Once upon a cold day in Frankfurt, I was miserably bogged down by a 40lb backpack and a 15lb shoulder bag while scaling a steep hill questing for a hostel. I took massive pity on myself and imagined myself as a Sherpa hauling heavy supplies up Everest (something tells me I was really just acting like a big baby) and let my grumpy mood develop accordingly.
If you’ve ever packed an uber-heavy bag, you know what a burden taking the stairs, changing hotels or checking bags can be. You also might know how many t-shirts you have to unpack to lose any weight in your luggage. However, there is one heavy item that almost all travelers pack that you can use to dramatically change the weight of your bag. Books!
At an average of .75lbs each, books can quite literally weigh you down! Here are a few travel tips for lightening your load while still having the chance to read on vacation (because when else do you have the time to catch up on your reading!).
- Grab an e-Reader. A Kindle or Nook are the most obvious options for saving weight in your bag, though you should be aware of international downloading restrictions before your vacation.
- Only bring a book you think you can finish. This is not the time to start a hard-covered copy of War & Peace. The extra 500 pages are probably not worth the weight–it’s not much of a beach read anyway.
- Consider buying books in-country. While not all countries have English bookstores, they will often have a small section of English books mixed in with the local offerings.
- Leave behind books that you finish for other travelers. You can read while you’re there and cut the weight on your way out. Plus just think of all the bonus karma.
- Swap books with traveling companions… just don’t get too pushy after you’ve finished your first read and they’re still leisurely thumbing through theirs.
- Read newspapers or magazines instead. If you don’t think you’ll be reading a lot on the trip, but want something casual to pass the time, newspapers and magazines are a great way to pack light. In flight publications are usually free and interesting, or pick up a paper or magazine to stay up on current events or industry happening while on vacation.
Ever made the mistake of bringing a book on vacation that you wouldn’t even touch at home? What was it? Tell us about it on Facebook or in the comments below! (Click here if you can’t see the comments)