Let's face it⁠—nobody likes extra baggage! Traveling with just a backpack keeps you light on your feet, takes you further off the beaten path, and just makes life simpler. But just like everything else, minimalist travel takes a bit of trial and error—and a lot of discipline. After all, even the most experienced travelers fight the urge to overpack. Whether you are planning a weekend trip, a two-week trip, or a two-month trip, with a little know-how, you too can master the art of traveling with just one small bag.

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01Choose the right backpack

The most critical thing about traveling with just a backpack is—you guessed it! The backpack. Traveling light is inexpensive, but this is notthe time to go cheap. You don't want your only luggage to fall apart within the first few days of your adventure. Nor do you want a bag that you realize hurts your shoulders while you're still at the airport. For this reason, you'll want to physically try on a variety of backpacks instead of ordering one online and crossing your fingers.

Bottom line: make sure you really love your backpack.

Young Hippie girl taking a walk on top of a mountain and enjoying the day. rear view South_agency / Getty Images