I overpack. There I said it, I am a man that overpacks. Regardless of how long I will be gone or where I am going or how small of a suitcase/backpack I am using, I always overpack. I am also a very efficient packer so initially when I see that extra space in my bag I think, “hrm I guess I could take an extra shirt or an extra pair of pants…” This is my downfall, there is space, so why not fill it?
Packing less is not about suffering. I always travel with three pairs of shoes. I wear a pair for walking around all day in, a nicer pair and since I run a pair of running shoes. At home I would never wear the same pair of running shoes two days in a row, but when I travel I wear the same pair each day. It is also not about using the toiletries in hotel rooms, some hotels have great products other places provide you with products that will dry out your skin and your hair.
So what is in bringing less stuff for you? It is all about ease of travel. With less stuff you have less to worry about losing, misplacing or breaking. You can always buy something when you are traveling. You will also make your trip easier by packing less.
Packing less means that you will also have fewer distractions when you are traveling, it will make you focus on your trip and not what you are bringing.
Items to leave behind:
- Digital SLR (unless you are a pro-photog)
- Lots of books, they take up a lot of room and have a good weight. Invest in a Kindle. I was absolutely against e-readers for years until I tried a Kindle and fell in love. I struggled to buy eBooks instead of real books, but I am over that now.
- Underwear & socks for everyday (unless it is a quick trip), I learned how to do laundry in hotel sinks a long time ago during extended travel. Purchasing
- Your computer
- Extra shoes
- Anything you are taking, “just in case”
If you are uncertain about an item, leave it behind. Have faith that anything people sell in your town, a close approximation can be found almost anywhere else in the world. Without getting into specifics on how to pack consider the following rule as your ultimate rule: If you can’t lift it over your head and hold it there for 10 seconds, you’ve over packed.