One of the most interesting and exciting parts of planing a trip is to start packing, right? But is it on this time that most of us start wondering things like: How the weather will be? What I need to pack? What I should leave it behind? What is too much? Will everything fit on this tiny bag? What if it’s too cold? What if it is too hot?
One thing is certain: it does not matter what you think you’ll NEED to bring it with you, you will not use everything! The problem with bringing it more than you need is that everything is heavier, it gets harder to move around, your luggage will not fit anywhere and you will not have space for the items you’ll shop during your trip. Worst case scenario is: You’ll end up spending money on a new luggage and paying the fee for your airline company to make space for all of your stuff.
It’s a fact, we always pack more than we need, right? Here I’ll try to minimize the damage because we all know how strict the airlines companies can be when it comes to size and weight of your luggage.
There are a few laws we must follow in order to get our luggage in the right size and here are some:
CHECK THE FORECAST ONLY 2 or 3 DAYS BEFORE TRAVELING
Specially here in Europe (north), you should not believe in the word “summer” and in the south part of Europe, the word “winter” has a completely different meaning.
As a Brazilian girl I have to say that, even not being from a city known by its hot and warm weather, I still felt betrayed by the Holy God of Good Weather the first time I was here for the ~summer~. Berlin in the summer can and will get to 10 or 8 degrees (Celsius) at night and this, for sure, is not a summer-like temperature for me.
So, that’s why I advice you to have a look 2 or 3 days before catching your plane/train to make sure to bring only enough and not ending up buying a jacket because you though that summer meant summer (or winter meant winter).
GET YOUR NOTEBOOK AND PEN READY
One of those awesome and “why I’ve never thought about this before?” tips: make a quick list of everything you will need before starting packing. You’ll have a better view of the quantity of items and can cross some of the stuff out of your list. This will help you not to forget something in the process too.
HAVE ALWAYS A SMALLER AND SMARTER OPTION FOR YOUR EVERYDAY WALKS
One of the most important things I shall remind you all is that you must have a lighter and smaller version of bag to carry your stuff around during the day.
If you’re a woman, I would recommend something you can use during the day and the night, and if you’re a man, get one of those backpacks made with a resistant and light wait material. Why? Because once is empty, it only takes a tiny little space in your luggage, that’s why!
Keep in mind that keeping your money and passport in your purse/backpack is not a really intelligent idea, have a travel pouch bag with you at all times. Better be safe than sorry on this matter.
HOW TO DO THE MATH OF HOW MANY CLOTHES I SHOULD BRING?
Here lies the golden tip of them all: it does not matter if you’re packing for 10, 15 or 1 month. You should always pack for a week and that’s it! It is more intelligent, you will not die if you use the same look a couple of times during your trip and the tools to wash your clothes will take way less space than another set of clothes.
What I discovered recently is that: you’ll need just a few items and your problems with your dirty laundry are gone.
You’ll just need to bring with you a sink stopper (plug) and one medium size tie down elastic cords with hooks. One you will use for stop the water on your hostel/hotel sink and the other one if a perfect way to hang your wet fabrics.
Underwear and socks you can easily wash during shower since your soap/shampoo can easily play the part of the laundry detergent and hair conditioner can be used as a fabric softener, they have the same basic chemical composition and effect on fibers.The rest like t-shirts, skirts, shorts and more, you save 30min of your time and you can do a pretty good job in your sink with warm water.
GIRLS, THIS IS WHAT YOU SHOULD NOT BRING IT ALONG:
This is for the girls who read my blog: we end up taking more stuff ALWAYS, right?
But there’s a few items that you should not bring it along because you will not use or you should have a lighter and smaller version for the every days necessities, believe me.
- HAIR DRYER: That’s a big no-no! Remember that most hotels/hostels have their own on the room. They will never be as good and powerful as your own but they will do the job. Even if you’re going for the snow and ice, it’s useless to bring it along, the colder it is, the better hair dryer the hotel offers.
- MAKE UP: If you still don’t have those travel size kits, get one! Besides that, 1 blush, 1 set of 3 or 4 eyeshadow, 2 lip sticks, 1 mascara and that amazing foundation that can do the whole job at one are more than enough.
- NÉCESSAIRE: One really cool tip is to fill those 60ml/100ml bottles with your favorite shampoo, conditioner, moisturizer… at the end everything will take the same space as 1 normal size bottle of shampoo.
- HIGH HILLS: Remember that once you’re in a new city, you’ll definitely walk 3 or 4x more than the usual, making it impossible for anything but comfortable sneakers. But if you MUST HAVE one option for an eventual club or something, bring just one with you. In my opinion ballerinas can do the trick since I need to save my feet for the next day.
BOYS, THIS IS WHAT YOU SHOULD REMEMBER:
Boys are usually the opposite of most girls and tend to bring less stuff than the minimum acceptable. You should keep in mind that if it rains, your pants probably will not dry over night, so bring it always 2 options with you. The same goes for items like jackets or pullovers. Do not rely in only 1 option to keep you from freezing or getting sick abroad.
Back an EMERGENCY KIT
It’s important to always travel with some key items for emergency like:
- something for headaches
- something for flu
- something for allergies
- something for stomachache
- sunscreen (if applicable)
- repellent (if applicable)
I think that with those tips your weekend trip and your whole month backpacking around Europe will be way lighter and easier.If you have any other tip worth sharing with everybody, please leave it here at the comments below. I’ll be glad to update this post. *This post is part of a series I’m creating with tips and tricks on lots of activities that Fotostrasse usually do. Hope you all enjoy it.