The Mysterious Art of Packing

suitcase1 sarahghost flickrphoto by sarah ghost

Whether you’re hitting the road for a weekend or several months, when it comes to packing, everything can fall apart.  Of course, the length of your trip will highly influence how much you take and I plan to do some more specific guides in the future.  For today I’ve simply gathered up some of my top tips for happy packing.

Pack as little as possible.
This should become your packing mantra! Why? Not only because airlines these days can have luggage limits as low as 15kg (33lb), or only allow carry-on luggage, but because too much luggage will truly get in your way. As many a wise-traveler has said, “you pack it, you carry it”. Remember these words.  A half-full suitcase is a happy suitcase!

Need, not want.
Similarly, stick to packing the things you will need. I’m not talking about,
“Oh, my favourite strappy shoes with three inch heels. I know I’m going hiking in Mongolia but I loooove them, I neeeed them.”  No, you don’t.
Your passport, you need. Underpants, you need. Toothpaste, you need. Bbe honest with yourself, do you really need it?

Keep it simple and matchy-matchy.
In terms of clothing, aim for versatile pieces and make sure they are mix-and-match friendly. Take light clothes that you can layer as opposed to thicker clothes that take up more space.  In my mind, three outfits is usually plenty.  You can always wash clothes in hotels or hostels overnight, and accessories like scarves and earrings take up very little space and can jazz up an otherwise plain outfit.

suitcases2 katiekathryn flickrphoto by katiekathryn

Shoes are not your friend.
Of all the clothing items, shoes are the least friendly when it comes to packing. T-shirts and jeans can be rolled and stuffed into the sides of an already-full suitcase but shoes are unforgiving. With this in mind, only pack one pair of walking shoes for days out and about, a pair of cute flats that will work for nights out on the town, and a pair of flip-flops for showers/beach in the summer.

You will shop!
If you are feeling pained about leaving behind some of your favourite things, bewildered by the mass of excess space in your bag, terrified you’ve forgotten something essential… Fear not! You will shop, I guarantee it.

Plan ahead.
In my mind, packing is a bit like a big maths problem, so take the time to do it well. Making a list beforehand, perhaps over the few weeks leading up to your trip, will ensure you don’t forget anything and you’re well prepared.

For more hot tips:

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