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Should I pack the kitchen sink or not?

So, you're heading out on a one month backpack around Europe, and managed to scalp some great budget airline deals on Flights. London to Madrid, Madrid to Lisbon, Lisbon to Rome, etc. But now they want to charge you double, quadruple, the fair you paid so your clothes can accompany you. Seems like it would be cheaper just to buy your clothes an extra seat. Could you realistically travel for one month with just a carry-on? Will you spend the last week of your trip, rewearing stinking underwear and smelling like a fat guy who just ran a marathon? Possibly. But not if you follow our simple instructions as to how to successfully pack a carry-on.

First, buy yourself a canvas bag, the biggest you think you can get away with as a carry-on. Remember you can generally take two bags, a carry on and a handbag style bag on most budget airlines. For the larger bag;

  • Fill it with heavy items.

  • Wear your coat. If you're leaving from UK, you'll be cold anyway.

  • Roll your clothes, don't fold.

  • Bring a sarong for a towel and the beach

  • Don't pack cosmetics. Buy them abroad. Takes up too much room. Go to a department store for a free spray of perfume on your way out.

You should also consider staying in places that have cosmetics or towels. Airbnb accommodations mostly provide you with these nowadays.

Don't pack every book you want to read. Bring a Kindle or ipad, or if you like me and can't stand reading on those keep an eye out for book exchanges or swap with other travellers. 

Remember, you don't need a Lonely Planet for every country you visit. You have an iPhone. Take pictures of the most important pages, or use wifi whenever you get the chance. Take screen shots of maps and locations. Remember to look on Google maps and get a good idea of where you're going before eyou get there.

Try to back for all occasions but do your research. If it's going to be mainly hot, don't take 4 hoodies. And do you really need your straighteners and hair dryer? If your going backpacking, you're probably not going to any classy joints anyway. Perfect the beach look, ponytails etc. Make friends. If you're in a hostel, someone will no doubt have an extremely huge suitcase full of beauty products. So make friends with that person. 

Update your iPad and don't forget your leads. Bring a usb full of movies. You never know when your going to stumble across a HD Plasma screen with nothing but Romanaian fortune tellers on, and you've still not fully got rid of your hangover. Make sure you download airline apps for tickets and entertainment. 

I know it's tempting to take 2 suitcases, just in case. But traveling light is way better. No waiting for baggage handlers. No lugging 25kgs around when your searching for your accommodation. Dump your clothes and use your bag as a day sack. Get to the airport late and fly through check-in.

Now you're packed, time to get by the flight attendants. Remember, don't turn up sweaty. Act like your bag is light. If you wait till the end, there's usually no room left so your bag will be placed in the hold for free.

Packing Right: Text


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