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Packing tips from the Pros: Amanda Kelly

( travel light )

Packing tips from the Pros: Amanda Kelly

Born and raised in Sonoma County, California, Amanda has been travelling for over a year and a half now, and has been to over 25 countries. She loves the feeling of adventure she gets while travelling and she’s learned so much from other cultures. Amanda travels with a backpack only. She admits she’s a light packer; she likes to pack as minimally as possible. She thinks it helps so much when travelling, as you're carrying so much on your back. The lighter your bag, the easier the transport is going to be; which is why she is currently working on downsizing from a 44L to a CabinZero 28L backpack.

She is a digital nomad and currently running her own online business. She blogs about her travels and she runs a YouTube channel about minimalism and the ways it's changed her life. Minimalism helped her quit her 9-5, save a ton of money and start off her travel fund. She wouldn’t be travelling today if she hadn’t started living a minimalist lifestyle.

Now let’s learn from her, shall we?

Photo Credit: @amandaroundtheglobe

What's usually in your carry-on?

I travel carry-on only, so I pack everything in one bag. My essentials are my laptop, camera, swimsuits, clothes, toiletries, and a good pair of headphones (I’m obsessed with Spotify and Audible). I also like to bring a notebook, a paperback book and an eye mask.

Tell us about the usual type of clothes you bring when travelling? Do you pick your wardrobe meticulously; plan a day by day outfit, etc.)

To make sure everything matches, I dress in all neutral colours. I’ll bring black jeans, some black tank tops, a pair of jean shorts, a pair of khaki shorts, and maybe a white tank top. I am not the best at planning, I usually just wear whatever I feel like that day. I like to do a lot of hiking while travelling, so I always make sure to bring some exercise clothes as well. See my packing list here!

What's the best packing tip anyone has given you? Who gave it?

Roll your clothes! This saves so much space. I don’t remember where I found this tip, but it’s been a lifesaver.

Photo Credit: @amandaroundtheglobe

What is the best thing about packing light/heavy?

The best thing about packing light is how easy it is to pack! I really dislike the act of packing. When it’s time to pack, it’s easier for me to pack less, because it’s quicker! It’s also really beneficial when you are travelling to a ton of places, because you’ll be carrying your luggage around often.

How does your packing for a travel routine look like?

I am a last-minute packer for sure. I usually pack the day of my flight, and usually the morning of. If I have an early flight, I’ll pack the day before. I try to make it fun, so I’ll turn on some music, throw everything on the bed, and dance around as I’m rolling up my clothes.

When I was packing to leave Bali, I couldn’t fit everything in my backpack. I had 44 litres filled to the brim! I had to take out my day pack and fit the rest of my stuff in there, and then put my purse in there so I could call the day pack my personal item. When I went through security, I got pulled to the side. I ended up making some extra room in my bag after the TSA agent told me that you’re not allowed to bring a tripod in a carry-on. I was running a bit late, so I just took the tripod out and gave it to him, then sprinted to catch my flight.

How do you deal with "excess baggage" situations?

I’m not going to lie, I’ve snuck past the weigh station once or twice. My backpack fits all airline regulations for carry-on, but I tend to stuff it a bit too full. I’ll usually just leave some stuff at my hotel or send a parcel home before I head to the airport. After travelling for a while, I have gotten much better at deciding what is worth purchasing (and considering luggage space) before buying something new.

Photo Credit: @amandaroundtheglobe

What's your best-kept packing secret?

Bring less than you think you’ll need – anything you truly need, you’ll be able to buy at your destination. In my experience, it’s better to under pack than to over pack. Plus, that way you’ll have room if you do decide to buy anything.

Quick Q's

  • Favourite region? Central America
  • Favourite country? Costa Rica
  • Favourite city? Sydney, Australia or Berlin, Germany
  • Favourite beach? Playa Chiquita in Costa Rica (it’s hidden)
  • Favourite food? Anything Mexican!
  • Favourite mode of transport? (Land, water, air, etc) Water
  • Favourite book? The Alchemist
  • Window or aisle seat? WINDOW ALWAYS
  • Carry-on or check-in? Carry on
  • Hostel or hotel? Private room in a hostel – the best of both worlds
  • What's your favourite design from the Cabin Zero collection? My 28L Naga Red backpack

You can follow Amanda’s Blog: Amanda Around the Globe


Amanda answered all your questions about his best-kept packing tips, and now it’s your time to answer hers!

Amanda asks: “What was the funniest experience you’ve ever had while travelling?"

Click this link to answer the question and get a chance to win a 28L Cabin bag!

The winner will be announced on Monday, the 17th of July on the linked post on our Facebook Timeline.


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