bare skin they can find. Thankfully, there are many effective bug sprays that are designed specifically to fight off these nasty creatures.
Whether you spend most of your trip hiking in the highlands or strolling in town, it’s always a good thing to bring a first aid kit with you for emergencies. A good kit should have bandages, an antiseptic, topical ointment, and a few over-the-counter medicines. These can include medicine for headaches, a few painkillers, and some anti allergies just in case.
Light packing for a trip may need some getting used to but this will really pay off in the long run. This helps you be more mindful of what you bring with you while giving you the freedom to go whenever and wherever your travels may take you.
This is a guest blog from Trip101.com - the one-stop guide for travel enthusiasts around the world