I’m going on a trip and I’m taking …
Call me weird, but the fun of traveling already starts with packing. I love to see how, with the help of my packing list, I can get everything I want to take with us on our world trip as practically as possible. And I think it is quite a sport to get that in a backpack that just fits nicely in the hand luggage rack. And preferably without the person opening the rack having a hernia. Or myself.
Waiting for the train… Without hands!
It took a few tries before I managed to travel with only hand luggage. I regularly catch myself not taking into account the difference in climate, and what to do with the clothes I have on. Let’s just say there is always room for improvement.
What kind of travel bag do I use?
In the meantime, I have switched from the travel bag a few times. From a 65-liter backpack plus a daypack as hand luggage to an immense 90-liter trolley for two (+ hand luggage), to just my daypack of about 25 liters (so without a checked bag, but only to warm climate), to a happy medium with my current Pacsafe Vibe of about 40 liters. Roy uses a 32 liter Millican Fraser the Rucksack. It does not seem to be smaller than my 40 liters when fully packed… These bags still fit perfectly in the luggage rack, with a little stuffing even under an airplane seat. Moreover, they have never been refused hand luggage with low-cost airlines. So it works fine.
What do I take with me? And how do I pack it?
Let me start with the fact that I think packing cubes are the best invention after the wheel (okay, and after aviation). These great things make packing, retrieving, and keeping your stuff organized so much easier! When traveling, you often unpack and pack your belongings, and you especially don’t want to have to keep trying and measuring again and again.
Convenient packing with packing cubes
I use 5 Eagle Creek packing cubes. After testing all sizes (whole, half, quarter) I find the half cubes the easiest to pack and unpack. I take now:
- 1 half cube for trousers. (4 shorts, 3 thin long pants)
- 1 half cube for tops and shirts. (7 in total, 2 or 3 with short sleeves)
- 1 half cube for warmer sweaters/cardigans. (Layers! 1 slightly warmer sweater, 1 thin case for a light breeze, or as protection from the sun. Combine for colder destinations. Also 1 very thin long cardigan for were “dressed” is the norm, and 1 long sleeve t-shirt.)
- 1 half cube for underwear, socks, and swimwear. (6 underwear, 3 (sports) bras, 2 bikinis, 3 pairs of short socks, 1 pair of high socks, 1 “long john” for under my thin summer pants in a cold climate.)
- 1 half cube for some loose stuff. (Thin scarf, shawl, mini towel, belt, inflatable pad, waterproof bag for washing or keeping things dry on the beach, mini clothesline, shopping bag, world plug, skipping rope, extra lenses.)
- Each cube has a different color. After packing and unpacking a few times, you know exactly what everything was already in.
In addition, 1 Eagle Creek shoe storage bag for 1 pair of sneakers and 1 pair of slippers (keeps the shoes together and prevents beach sand/mud / other unwanted material from wandering through my bag from under my shoes).
Then I have not lost my coat… After arrival, I put it neatly folded on the bottom of my bag, where it should stay for the time being. For the next trip, I purchase a compression cube to store my jacket even better and to save some space.