If you’re like me, you always bring too much stuff on a trip and your bag ends up being so heavy to carry and bulky to fit anywhere. I restrained myself on the last trip we took, and yes, it’s possible to travel without a whole wardrobe!
First advice we should always follow, if you’re a backpacker, is that your pack weight shouldn’t exceed 25% of your body weight. So, if I’m a 140lbs person, my backpack shouldn’t weigh more than 35lbs. Easier said than done!
So what to bring?
Advice #1: You will find on this site an extensive list of everything you could need on a trip. Please don’t bring every item on that list! You won’t be able to fit a quarter of it in the biggest suitcase that exists. Bring only what you know you will need, and not what you think that maybe could be fun to have!
Advice #2: Do some laundry. With powder detergent and a universal sink stopper, it won’t be such a chore, and it’s the simplest way to reduce the amount of clothing you need to bring along. So take only a couple item of every length of clothing – that way you can easily layer up if it’s cold.
Advice #3: Coordinate your colors. An excellent way to derive maximum use from a modest amount of clothing is to ensure that every item goes with every other one.
Advice #4: How to pack is as important. Don’t pack your bulkiest shoes: wear them on your plane flight. Also, put in the bottom of your bag items that are less needed to avoid taking everything out to get at certain things. Be careful to keep valuables away from the bottom of your bag in case of ‘slashing’. Instead, keep your valuables along with important documents and tickets in the zipped inner pocket, closest to your body: this is the safest place. Keep photocopies of your passport and other documents at home and digital versions in an email account.
Advice #5: Pack all your gels and liquids in small plastic bags, to avoid messy accidents. You can also put plastic wrap under the caps of your bottles. It would be best if you pack them in a different pocket of your bag.
Advice #6: As for your clothes, carefully wrapping them around a central core object (small pillow, flat pouch filled with socks and underwear), avoids the folds that result in creases. It will also save much more space and make it far easier to get at everything. Also, wrapping them with rubber bands is one of the more useful packing tips : it means that you won’t have to refold clothing each time you rummage through your luggage.
That’s it! You will see, with these advices you will need far less room in your bag. Your back will thank you!