How to travel lighter: 6 tips for more convenient and lower impact holidays

Matthew Bagwell is a seasoned traveller and co-founder of Seven Feet Apart. Here, he gives us his ultimate tips for travelling light

(Image credit: Seven Feet Apart)

Whether it is for business or pleasure, I love to travel. For business it might be a visit to one of our manufacturing partners in Portugal or the Far East, shoe exhibitions and shows in Europe or photographic locations for our campaigns. Wherever it is I am going, travelling lighter is essential; for convenience, speed and ease. But the idea goes further than that. For me, travelling lighter is also about my impact when I travel and buy travel-related products. 

Much like George Clooney in the film “Up in the Air” – and like many others who travel frequently – I’ve honed my packing and security skills to an art form!

So I have a few tricks up my sleeve in order to travel lighter: 

(Image credit: Moment App)

1. Keep the tech small

We optimise our kit by losing the big DSLR cameras and shooting with the Moment App (opens in new tab) and Lens; the photo application that gives you more control of your phone's camera, especially Depth of Field. You can knock out those backgrounds without an upgrade. And the lenses take mobile cameras to the next level. Big pictures in a tiny space. Another great idea that began life on Kickstarter! 

(Image credit: Gorilla )

2. Light but stable

When we need to keep our pack light but be able to shoot stable video, we use the GorillaPod system; it can be used to mount an iPhone (or a full size DSLR if you do decide to take one) and with its grippy legs, it can be attached to practically anything, anywhere.

(Image credit: Away)

3. Make sure you have the perfect case

I personally always take an Away Carry On (opens in new tab). When Jennifer Rubio's case fell to pieces on a trip, she decided to design her own replacement. We love the minimal style, organisation cubes – a revelation in packing – and the on-board power bank. Nice kit, living up to the hype and no more paranoid searching for the one plug socket in T5!

(Image credit: Seven Feet Apart)

4. Pack the right clothes

On one hand, I may need to be able to go seamlessly from a formal meeting with a factory owner to a photoshoot to the mad dash for the plane, all in style and comfort. So, choosing a few signature pieces in materials that never need ironing is a must for me. I love sustainable staples from The Cotton Story (opens in new tab) and as someone who only ever wears a white tee – one less thing to think about every day – theirs are perfect.

(Image credit: Seven Feet Apart)

5. Don’t pack too many shoes

On the other hand, I might have to move quickly from formal meetings to walking around a city taking pictures to casual catchups in coffee shops. And I really want to do this in one pair of shoes that I can fly in, walk miles in and depend on. My favourites are Flite from Seven Feet Apart (opens in new tab). They are super-lightweight and come in a multi-use packing cube which is used to deliver the shoe, pack the shoe in your case, and store the shoe – so no more single-use shoeboxes taking up space. The design is versatile; from business to casual wear – so no need to pack lots of shoes. Plus, they are 100% vegan, made from recycled plastic fibres with a unique sugarcane sole. 

(Image credit: Keep Cup)

6. Reduce the waste

There are some big steps we all have to consider related to sustainability and travel; for example, is every trip essential or could some of them be avoided? However, the tiny steps add up too, which is why I pack a Keep Cup Brew (opens in new tab) everywhere I go. It’s easy to carry, attractive, and brilliant to use, keeping my coffee warm and reducing the number of disposable cups going to landfill – the foundations of a great everyday carry item. 

With these great travel hacks, you can pack and travel lightly, knowing you have everything you need without hauling an enormous suitcase around.  Happy travels!

About the author

Matthew Bagwell is a seasoned traveller and co-founder of Seven Feet Apart (opens in new tab), a UK footwear brand. Founded in 2017, it’s purpose is to make every everyday journey better by creating brilliant shoes for the modern traveller. 

The shoes, known as Sevens, are crafted and engineered to deliver understated style, premium quality and outstanding comfort. SFA’s latest range of shoes – known as Fite – is entirely vegan and features the innovative Sugarcane Sole, a substantial environmental improvement over conventional EVA materials. 

Seven Feet Apart is committed to being sustainable, kind and better; the sale every pair of Sevens affords the preservation of 100ft2 of biodiverse, endangered land, in partnership with the World Land Trust (opens in new tab)

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