Packing my bags for the vacation I have been long waiting for! It's one of the most exciting activities before I embark on my journey- packing a bag means the travel is closer than you think it is! It means in a few days' (in my case) or hours' (in my husband's case) you will begin a journey to a new destination and create stories from scratch! But there it is- the baggage attendant at the airport finds your luggage is above the requisite mandate and now you need to pay extra.
Nothing kills your holiday mood more than when you realize you have reduced your shopping capacity at the beginning itself!
Depending on the country, airlines, route and category you are travelling in, excess baggage can cost you anywhere between 20 to 100 Euros! Of course, you can pay for it once in a while, but if you travel long enough you will come to the realization that saving on baggage fees allows you to spend on better activities during your holiday. Also, excess baggage comes with excess stress- the more you carry the more are the chances of you losing something or it being misplaced/ stolen.
As a working woman, I have been travelling for many years for both business & pleasure. Initially, I did end up spending on extra baggage due to the weight of the shoes I was carrying or my formal blazers. Soon, I began shopping in a manner that enables me to buy clothes that are suitable for travelling as well as daily wear. It has become a routine for me now!
Here are a few travel tips I have garnered over the years to ensure I don't end up spending excess for excess and unnecessary baggage!
There are a number of Youtube videos which demonstrate how you can pack effectively using easy packing techniques. I personally love this one: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ir2AM0bUsQY.
I go a step ahead and decide on the clothes I plan to wear in advance. This way, I keep the ones I would need immediately at the top and then unpack as the days advance. The used clothes go in a separate cloth bag that I carry with me. This can be any laundry bag which is small and foldable so that it does not take up extra space.
I also carry a handbag/ rucksack/ backpack which I carry with me while travelling across the destination. This bag contains my wallet, water bottle, emergency medicines and snacks- basically everything a girl needs on the go!
My general rule of thumb is the number of clothes I pack is equal to the number of days multiplied by 1.5! That's if the trip is more than 3 days- if the trip is for 3 days or less- everything fits in a backpack!
This number generally includes two casual T-shirts that I can wear in the hotel/ apartment for a comfortable night's sleep, one/ two pairs of pants (jeans or otherwise) and the rest could be T-shirts, dresses or tops. Always remember to carry extra underclothes and socks! Wear a comfortable pair of shoes that you can wear for your entire journey. I always carry a slipper and a pair of heels just in case we have a night out!
Also, don't pack thick and heavy clothes! If you are travelling for winter then pack your T-shirts or tops inside the heavier jackets while packing. Utilise every space for packing!
I do carry a few makeup items with me- mainly sunscreen, face wash, moisturizer, lipstick and my favourite stick foundation. I prefer not to carry any shampoos with me as they are easily available generally at hotels!
SELECT A LIGHT BAG
It doesn't help if your baggage is heavy. Not only does that increase the overall weight of your luggage but it is also bulky to carry around. The latter is a very specific problem if you are travelling to multiple locations and are likely to carry your luggage for long distances. It's always best to check the weight of your suitcase/ bag along with its dimensions before purchasing. Amazon can help you with that!
WEIGH YOUR BAGGAGE
Don't go by estimates! If you are a frequent traveller, invest in a weighing scale. It will help you to make sure you do not go overboard while packing!
ALWAYS ACCOMMODATE FOR SHOPPING
Many travellers use packing cubes to compress their clothing and reduce the space utilized. I sometimes use packing cubes on my way back home to store used clothes and make space for souvenirs! Irrespective of where you go, I always recommend that you bring along a small but meaningful souvenir that always reminds you of that place! Too often we start forgetting what travel means to us or how it affects our minds and soul- it is during these times that souvenirs and photos come to our aid!
As I travel, I keep making adjustments basis the destination. However, I always try to make sure I do not carry unnecessary articles with me. I have learned this the hard way and this travel tips blog is basically to enable my readers to not make the same mistakes as I have done in the past!