The Minimalist's Guide to Globetrotting

Save the planet (and your time) by traveling lighter.

learn more about Mike Swigunski

By Mike Swigunski

Claudiu Maxim | EyeEm | Getty Images

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

In a world where offices have become increasingly obsolete, the trend that is "digital nomads" (i.e. fulltime employees, or freelancers, with online jobs that allow them to travel for pleasure while maintaining their careers) will continue to grow as the pandemic subsides.

Highly mobile careerists have a responsibility to reduce carbon footprints and help fight climate change. To do this, we need to become smarter as to how we fly the currently less-friendly skies while reducing the amount of (mostly) unnecessary ornaments we carry with us.

Related: How to Become a Travel Influencer on Instagram?

Bag the right bag

Start by finding a suitcase that is slightly smaller than the average carry-on standards for most airlines. Make sure it's big enough to hold all of the things that you need, but not too bulky that it will hinder you from easily storing it in an overhead bin on the airplane.

If you are traveling with a laptop, then consider where the item will be placed in it's easily vulnerable holder. If your MacBook-relegated pocket sits at the bottom of the bag with weight on the top of it? Purchase a different parcel.

At the same time, try to find a receptacle that makes real use of its space. For example: Certain backpacks can open up like a suitcase while some suitcases come with both wheels and shoulder straps like a backpack. Choose wisely.

Kill carbon footprints

Doing our part to combat climate change can start with something as simple as trying to take direct flights to your destination while exploring ways to "off-set" those evil carbon footprints.

Taking carpools, buses and other forms of public transportation, if a flight is going to be around three hours, helps save an astonishing amount of fuel.

When you do choose to fly: Pick a company that is committed to higher standards towards helping the environment. JetBlue, Southwest, and British Airways are some sky staples to consider with regards to their protocols towards reducing carbon footprints.

Related: How to Become a Travel Influencer on Instagram?

Help yourself by helping your hosts

Supporting ma-and-pa owned businesses is a gimme for both visitors (when it comes to enjoying unique and authentic local dishes) and proprietors (who enjoy our money).

Another way to aid the residents, rather than the resident chains, is how we commute once we arrive: Instead of relying on multinational bus companies, use local ride share apps while making it a point to look out for, and support, the area's drivers and dispatchers. If there is public transportation funded by the people? Research the most respected option and then reward them with your tourism dollars.

Attacking overpacking

Not to overstate the obvious when it comes to overthinking your wardrobe, but the less stuff you have to carry? The easier it will be when traveling across borders, between hotels, and on flights. Frequent fliers can cut down on days of lost time just by ditching the idea of "checked bags", period.

For example: These days we're allotted one carry-on, period, while suffering exorbitant charges for an additional backpack that must be checked. Not only will this require more money spent, but lots of unnecessary time that you would otherwise spend leaving the airport and going straight to your new accommodation.

Minimalistic travelers learn to excel at (and even enjoy) cultivating the skill set that is fitting bare essentials into carry-on size bags...whether they're gone for a weekend...or weeks.

Related: 7 Travel Hacking Tips for Any Type of Traveler

Mike Swigunski

Founder of Globalcareer.io, Author of Global Career Book

Mike Swigunski is the founder of the remote job board GlobalCareer.io and author of the best-selling book Global Career: How to Work Anywhere & Travel Forever. Swigunski has worked in and traveled to more than 85 countries over the past decade and loves writing about remote work and entrepreneurship.

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