I don’t know about you, but when I am planning a trip, one of the big issues with me is what to pack, and do I use the suitcase, or my weekender duffle bag. And of course, what to bring. Over the years I have accumulated a number of bags, backpacks, and book bags. But as time goes by, I usually only use either my suitcase, or my weekender duffle, and backpack. Several factors determine which bag to take. If I am going to a warm climate where I will be mostly wearing shorts and t-shirts, I will use the weekender duffle and my backpack. In the case of my most recent trip to Iceland, I used the suitcase as I had to pack more bulkier things like long sleeve shirts and sweaters.
I am trying to get away from using the suitcase and just use the duffle bag and backpack regardless of where I am traveling. If I am going to be traveling for a week, and staying at an Airbnb, they almost all have laundry facilities, and I can wash my clothes. I pack 3 days’ worth of underwear, socks, and T-shirts, maybe an extra pair of shorts/pants for a week or more of travel. And when I was recently staying at a hotel in Hanoi, I had all of my clothes laundered for maybe $5.00 US. (I love the way they iron and fold my underwear!)
I am always amazed at the things people are bringing onto the plane! They bring way too much! And I am always amazed as they try to stuff their bags in the overhead bins, and god forbid under their seats. And if you are hauling all of that around an airport, and to your hotel, it’s exhausting! I really believe we all have a tenancy to overpack, but with a little planning you can avoid taking too much.
For one, always roll your clothes. You would be amazed how much you can pack when you roll up everything. I can put a week’s worth of clothes and a pair of shoes in my weekender bag, with room to spare. And even more if I use my suitcase. I rarely carry my laptop, usually just my iPad, and it goes in the backpack with all of the essentials and travel documents. Secondly, I have found that suitcases with fixed wheels are better than those with spinner wheels. If you are pulling your suitcase on city streets or cobblestones, the spinners take a beating. If you’ve hauled a bag around the streets of New York City, or Europe, you know what I mean. And lastly, you need to have extra room when packing to make room for all of the things you’re going to buy! There is nothing worse to have full bags and then not have space for souvenirs or clothing you bought. It can mean the difference of having to check a bag, or worse, having to buy an extra bag to haul it all home!
As much as I have traveled over the years I am still learning the basics like packing. But I’m getting there!