How to Travel the World with 10 Pounds or Less (Plus: How to Negotiate Convertibles and Luxury Treehouses)


The incredible Sony VAIO VGN-TXN27N laptop. This beauty is less than 2″ thick and weighs 2.8 lbs. If I add a few ounces of weight with the extended battery (on the right) and trick it out, I can get 15 hours of battery life. [Update: I now use a MacBook Air]

The name of the game in world travel is being “fashionably light.”

Practice in 30-plus countries has taught me that packing minimalism can be an art.

I returned from Costa Rica last Wednesday, and have since landed in Maui, where I’ll stay for one week. What did I pack and why? Check out the video…

I practice what I’ll label the BIT method of travel: Buy It There.

If you pack for every contingency — better bring the hiking books in case we go hiking, better bring an umbrella in case it rains, better bring dress shoes and slacks in case we go to a nice restaurant, etc. — carrying a mule-worthy load is inevitable. I’ve learned to instead allocate $50-200 per trip to a “settling fund,” which I use to buy needed items once they’re 100% needed. This includes cumbersome and hassle items like umbrellas and bottles of sunscreen that love to explode. Also, never buy if you can borrow. If you’re going on a bird watching trip in Costa Rica, you don’t need to bring binoculars — someone else will have them.

Here’s the Maui list, listed from top-to-bottom, left-to-right:


-1 featherweight Marmot Ion jacket (3 oz.!)

-1 breathable Coolibar long-sleeve shirt. This saved me in Panama.

-1 pair of polyester pants. Polyester is light, wrinkle-resistant, and dries quickly. Disco dancers and flashpackers dig it.

-1 Kensington laptop lock, also used to secure all bags to stationary objects.

-1 single Under Armour sock, used to store sunglasses

-2 nylon tanktops

-1 large MSR quick-dry microfiber towel, absorbs up to 7 times its weight in water

-1 Ziploc bag containing toothbrush, travel toothpaste, and disposable razor

-1 Fly Clear biometric travel card, which cuts down my airport wait time about 95%

-2 pairs of Exofficio lightweight underwear. Their tagline is “17 countries. 6 weeks. And one pair of underwear.” I think I’ll opt for two, considering they weigh about as much as a handful of Kleenex. One other nice side-effect of their weight: they’re much more comfortable than normal cotton underwear.

-2 pairs of shorts/swimsuits

-2 books: Lonely Planet Hawaii and The Entrepreneurial Imperative (the latter comes highly recommended. Check it out)

-1 sleeping mask and earplugs

-1 pair of Reef sandals. Best to get a pair with removable straps that go around the heel.

-1 Canon PowerShot SD300 digital camera with extra 2GB SD memory card. God, I love this camera more than words can describe. It is the best designed piece of electronics I have ever owned. I now use it not only for all of my photos and videos, but also as a replacement for my scanner. I’m considering testing the newer and cheaper SD1000.

-1 coffee harvesting hat to prevent my pale skin from burning off.

-1 Kiva keychain expandable duffel bag

-1 Chapstick, 1 Mag-Lite Solitaire flashlight, and 1 roll of athletic tape. The last is a lifesaver. It’s as useful as duct tape for repairing objects but gentle enough to use on injuries, which I am fond of inflicting on myself.

-1 Lewis and Clark flex lock (for luggage, lockers, zippers, or whatever I need to lock down/shut/together). Standard mini-padlocks are often too cumbersome to thread through holes on lockers, etc.

-1 Radio Shack kitchen timer, which I’ve been using to wake up for about five years. The problem with using a cell phone alarm to wake up is simple: the phone needs to be on, and even if you use vibrate, people can call and wake you up before you want to wake up. The second benefit to using a kitchen timer if that you know exactly how much sleep you are — or aren’t — getting, and you can experiment with things like caffeine power naps of different durations… but that’s another post 😉

What are your favorite must-pack items, multi-purpose tools, and lightweight winners?


How to Negotiate Convertibles and Luxury Treehouses… and Videos from Costa Rica:

The secret to getting what you want is first asking for what you want, then negotiating if you don’t get it. The first part is the most neglected.

Most people never learn to ask for something properly, so they always get push-back and end up negotiating. I cover dealmaking and negotiating exhaustively in The 4-Hour Workweek, as well as in the bonus chapter,“How to Get $700,000 in Advertising for $10,000.” Let’s look at how to win the fight before it starts.

I wanted this trip to Maui, my first to Hawai’i, to be an experience of personal firsts.

Here are a few: driving a convertible sports car on the Hana Highway, flying in a helicopter, sleeping in a full-size treehouse, and scuba diving the back wall of Molokini crater. I fulfilled all of them in the first 72 hours.

How I got a Mustang turbo convertible for $278 (gas included) instead of $542 (gas not included):

I bought my plane ticket to Maui about 24 hours before I left, so I landed in luau land with no reservations of any kind. There was only one rental company, so I had to get my convertible from them. Here are the pointers that got me from $542 to $278:

1. The first representative at the desk wouldn’t play ball with discounts, so I told her that I need to take a phone call outside, took a 5-minute walk, and came back to test another rep. Choosing the person on the other side of the table — just like choosing a slot machine vs. playing slots well — is more important than negotiating technique.

2. People who get what they want, just like good negotiators or PR folk, are good conversationalists. Here’s what I said:

“Hey, man. How goes it? I’m so excited to be here. [After giving him my license and info] If you have any discounts I can use — AAA, student, magic elf, or anything at all — I’d really, really appreciate it. I’m on a budget, so whatever you can do would be awesome.”

Notice that I’m asking for what I want without asking at all. The result: $278 with gas included instead of $542 without gas.

How I got a sold-out luxury treehouse for free:

This one is even better. It’s the high tourist season in Maui. It’s so popular to drive from Kahalui to Hana for coastline and waterfalls that my local helicopter pilot said: “Thinking of staying over in Hana? Forget about it. You’ll never get a room.”

Well, I had thought about it, and I wanted nothing more than to stay in one of the famous full-size treehouses in the rain forest. Doing this in the high season is something like showing up for the last game of the World Series and asking for box seats at the door. So I called the treehouse gods and here’s how it went down:

Me: “Hi. I’m really, really hoping that you have vacancies for tonight. Please say yes.”

Goddess of the Treehouses: “Nope. Totally booked.”

Me: “Oh, no. My dream is crushed. Are you sure? Do you have anything at all? Even a dilapidated and unsafe one? [I pause while she first takes me seriously, then laughs] Hmmm… Is there anything at all I can do?”

Goddess: [long pause] “Well… how about a work trade?”

Me: “Sounds like fun. What do you mean?”

Goddess: “Moving some dirt.”

Me: “For sure! I love it. How long would it take?” [Note: I actually do love hard manual labor. It demands full attention, and the repetitive motion is like repeating a mantra. Call me crazy.]

Goddess: “About an hour.”

We talk for another 20 minutes, and she decides that she would feel guilty if she forced me to shovel while on vacation. I was secretly disappointed, but no matter: she and I met up at the treehouse, and after a trip to a small alcove beach together and much conversation, my stay ended up being free. Not only that, but I was adopted by a wild dog — the cutest puppy you’ve ever seen — who then played companion for the entire time. Dig it.

Be a joker when you can, be pitiful when needed, and learn to get a laugh as you field test the most valuable skill in the world: asking for what you want. If all else fails in Hawai’i, just tell them “Kama aina,” which means you’re a local. It should get you an automatic 15-20% off in most places. Don’t tell them I told you 😉

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Here are some clips from my recent trip to Costa Rica:

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361 Replies to “How to Travel the World with 10 Pounds or Less (Plus: How to Negotiate Convertibles and Luxury Treehouses)”

  1. Hi Andrea,

    Cool — BJJ is fun. No need to get hit in the face. Just do the grappling and skip MMA sparring. Be sure to wear a mouthguard and headgear, though, as missing teeth and cauliflower ears are not good for attracting the opposite sex. At least, not the people you want to attract!

    Anyone reading this not know about cauliflower ears? Here you go:

    With that image in my head, I bid you all goodnight 🙂


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  3. Hello Tim!

    Great post! Me and my boyfriend already bought a light towel for our Norway hike!

    I have some other great LIGHT suggestion for a notebook.

    Check for Panasonic CF-W5 – it weighs 2.64 lbs and the battery life is 10,5 hours. Moreover, this is a rugged model; you can even stand on it and nothing will happen! I love this awesome notebook!

    Have a good day!



  4. Hi Tim,

    I thought cauliflowers ears would be a nice accessory to my look…no?

    Actually, I’ve always stopped myself by the thought of the accidental elbows to the face in a submission attempt gone awry, or other such thing which I’ve seen on my BJJ buddies, who to be fair are brown & black belts and, well…guys. I’m super excited to start!

    Today on the road trip I’m heading to Tapout’s world headquarters (which I think sounds way better than corporate offices) to check out my friend’s new digs, which is making me even more stoked that I’ve finally committed to learning BJJ.

    The road awaits, I’m only 2x a day e-mail & my hour’s almost up 🙂 Have an amazing day…andrea

    p.s. sent a quick e-mail to Amy last night, didn’t realize that you read your own mail, hope it gets forwarded to you.

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  6. Tim, here is a question that no one seems to answer. Health care. How do you afford it, use it internationally, etc. I will be self employed soon and I am curious about the BEST path.

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    In fact there are still many problems to solve, it’s been a tough way so far. Therefore we are in need of supports. Your help will be most appreciated no matter in what aspects. It could be supporting us technically, joining us, spreading it out, giving us suggestions or anything else you could think of. You name it, we do it.

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    (Jane, James, Pizza and Dawn)

  8. The towels are no longer available on amazon. Too many people saw your site I guess. And the flex lock link is dead.

  9. Hi Tim,

    I took my wife to Maui in February for our 10th anniversary… it was fun & beautiful! Did you get a chance to see the sunrise from Haleakala? We watched the sunrise, biked down the volcano 30 miles, and ate breakfast at an awesome place in Paia. Then we fell asleep on the beach 🙂

    I also recommend Mama’s Fish House, on the road to Hana!! The best restaurant experience I’ve ever had!

    Thanks for sharing your life!


  10. Tim,

    What is the quickest way to liquidate a 3000 square foot house and all of the belongings in order to persue my ultimate dream of buying a sailboat and traveling the world.

  11. Also, Tim, what type of pack do you usually carry? I’ve had trouble finding a good travel pack that is both big enough to fit my large (as in tall, ~22″ in traditional backpack measurement) frame comfortably, yet small enough to not look like I’m off to the outback for a month.

  12. Chris,

    My wife and I decided to move from Montana to Ireland on the 9th of December, 2003 and landed on the 31st to celebrate the new year in a new country.

    1. Start triaging your ‘stuff’ – a.) Valuable to you – not valuable to others (photos, family heirlooms, etc), b.) short term necessary items (clothes, 1 camera, life vests, etc), c.) not needed .

    2. Pack away the a things into boxes.

    3. Put the b things into a suitcase.

    4. Host a house sale where people wander around your house and buy the c stuff that’s there after you have put your a & b stuff into storage.

    5. Get some friends to load up everything that is left after the house sale and donate it to the Salvation Army (books can go to your local library).

    6. Let your real estate agent deal with selling the house via direct power of attorney or give that power to a relative or friend that you trust.

    7. Buy your boat.

    8. Put your b stuff on it. (And some of the a stuff)

    9. Sail away.

    That’s essentially what we did.

  13. Steven,

    Congrats on living your dream!!! I like where your heads at on boxing up and getting it done. We are talking about buying a townhouse or condo for a home base and moving only the things we love into that. Wife is a realtor so selling should be simple. Thanks.

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  15. I like your blog an your videos. I was bummed in the packing video because I couldn’t really see the gear, the bright window and floor length lamp were behind you shining into the lens! You might try shooting away from the window as well as being in open shade when outside (sorry always the photographer, but you want people to like and want your stuff). I agree with your camera I have an SD400 that I love. You may want to look at an SD700. It has image stabilization and will especially smooth out the video. I suggest this over the SD 800,850, or 900 because the 700 IS is outgoing tech (somewhat) and cost less now, about $200 instead of $349 or $399. Wait awhile it will all get cheaper.


  16. Speaking of traveling light anyone know the brand/version of PDA that Tim discusses finding (on the pod cast interview) that allows for calendar, contacts, etc. to sync and you can turn off the email function?




    Hi TG!

    It’s the Palm Z22, but note that you cannot “turn on” the e-mail function, as it doesn’t exist 😉


  17. Thanks for the great packing list! I’m definitely going to try it out on my next trip. What is the longest trip you taken using this minimalist packing? I’m taking a 30 day trip to China next year, and am wondering if I can swing such a packing list. Any suggestions???

  18. Dear Tim,

    all the best for your ankle.

    I escaped 9-5 before I read your book… and now your book is a great help to get an idea what to do now.

    Good luck and all the best for you


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  20. Just got my two pair of Exofficio lightweight underwear. The most comfortable underwear I’ve ever put on!!

    Thanks Tim!!

  21. Tim,

    I’m in the midst of reading your book and will be passing it on to my 16 y.o. son soon. I just wanted to say you are a delight in that you are so open and approachable in your style of communicating with people who are interested in what you have to share. Your ability to laugh at yourself in certain situations, and make us ALL feel better about ourselves, is also much appreciated and rarely found in best-selling authors of any genre. I wish you continued blessings and success as you allow others to benefit from the lessons, experiences and trials you have encountered in your relatively few years in the world.

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  23. Jordan-128

    My minimalist packing started 20 years ago when I spent 30 days in Italy working as a sous chef at an art school for professional artists in Umbria, with another week in Rome, and packed everything into a single carry on. Select two complimentary colors (I used b/w) and one accent color (red for me), then take no more than 3 tops and 3 bottoms, 3 pairs of microfiber undies (breathable/quick drying)…then follow the rest of Tim’s list for “essentials” to take. You can buy anything else you really need after you arrive.

    After work I touring and socializing like mad w/the 24 Australian artists in residence (youngest was 27, oldest was 82…talk about a fun group of folks!), travelled throughout Umbria and points beyond geting in touch w/the locals where they live/work/play/eat/etc. (I even had Italian tourists asking me questions…in Italian, no less…about where to go/what to do, etc.

    Final note: I could have taken just 2 of the above clothing and still felt comfortable/well dressed/appropriately dressed, regarless of where I was and what I was doing. And you will definitely need the expanding duffle to lug home the gifts you’ll bring back ^_^)

  24. Dude,

    How can you pack such good choices in clothes etc yet pack one of the worst flashlights on earth. Ill donate this research for free since I did enjoy your book.

    Maglite Solitaire (Junk) –

    Arc AAA-P (Awesome) –

    Go buy yourself an Arc and trust me, I fully anticipate you will blog about it, since it is so small, durable & good battery life yet bright.


  25. Possible alternative to the Sony Vaio – Samsung Q1 Ultra Mobile PC – 7-inch screen, 1.7 lbs or any of the other Ultra Mobile PCs.

  26. Tim,

    It always looks like you are traveling alone…..

    I do understand how hard it is to find other people that have the means and time to travel.

    You should start a small travel club that consists of like 5-10 people that randomly travel.

    Someone can post a trip they want to take and the other people can come if they wish.

    It would be a blast!

    Luke Hoppel

  27. Hubby David intro’d me to your site and has mentioned your site on ours as well. I loved your packing light ideas…gives me some ideas for holiday stocking stuffers for hubby. Me? Still struggling to get down to the needs vs. the might-needs…but now I’m down to 1 bag for a long weekend vice 2. LOL

  28. Right on. Keep packing light.

    I was in La Fortuna in ’98, same catarata. I met a lazy tourguide who, after a few cervezas, let me lead some turistas up to the waterfall via horseback without charging me his fee; a Delta stewardess, and a retired Isreali soldier. I’m sure that I did a better job than he could have done, we all had a blast!

    Have you met my friend Casey Fenton on your travels? It was amazing what he started while he was managing political campaigns up here in Alaska. Visiting the Montreal collective is on my todo list.

    My husband and I are leaving for BsAs on Saturday. We already have the apartment, Spanish lessons, and dinner at SaltShaker’s home lined up. I know it’s not the best time of year, but we’re looking forward to the extreme change in climate. Would you recommend any local AR bloggers (AKA: locals in the know)? We are still waffling on whether to tour vineyards in Mendoza or Salta.

    I’ve enjoyed reading 4HWW. You outline the foundational motivations of our generation succinctly. Application of the Elimination and Automation steps is challenging and seems to be a life long challenge.

    toodle pip,


  29. Aloha! I live in Maui and work at the Hyatt front desk. I just finished reading your book and am a little disappointed that it is over because I was learning so much.

    Just wanted to say concerning negotiating at our hotel all one must do is ask nicely. Don’t be pushy, but ask nicely. I am much more helpful to those who make me laugh or are genuinely nice. For those that come in and demand things and yell at me they will get the worst room on the first floor. Make my day pleasant and I’ll make yours pleasant. Seems pretty fair to me. haha

  30. Tim, love the BIT method and use it myself when I travel (which is rarely).

    If you’re serious about the “Buy it there” method, why the heck would you travel with toothbrush, toothpaste, and disposable razor? Are you seriously traveling somewhere that you can’t buy those things for five bucks at any corner store?


    Hi V!

    LOL… good point. I could, but I already have about a dozen sets, so I take the smallest toiletries with me. For me, the real trick is avoiding cumbersome/heavy/unwieldy “I might need this” items like excessive clothing and choosing BIT when needed.


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  32. I’ve been following ultralight theory as applied to wilderness backpacking… check out these companies for really lightweight stuff.






  33. Man, what kind of cellphone do you have? Even old model cellphones don’t have stay turned on to get that alarm to work for you. You can check, ok. Set the alarm to a minute after the local time you have there, turn the phone off and wait for it to come to life with alarm bells ringing/beeping. This way you won’t have to lug around that kitchen timer!

  34. Well hello there. It was a joy to watch your video. You are devilishly handsome, which I’m sure helps in your quest for all things cheap and free. 🙂

    Happy Travels!

  35. Tim said that you can’t leave your phone off and use it as an alarm. I’ve owned both Nokia and Sony Ericson handsets which have this functionality. At the given time the alarm goes off, even if the phone has been switched off all night. Guess you just need to check your model.

    On the ball with the borrowing stuff idea – my brother walked the Camino de Compostella, just using his phone when needed, and charging it using other people’s chargers in the Refugios. Saved a lot of winding on his emergency hand cranked charger!

    Just recently there’s been some research that relates evening phone use to poor sleep patterns – but that’s a different matter…

  36. Throw out the kitchen timer Tim, doesn’t your mobile phone have “Offline” mode? Or “Flight Mode” maybe? It turns off the antenna so you won’t get ANY calls or messages, leaving your phone alarm clock to do its job by itself 🙂

  37. I am another person that likes to travel light — I always try to get away with nothing more than my travel backpack and my purse.

    My personal best (for which I STILL overpacked) was a two week trip to Canada for World Youth Day. I needed stuff to span hiking in a national forest, mowing yards and pruning trees for work-service, a banquet, camping outdoors, and being a roving reporter for 15 days without access to laundry. I still managed to do it with my travel backpack and a fannypack. In addition to clothes, I managed to take along a light sleepsack, a bivvy sack for rain, a hiking pole , first aid kit, towel, toiletries for showers and personal hygiene, some food items, a totally annoying device that was a precursor to a mini-computer, my digital camera, an inflatable pillow, a jacket, a rain poncho and a book. The pack was a little heavier than I’d like but I really squeezed in in there.

    It rained a lot and I wasn’t quite prepared for that or the sheer nuisance of toting around my hiking boots when I wasn’t wearing them, but I managed to survive just fine.

    OH — but one problem was I didn’t pack sunscreen and never managed to be in a spot to buy it, so I do disagree about not packing some basic toiletries.

    This is the only way to travel.

  38. Re: Notebook computers. Picked up an Asus Eee Pc in Bangkok this past November for 11,000 baht, under 400 bucks. Does everything a road warrior needs without the bullshit. Lot’s of info on the net these days about it so I won’t go into detail. Suffice to say that if any computer toting ne’er do well listed what they ‘actually’ do with their notebook, I doubt anyone needs more than this 2 pounder I’m tapping on right now. And at about 10/15 % the price of a Sony Tz/Tx or a Panasonic Toughbook, I’d wince if it was stolen or slipped off the deck of a sailboat into the drink, but I wouldn’t cry.

  39. I really like the BIT system. I find myself looking through things I’ve packed saying I would never bring this backpacking, because I would have to carry the extra weight.

    I see little difference between the Airport and the Yosemite Valley, 10lbs on your back is 10 lbs on your back.

    Lee Rodrigues, M.A.Ed.

    Teacher, Coach, Comic


  41. Tim, excellent book! Thank you! From reading your blog, I recall you mentioned a sleep aid that you prefer for use on long flights. What is that product?

    Thanks again.

  42. Hi Tim,

    Love it all.

    I needed your packing tips for our first cruise last week.

    I am trying to find some time now to put into play some of your lifestyle tips…I read your book in August and love it. I have recommended it often and love the thinking mode it puts me in. Anything is possible!

    Your code is kinda goofy on this particular post – I am just using a regular PC and it is not showing links, just a lot of coding and symbols.

    Anyway, hugs to you –


  43. Hi Tim,

    I posted an entry here last night, but not sure where it went! Anyway, thanks for the packing tips- love them. Wish I would have had them last week when hubby and I went on first cruise. Crazy-ass packing. I couldn’t have gotten it down to as light as above, but it sure would have helped. Oh well, next time!

    Love your thinking and living. I read your book in August and am looking forward to implementing several items you suggest (been in slight delay mode, have had some issues to address over the last several months, you can check out blog if you’d like to know more!). I have put my head in tune with many of your lifestyle suggestions – VA, travel, shortened workweek, etc. I have recommended your book to many and love your spin on the world. Keep going~

    Also, the Eee PC (someone mentioned above) is super awesome for traveling. Light, small, email, office stuff, camera, inexpensive. Love it.

    Lastly, your code does show in your above entry rather than (video?) links. I am only using a regular PC. Thought you’d like to know.

    Take care!



  44. Tim, what kind of pack do you use when you are traveling? I’m going to be in Cairo for a while, and will probably be doing quite a bit of traveling while I am there, any recommendations?

  45. Actually I would add one to that … don’t bring a laptop. Granted you won’t have your nice configuration where you go but it sure saves a lot of hassle, worrying, and space.

    My question for you is:I just spent a month living in the UK for a class, which means we were confined to a hotel for the stay and had a greatly unfavorable conversion rate. I ended up packing 1 big duffel bag [with an extra collapsible bag inside], and my carry on bookbag [books etc]. Would you change your advice for those circumstances?

    The advice on getting places to stay for cheap was brilliant.

  46. Tim, if you enjoy the SD300, you should check out the Canon TX1. I carried it in my pocket for 10 weeks and 3 continents this summer and was very pleased. It’s just a little larger than the SD300, but still fits in your pocket and can shoot 720P HD video, great for posting on HD youtube sites like

  47. Hi Tim,

    I generally negotiate most things like hotel upgrades, cell phone contracts etc(I am after all an Indian) but car rentals was something that I just didn’t do. Thanks to your article I recently upgraded to a Mustang GT from a normal intermediate for no extra cost ! I more or less repeated your lines and it worked like a charm.

    Thanks & cheers !!

  48. I’ve been to Japan this month and what really helped me was wearing that cafepress T-shirt with “I WANT TO TRAVEL THE WORLD” written on it.

  49. The information you provide in your blog is really amazing; I am fascinated! I found it by mistake and I got stuck reading several sections. I first read the language decodification stuff which I plan to practice to speed up my learning of Norwegian 🙂

    But I got also curious with the losing weight plan. I have myself that sort of routine during the weekdays, high protein and low-carb diet. Being a scientist a bit obsessed about evolution and adaptations I got to the conclusion that the healthiest diet for a human has to be something similar to what our ancestors ate some thousands of years ago. We are not adapted to deal with the amounts of carbohydrates and sugars the nowadays diet offer. Even the so-called “natural” items such as fruits have been domesticated and are much bigger and richer in sugars than their wild (ancestral) counterpart. I would like more info about the training plan, but luckily I am naturally equipped with an athletic build and I easily get in shape. However, I lack stamina. Tim, do you have any trick to improve this? I am more the fast and strong type and my endurance is really shameful, though I’ve always practiced sports (mainly soccer). Iron oral supplementation helps a bit… What do you know about it? Please help! 🙂

    I also looked at the light-traveling packing. I am always seeking to optimize my load when traveling and I’ve learnt a lot (the hard way!). As a biologist in Colombia we often had excursions in the field and had to walk for many hours to the camp site. I learnt that, in the end of the day, you always wear the same clothes. You only need three different changes: the ones for traveling (clean) while on civilization, the dirty ones for fieldwork, and the clean and dry for sleeping. I also take a very compact towel (Speedo) which is a tip I learnt from people that practice dives. I doesn’t have to (and shouldn’t!) dry. You just wring it and keep it wet. It was funny the sock-glasses-case; I’ve done myself! It is comforting to me to see that I am not the only “eccentric” person 😀 I also like the approach of buying at the last minute only if absolutely needed 🙂 I decided that I prefer to miss something I didn’t bring that bringing something I didn’t need 😛

    I struggle with my boyfriend when we travel. I always tell him that he seems the woman in the couple 😛 I don’t know how to get him to be more practical when packing! We are going to Kenya and Tanzania in the summer and he mentioned his intention of bringing a hard suitcase instead of a rucksack! I already told him that I will supervise while he packs and that he can forget about bringing three pair of shoes and other useless things! Tim, as you have traveled a lot, maybe you have been in Africa before and can give me some advice of what to bring and, most important, what to leave back home? The “dealing strategy” is also very interesting. I should try that!

    Very, very nice blog… thanks for it! I really enjoyed very much and I may be visiting you again 😉


  50. I am able to pack for a 2-week vacation using one carryon plus my purse (okay, it’s not my purse but what does the airline know?). Even so I still pack way too much stuff and have to ask my husband to lift the bag into the overhead bin on an airplane. My goal is to reduce it again by half. One of the tricks I’ve started to use is to pack one reversible skirt. I have a couple that are wrinkle-free and terrific for travel. Thanks for the awesome tips! I swear I’ll stop packing so many panties!

  51. While I am able to pack in one carry-on and a “purse” for a 2-week vacation, I am inspired to do better! My carry-on is too heavy for me to lift in the overhead so I have to rely on my husband. Next time, I’m cutting it in half. I discovered several lightweight non-wrinkling reversible skirts by CAbi – Carol Anderson by Invitation on eBay and plan to take one along. I also use his BIT (Buy It There) method, especially since the airlines want “liquid” products in a ziploc bag.

  52. An alternative to the Coolibar shirts are the Rail Riders. I have the Eco Mesh and used it last on a Pyrenees summer hike. It worked really well in those high altitude but bright and hot sunny days.

    Instead of the Maglite, I have a Petzl e+Lite which, at 45g, can be strapped around your head or clipped to an object, has 2 different white leds, a strobe mode, and a red led. For those that’ll complain about the lack of availability of the batteries, it’s led so lasts a hell of a long time and carrying around spares weighs nothing. Besides being so light and small, the design of this thing is magnificent.

    On the alarm, besides the cell phone option, I use a Casio wristwatch which has an alarm.

  53. Thanks for this post, I’m just getting ready to take off on my own trip… the 4HWW way!! Yeah! Definitely taking notes on what to pack, etc. Another good travel site is

    Very cool, thanks!


  54. I don’t know what phone you have, Tim,

    but I have a crappy old Motorola that rings the alarm even when it’s off…

    Great tips! I won’t drag the timer along, though. 😉

  55. Have you heard of, a family of 3 (with a cute daughter who plays the violin) who sold all their stuff and have been traveling the world for 2 years, on $25,000 a year?

    Here’s their video (featured on YouTube):

    ~ Elizabeth