Photographer Jill Paider has traveled the world for years, and like many of us, she's passionate about documenting her trips, but for a different reason. She told Travel + Leisure, "Places change so much over time. For example, in China, entire neighborhoods are gone and there are new ones to visit that weren’t there before. It seemed important in our rapidly changing world to document those places in something more permanent than Instagram or social media."
Jill, who has written more than 10 books, wrote "Carry-On Only: Confessions from 100 Countries," which she calls a "memoir of travel, photography and 13 books in the making."
Out of the 100 countries she's been to, she visited 91 of them with only a carry-on bag. Jill thinks it's better to pack light because "it's important to have the ability to carry your own things. In certain countries, you're in a small car, or even on the back of a motorcycle, so traveling light is critical."
So how exactly does she figure out what to bring? Jill shared, "I start with a master checklist that I print out every time to be sure I have all the basics—vitamins, medications, toiletries, adaptors, chargers, etc. Then I think about what I'll need based on climate, temperature, functions I'll attend, and what I'll be doing. Like most of us, I lay things out and then eliminate some as I go." She focuses more on "bringing nicer outerwear, like a good jacket, because that's what people see."
Her ultimate secret, however, is finding the perfect all-purpose shoe. For Jill, it's a pair of boots: "You can walk in them all day and then wear them with a dress or leggings if you're going out to dinner, and it's still acceptable."
As for her advice for all the over-packers out there: "Less is more. You'll make it easier on yourself if you edit before you travel. It will be simpler logistically getting through airports and hotels. Have outfits planned so that you're not debating what to wear each morning as you dress. Embrace laundering as you go or use laundry service at your hotel. Edit your shoes, focusing on comfort."
For the entire interview, visit Travel + Leisure.
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