My blog on how to pack light & travel solo.

Packed full of tips & inspiration for 

travelling light and travelling solo .


No travel? More time for planning your light travels...

While there's not much travelling happening, I'm taking this as a chance to fine tune my travel wardrobe even more. There's always room for improvement or there are items that need replacing. 

So join me on my personal experience of what I'm sorting out.

I need the perfect travel dress.

I'm on a search for the perfect travel dress. I'm researching merino dresses that look good on shorter woman. But I'm not excluding a dress that's in a light fabric, that's quick drying. 

Any dress I get needs to be able to be layered under and over to maximize it's use for both warm and cool climates.

My issue is that by the time I click onto something being cool and fashionable, the trend may well be on the way out! So therefore it needs to have a classic but cool level to it. 

I also know what I'm not after - anything flash or overly glamorous! I know what I feel comfortable in. I generally don't find myself in locations that require a cocktail dress. 

Even in Positano on the Amalfi Coast (glamour +++), as I finished the Path of the Gods walk, I walked through the streets in my hiking gear. There were all sorts of people there. Yes, some were dressed up in high fashion, but most were holiday makers, relaxing and just enjoying the moment. 

I do have my two silk dresses which do look lovely and will cover most occasions, but they are delicate and I'd hate to ruin them. If I go on a cruise, or something like that - I'll definitely pack them then.

In the meantime the search continues...

I love my silk dress but I want something a bit more robust for travel.

My trail shoes need replacing.

I have previously travelled with hiking shoes that certainly lasted the distance. But I wanted to try something lighter and less rigid. I don't have any ankle issues so I don't require ankle support. And my hiking isn't top level hiking, more like day walks along well-maintained tracks. My hiking shoes have always been around 600 grams in weight.

So about a year ago I bought a pair of trail shoes. They are lighter and slightly more collapsible in a bag than my hiking shoes which weigh  500 grams. I was planning on walking the Camino de Santiago in May this year (and we know what happened at that point!). The shoes were great. Light on my feet and very comfortable for long walking days. 

But they started to wear out inside the shoe at the back and on a long day hike in New Zealand, I got blisters. I was really surprised since I'd been wearing these for such a long time and really walked some miles in them. So now it was time to buy another pair of shoes. More of the same or something different?

After much consideration and debate I bought a pair of VivoBarefoot shoes. (I am NOT SPONSORED by this company - I just say what I like and use.)

They take some getting used to but I'm really enjoying wearing them on trails where I really feel like my whole foot is working. They are even lighter than the trail shoes weighing in at 440 grams. They'll be great for travel, although when I get to the Camino I'll probably go back to trail shoes since I'll be walking long distances.

I also love that they collapse down really well. They've got a trail tread on the sole of the shoe, so are very non-slip. These shoes work for me, but I don't need arch supports. 

My travel shoes need to be light, comfortable and not take up too much room. My latest purchase (the black VivoBarefoot) tick lots of boxes for me and how I travel.

Deciding on bottom layers for my light travel wardrobe.

When I only allow three pairs of trousers, shorts or leggings in my packing I have to be very selective.

  • In Croatia and Italy in spring, I took long hiking pants, shorts and jeans.
  • In China in spring, I took hiking pants, merino leggings and linen capri trousers.
  • In the Australian Outback in the dry season, I took hiking pants, shorts and a merino skirt.
  • In New York in winter, I took a pair of merino pants, merino leggings and a pair of slouchy bamboo pants. 

As you can see I mix things up depending on the season and what I'm doing. I've been using this non-travel time to play around with combinations and plan ahead.

There are so many options!!

My linen pants layered up well for extra warmth in China.

Updating a first aid kit for travelling light.

This non-travel time is a great time to go through your first aid kit. 

My first aid kit has pain medication, antihistamines (I get hay-fever), anti-diarrhoea medication, plasters for blisters and cuts, and a small range of dressings for wounds. I also carry some rehydration tablets for flights and if I get sick.

Many of these items I hardly use, so I went through them to check they hadn't expired. The ones that were near expiring I put into our family first aid kit so they get used. And I've now got a list of items in the kit that I need to replace. 

There's no point in buying them now as I may not be travelling internationally for a couple of years - they could expire in that time. But the list is ready and the kit will be easily restocked when the time comes.

It's time to check expiry dates in your First Aid Kit.

Right now we have lots of time to plan.

What better time to plan than now.

Before my first trip, I spent hours - a lot of hours - planning. 

I weighed everything. I had a spreadsheet of my items. I looked at different combinations of clothing. I mulled over whether my first aid kit was enough to get me through most situations. I compared rain ponchos. I even practised drying times of different clothes so that I would know what I could dry overnight (merino) or what needed a day in the sun (jeans).

If you need a place to start, head to my homepage. At the top is a link you can sign up to my newsletter and get my packing list guide for free.

Our travel may well be very limited at the moment. Why not use this time to plan for a lighter trip next time?

Happy travel planning,

Katherine x


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