If you’re Planning a Trip, These Tips Will Keep Your Bag Light and Shoulders Happy
Have you ever packed for a trip and found your bag bulging at the seams? You’re definitely not alone with many people reporting that they struggle to pack what they actually need and end up packing everything and the kitchen sink! It can be hard to decide what you actually need and most people find themselves packing for every eventuality, which means bringing a bit of everything.
But how do you know what to take when travelling to a new place? The truth is you can never pack for every eventuality, but as long as you research the local climate where you’re going, any customs they may have and know what types of activities you’ll be taking part in, you can then put together a picture of the essentials and whittle it down from there. Let’s take a look at how you become a packing pro for your next backpacking adventure.
Choose a Smaller Bag than You Think You’ll Need
When selecting a bag for your next trip, resist the urge to take a huge suitcase or backpack as if you have the room you’ll want to fill it. Travelling for an extended period doesn’t mean you need a huge backpack, remember you have to carry it and you may pick up other bits along the way.
A 40-50L backpack is a really manageable size and perfect to fit in all you need. Remember you are going to travel light and resist the urge to take those five pairs of shoes and hair straighteners. Your shoulders will thank you after you’ve been travelling for a while!
Pack for a Week No Matter How Long You’re Going For
Travelling for a week, a month or a year – it doesn’t matter, you only need a weeks’ worth of clothes. Yes that might mean you’ll have to sacrifice a few of your favourite outfits, but the less weight on your back will be worth it.
On longer trips you can do laundry or rinse out smaller items in a sink. For larger loads you can get laundry done for you and delivered neatly back the same day if you need. In general, think two of each clothing item should be enough e.g.; two pairs of shorts, two vests, two bikinis etc. And 3-7 pairs of underwear and socks should suffice, depending on how often you mind rinsing clothes out in the sink.
Layer up In Cold Climates
Smaller, thinner layers will save space in your backpack if you’re travelling to colder climates. Bulky, thick jumpers and jackets will take up a lot of room. Thermal layers do a great job of keeping the heat in, while not taking up space.
Duck down jackets are a great way to go as well, being super warm and they’ll usually fold up into a small size. Another tip is to wear the heavier gear like your hiking boots, fleece and larger jacket. Even if you’re going to a warmer climate, wear your trainers and pack the flip flops.
Use Packing Cubes
Packing cubes are an awesome invention that’ll keep your suitcase organised and help you keep your packed gear to a minimum. Each handy packing cube can be filled with underwear, tops, shorts and even thin trousers. A pro tip is to roll your items in each packing cube, which will save you even more space.
Bring a Multi-Use Waterproof Backpack
Waterproof backpacks are great if you’re going to be doing water sports or swimming a lot. You can use your waterproof bag to keep valuables in, or just use it as a beach bag. It can also double up as a dirty clothes bag, to separate up the stinky clothes when you’re on the move.
Pack Your Bag Once, Then Re-Pack at Least Two Times
This might sound a little ridiculous, but it’s amazing how much you’ll try and stuff into your backpack on the first pack. Each time you re-pack, you have to be even more ruthless and take out a few items each time. By the third pack you should have lightened the load considerably and not have a bag that’s bulging at the seams!