This post’s topic is influenced by an Finnish childrens song, where they sing (roughly translated) that “I travel around the world, my bag filled only with bread and sourmilk“. It used to be one of my favourite songs when I was a kid and when I started to think about writing some packing tips for a trip, it just somehow popped in my mind. I think that the song actually has a point when it comes to packing. Why fill your luggage with all kind of unnecessary stuff when you can just travel around with some bread and sourmilk?
Well, let’s get to the point. Next week we are heading to Berlin with my classmates to attend ITB Berlin, which is a huge travel fair. I am very excited about the trip, but as boring at is always is, I need to pack for it.
Luckily I have discovered two rules for packing during the years and here’s the first one:
Less is more!
It means, that one should pack lightly for a trip. I think it doesn’t matter what kind of a trip you are having. Business or leisure, sport or beach holiday – packing light doesn’t mean that you don’t get everything you need with you.
Let’s start packing, shall we?
Many people tend to overpack even for a two day trip to somewhere. Seriously, you don’t need to take 5 pairs of shoes or 5 different jeans with you. If you tend to pack too much, I’m asking you to try this trick next time you are packing:
1. Put all the stuff that you are going to take with you in front of you on the floor/on the bed/somewhere.
2. Take half of it away.
3. If it still looks too much, take another half away.
4. Task completed, you are ready to pack!
Actually this one really works and it opens your eyes for all the things that you were going to take with you (and most of that stuff you wouldn’t even need that much really). If you just pack everything straight to your backpack/suitcase, you won’t notice if you have put something that isn’t that important to take with you into your luggage. Always double check. Or maybe triple check.
If you are going for long weekend somewhere, it probably doesn’t matter that much if you are carrying an extra pair of shoes with you (even if you don’t need them), but if you need to pack for a 6 month trip around the world, you want to reconsider the amount of stuff you are taking with. Remember – you are the one who is carrying everything.
One surprising thing about travelling abroad is that they actually do have all kind of stores out there as well! If you run out of shampoo, you can buy a new one. You don’t need to take 10 bottles of shampoo from home with you just in case. Also, it is possible to do laundry – and in the most remote places, at least in your accommodation’s bathroom sink.
My second rule is Make everything mini.
It means that I take my mini-shampoo, mini-conditioner, mini-towel, mini-makeup bag, mini-this and mini-that with me. With all these mini-things I can fit more stuff in the same space as I would fit something bigger and take a smaller bag with me. Making everything mini also helps if you have lots of stuff that you really need to take with you and your packing space (bag) is limited. Fold, put things inside each others, maybe use those vacuum bags meant for storage. When I was returning from my 6 month trip around Asia my backpack was like a 1000 piece puzzle, everything fitted in their carefully chosen, perfect places inside the backpack.
Of course, sometimes, I also tend to overpack. But that’s only when I don’t carefully think that what I really need to take with me. By planning the packing well and making a list of things you need to take with you helps a lot. Lists also work when you are packing for a home trip and you need to check, that everything is with you.
So, remember that less is more, make everything mini, plan the packing and make a list!
What’s your best packing tip? Share it!