Five very handy packing tips..

Six months seems like a long time...

There’s no easy way to pack for six months and it was easily the part of the trip that I had been dreading the most. Outfits upon outfits ran through my mind…what to wear in a winter wonderland? What shoes will I wear in Banff and then what jackets/cardigans could go with the shoes?  And let’s not forget accessories!

But I had to be practical (leave the emotion behind) and decide how to pack six months worth of both winter and summer gear into a suitcase that is supposed to weigh under 20kg? And realistically , under 17kg as the bag is 3kg itself! So really, once the shampoos and moisturisers are in… I could really only pack 15kg worth – so enough with the excuses and let’s get onto the tips…

Tip #5: Only pack clothes that you will wear more than twice in a week – I had to eliminate most outfits based on this rule. But I must admit it’s a good one to live by – it gets rid of any ‘maybe’ items. Like the jacket you have never worn, but will definitely wear overseas or the hat you need to take to France because everyone wears beret’s there and why should you be any different? Just take the staples you know you always wear at home, because it’s probably all you’ll wear while travelling.

Karla first attempt :)

Tip #4: Use Zip Lock bags – I was hesitant at first, but ended up zip locking everything. From accessories to medication,  socks, shoes and undergarments! Saves space and keeps everything (OCD) neat…a definite for travelling.

Tip #3 – Scrunch and roll – I’m not a major scruncher. I like everything folded and relatively nicely placed. But I managed to fit more into my luggage by rolling up my t-shirts, cardigans and jeans. A space saver technique and makes room for all that NYC shopping…

Tip #2 – Pack what you need – You’ll be able to buy most of what you need wherever you go… I bought four Dove deodorants today and had my friend just look at me oddly and ask “Why? Where are you going that you will need 4 deodorants? Don’t they sell that in Spain?” to which I responded “Hmmm… You are so wise! I’ll only take two!”… I must admit I was packing like I would never see the inside of a supermarket again… So by default only take what you know they wont have…

Tip #1 – A voice of reason – Have a friend/partner check out what you have packed. They are less emotionally attached and are generally practical when it comes to showing them that extra pair of sass & bide jeans (packed only for good luck). I removed a good 5kg from my suitcase just from having the lovely Sharon question every item in my bag. Pack the basics T-shirts, singlets, a pair of jeans, a couple of skirts, a jacket, some shorts and two or three “Going out in Vegas” dresses. Your friend / partner will weed out the unnecessary “Sky high” heels, that no cobbled stone streets will forgive.

Angus' finished case! :)

Will be interesting to see if we actually keep the neatness and organisation throughout the trip. I’m sure the zip lock bags will help! Does anyone know of any other useful tips to share?

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  • http://www.andrewpowell.id.au Andy Powell

    Excellent post.

    Most supermarkets and large pharmacies here sell travel sized shampoo, conditioner, toothpaste etc. Reduces the size and weight of the giant bottles usually bought. They can always be refilled later, and can get you across the line at the airport.

    • http://angusflorance.wordpress.com Angus

      Are you suggesting that my 1o litre bottle of Shampoo is a bit excessive? 😛

  • Stuart Faz

    I didn’t read the byline, and thought Angus was writing this until I got to the sass&bide jeans and Vegas dresses. I suppose that doesn’t rule the option out completely, ‘what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas’ and all that…

    For you guys going as long as you are, I wouldn’t waste space bringing toiletries. Buy them there, and then ditch them each time you leave. Toothbrush/paste obvious exception, but you get one of those on the plane usually so even that could go if you’re feeling particularly adventurous.

    Remember, the bag that has to weigh 20kg when you leave, still has to weigh 20kg when you get back. Novel solution is to post stuff back to yourself or a friend as you go. A couple of friends went on a tour of Europe, and after buying out half of Italy couldn’t even carry their bags, let alone check them in. A giant box and postage later, they were light and easy.

    Then the box got stuck on a boat for 2 months. Funny story. That’s the exception rather than the rule though.