Student Flights


#1 Travel Light - from The 5 Most Important Things I learnt as a Backpacker...

Published May 5th, 2011

Meet Lizzy, our Resident Backpacker Extraordinaire! Her passion in life is backpacking, amongst other things, but the others aren’t nearly as interesting! She has travelled on and off for the past 10 years, lived in 5 different countries, and visited over 35 countries across South, Central, and North America, Europe, Asia, Africa and the Caribbean. She now lives in Montreal, Canada with her partner where she constantly confuses the French word for ‘maybe’ for the word for ‘potato’ and plans her next big trip.


This is Lizzy’s first blog post from this series "The 5 most important things I learnt as a backpacker"...


#1 Travel Light

Like all good Australians I left on my first backpacking adventure when I was 18 years old, fresh out of high school and ready to conquer Europe. Being a low maintenance gal who could totally live without the finer things in life, I packed the bare essentials.  A 23 kilo backpack (complete with 6 pairs of shoes) and two 7 kilo day packs.  Basically if the airport allowed the weight, I was bringing it.

#1 Pack Light!


I remember walking down a street in London by Victoria station, and dropping one of my day packs. As I bent down to pick it up, the weight from my back toppled me over and I ended up lying on the ground face up, rocking back and forth like a turtle who couldn’t get up, a stranger actually had to come and help me or I would still be there!


But alas, I thought I would need it all, I was travelling for over 3 months and it seems I was convinced there would be no shops anywhere I was going. So me and my 37 kilos of luggage set off on our adventure.


To my own credit it was about 6 weeks before I lost it. I was in Slovakia and had spent the day walking from non-existent hotel to non-existent hotel because I was carrying an out of date lonely planet. Upon finally finding a hotel that was open, and checking in, the delirium of my pack weight hit me and I started ‘down sizing’.


Now down-sizing is probably putting it lightly, I lost it completely. I threw out everything. I’m talking shirts, pants, shoes, underwear – at least half of everything I owned, and most of everything that was actually useful. On checking out of the hotel the next day, I was a bag down and 20 kilos lighter. Despite the fact that I had to go shopping 2 days later and buy underwear.


So I did have to wear the same thing almost every day for the next 2 months, every time I had to walk up a hill to get to the cheapest hostel, or get on over packed buses, I was always happy that I had learnt to travel light.


For the best advice on how to pack  light, contact Student Flights on 1800 046 462 to speak to a consultant or visit

Student Flights' Guest Bloggers

At Student Flights, we've tapped into the knowledge of travel experts and gave them the task to write guest blog articles for us. These posts are written by Guest Bloggers who understand what it takes to travel far and wide - making your dollar go that little bit further. So during the planning stage of your next big trip, have a read of what our Guest Bloggers have to say.