We’ve all been there.

Forced to lie across your suitcase, leveraging your full body weight to close the zip.

Or worse still,  the undignified dive into your suitcase at the airport to avoid paying excess baggage fees.

And then there is the trip itself, lugging 25 kilograms of stuff around while the cool kids whisk on and off local transport with little more than a day pack.

Packing for the trip of a lifetime is tricky and traveling light is an art form in itself.

What should you take? What should you leave at home? How many pairs of underwear do you need?

Our travel photographers and videographers Jan and Mark spend months every year on the road, so we figured who better to ask for travel packing tips?

They have recently returned from 2 months in India and both of them only had a small carry-on pack (don’t get too jealous, they also had to carry around all their camera gear so they could capture the magnificent images we all love so much).

Here’s what they packed in addition to their toiletries:

  • 2 pairs of shorts
  • 1 pair of long pants
  • 3 sets of underwear
  • 3 pairs of socks
  • 3 t-shirts

(Pretty impressive, right?)

And here’s a bonus “must-have” list specific for India

  • A lightweight top sheet or sheet bag (silk is worth the investment as it is lightweight and cool) as top sheets are often not provided.
  • A portable water heater for that all important morning coffee.
  • Flushable toilet wipes .
  • Gaffer tape (Mark tells me he has used this on everything from his camera gear to the side mirror of a car door.)
  • Packets of nuts in case it turns out to be a long time between meals.

The secret, according to Jan, is a lightweight clothesline so you can wash every night and remember, you can always buy more things as you need them.