It’s bulky, it’s heavy and if we have too much of it, it can cost us a fortune, but baggage is an important part of travel, and despite having travelled around the world with little more than an oversized backpack, I still struggle to pack light!
My first attempt at packing light was for our first 6-week trip to South America, when my other half assured me that I would need nothing more than a couple of t-shirts, shorts, flip-flops, sunglasses and a hat…Hmmm
We decided that rucksacks would be the most convenient type of luggage for our trip throughout Argentina, Chile, Bolivia and Brazil, and I therefore headed off in search of a ‘sizeable’ backpack that would accommodate the ‘necessities’.
Initially, I was very tempted to purchase a 120-litre rucksack, but the 80-litre backpack I finally decided on was more than big enough. Once it had been packed, re-packed and then packed again, I had managed to fit in two pairs of jeans, 3 pairs of shorts, 2 summer dresses, a skirt, 10 t-shirts, 2 blouses, 3 bikinis, undies, 4 pairs of shoes, toiletries and a hairdryer!
Of course, I had never really thought about trivial things such as weight… and so spent 6-weeks carrying a rather cumbersome 17kg pack on my back, while my wiser half had a mere 9kg to contend with!
These days I do believe I am getting better at packing light, and as we like to take advantage of the cheap flight tickets offered by budget airlines such as Ryanair, I can actually manage a whole weekend away with just 10kg of hand luggage…
Long-haul trips, on the other hand, do need better planning, and I feel it would be rude not to use my allotted 23kg on a flight to Cape Town or New Zealand! Although, when heading to the US, one should always leave space for those ‘unbelievable bargains’ found in outlet centres!
Packing for a holiday is, for me, part of the adventure, and while I have probably paid more than my fair share for excess baggage in the past, our future travels are looking a whole lot lighter – thanks mainly to our ultra-light suitcases – now that’s a clever invention!