For few years now I have been looking for some useful packing tips, since the expat life started a whole new level of dragging stuff around Europe and of course I want it to be as convinient and light as possible. The internet is filled with different kinds of packing guides, most of them being such obvious tips as tucking your socks inside the shoes etc. With the lack of good tips, I decided to create a whole new philosophy for packing based on all these years of commuting and discovering new places.
I’ve also learnt, that you need to take your time. If I travel together with my boyfriend, I’m always the one with the lighter baggage – thought he spents five minutes, and I might spent 2 hours for the process. Now, I don’t want to brag, but I went to Seoul once for two weeks and had only a hand luggage, which was half full (…or maybe it was half empty?). I didn’t check-in my bag even on my way back, even though the other half was no filled with souveniers and new clothes, which I knew I was going to buy.
Now that my last trip to Nicaragua truly challenged my packing skills, since I brought my stand up paddle board with me, I wanted to write down the ideology behind my packing. Warning: it goes way beyond those tucked in socks.
Analyze the activities:
- Are you expecting to do a lot of shopping in the destination? If yes, leave a lot of space for the new purchases
- If 80% of your trip is sports, so should the insights of your suitcase be
- Shoes are the most tricky one, and I usually pick shoes first based on the activities I expect to do in the destination and then pick the clothes that fit to the shoes
Live like it was the 90’s:
- Leave laptops and tablets home: they’re nice activity on flights, but all the chargers etc. are bringing weight. I love writing, and on holidays I write with the good ol’ pen and paper. I have actually noticed, that everytime I even bother bringing a tablet with me in order to plan my trip, I never actually end up using it.
Think like a local:
- Pack based on the destination and not only what kind of weather they have: what are the cultural no-nos and what are you going to do there
- What kind of transportation methods are you using: should you go for a trolley or backbag? I once went island hopping in Thailand and went between the islands with a ferry. At that moment I was so happy having my backbag, when I saw many people dragging their trolleys in the sand and in the crowds. On the other hand, I’d never bring a backbag on a European city holiday
Practical without sacrificing the looks:
(tennis socks combined with sportssandals and a fannypack are not necessary)
- Mix n’ match: make sure you can combine the different pieces of clothing with each other
- Don’t bring stuff you’ve never worn – not the brand new ones you just bought nor the ones that have been hanging in your closet for ages with the tags on them. Especially with shoes (your feet will thank you)
- If you want to have one pair of festive shoes, in case you go out once, could you instead dress up a basic pair of shoes with a skirt or dress?
- It is only logic, that if you’re going to have a beach holiday, you’re probably not going to pack sweaters… I have overlived so many flights freezing my butt off, so I’ve learnt my lesson: airplanes are always, no matter above which country your flying, cold. So pack at least one long sleeved shirt and for longer flights some woollen socks.
So I am definitely not an expert, but I’ve so far managed to survive even longer trips with a very light luggage, and I truly believe it has made my travelling way more relaxed by avoiding the outfit crisis and space problems, and saved me from back ache. So the seed of my text? Take your time to pack – it’ll save time from your journey!