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13 Reasons Why You Pack Too Much

JalanJalanMen! - In the last few months, the topic of luggage has come up again and again in conversations with other backpackers. Many looked enviously at my small backpack and said: "How can you do that?!" Because many people have the will to travel light, they just fail when it comes to implementation. I was no different before.

13 Reasons Why You Pack Too Much

Did I ever tell you the story of when I collapsed under the weight of my bag at Barcelona airport?! Which was super embarrassing...

So there I was, like a beetle on my back, kicking my arms. People were already staring. But I couldn't get the damn bag up, so I resignedly dragged it to the check-in counter. After a month in Barcelona I had overdone it a little (just a little) with the souvenirs and shopping.

It took me many more years to learn from my mistakes, but now I travel the world with a 10-kilogram “Open End” backpack (without my electronics stuff it would probably be 7 kg). And best of all, I don't miss anything.

But let's get back to you. Do you want to be lighter on the road, but can't?! Then I have a few ideas what it could be and how you can change it.

13 REASONS WHY YOU PACK TOO MUCH

 1. YOU PACK USING THE “WHAT IF” METHOD

Your imagination is running away with you, you can already see yourself lying on the beach, roaming through the city, having adventures in the jungle, sitting around the campfire in the evening or partying in a club. And every time you wear a different outfit and have everything you need. If you pack with this claim, you will not get by with one suitcase.

So a new strategy is needed, let's call it the "I can't live without" method . So ask yourself the question for each part: Do I really need this? What would happen if I didn't have it with me? Can I maybe improvise?

Because you can't pack for every situation. Instead, focus on the things you can use to cover most everyday situations when travelling. A concrete example: What shorts can you pack that you can wear to the beach, in the city and for outdoor activities?

Keep reducing and question every single item in your bag. Anything that you only need occasionally or that would be nice, you leave out.

2. IT'S YOUR FIRST BIG TRIP

So you pack your bag without knowing exactly what you really need. And there is a high probability that you will forget things and not even unpack some things. This is completely normal, only with time you will find out for yourself what you need on the go.

In the beginning, it helps to look at a few packing lists and get tips. Then it's "learning by doing" . Everyone has started somewhere and it's a process.

After every trip, pay attention to which things have slipped to the bottom of your bag and what you can do without next time. This is how you optimize your packing list bit by bit and become lighter and lighter over time.

3. YOUR BACKPACK IS TOO BIG

As long as your backpack is not full, you will pack more things. After all, there is still space and you are happy to be able to take more with you.

The solution is very simple: take a smaller backpack. In warm countries, a 40 liter backpack is sufficient and in colder regions, 50 liters is sufficient. Now that may sound crass, but give it a try.

A FEW EXTRA TIPS

Leave about 10-20% space in the backpack, so the bag always closes easily, even if it gets messy, and you have room for the unforeseen.

Try to limit yourself to one bag. Take a daypack * with you, which can also be stowed away in the large bag if necessary. So you stay free, you can run longer distances with all your luggage (go hiking) or ride a scooter.

4. YOU WORRY ABOUT THE WEATHER

How cold will it be? Do you need a sweater for the evening? Maybe even two? What do you do if its raining? Umbrella, poncho or a rain jacket? If you only travel to one country, you will still be able to answer the questions. But on a long journey without a fixed route or through different climate zones, it becomes all the more difficult.

THE ANSWER IS: LAYERING

Instead of taking a winter jacket with you, you take several shirts, short and long, and one or two sweaters, and you can put on the rain jacket at the end. We always do that at carnival in the Rhineland so as not to freeze under the costume. And it works. Every year we have different weather, so we always wear different layers.

Therefore, it is better to take several thin layers with you that you can put on well on top of each other. You will need a thick sweater less often, but if it is colder, you can wear a long-sleeved shirt under your light sweater. And don't forget the rain jacket, not only is it good in the rain, but it also protects you from the wind and is also very good at insulating. Here, too, a single-layer light jacket is better than a lined one.

5. YOU WANT TO BE PREPARED FOR ANYTHING

Here the shoes are a good example. At home you will probably have a wide range, a different pair for every activity, from chic to sporty, probably even several in different colors and designs. Of course, you can't do that when you're traveling.

The solution is general: simplification . Find multifunctional things that you can use in many situations and that are practical. And leave out specialized stuff that you rarely need. Improvisation is the order of the day when travelling, so say goodbye to perfectionism.

6. THE GREAT UNKNOWN

Anyone planning a trip around the world will be plagued with even more uncertainties. Because no one knows what is really waiting for them and what they really need. That doesn't necessarily make packing easier.

It almost doesn't matter whether you're packing for a two-week backpacking trip or a year-long trip around the world. Pack your clothes for a week and focus on the essentials.

When traveling around the world, only plan an extra budget to buy things that you need on the go. Make a habit of cleaning out your backpack regularly and giving away or selling things that you won't need in the foreseeable future. This is how you manage to travel with a light backpack in the long run.

7. LOOKING AT OTHER PACKING LISTS UNSETTLES YOU

You can find countless packing lists on the internet and all bloggers claim that it is the “ultimate”. And they're not entirely wrong, because it's the perfect packing list for YOU.

So don't get overwhelmed by the information overload and get inspiration from several people and then make your own packing list. And don't worry, you can't go wrong. Along the way, you'll find out what works and what doesn't. Then it's time to go shopping and sort out.

8. YOU ARE AFRAID OF GETTING SICK

I still remember sitting with my family doctor and telling him about my travel plans. He diligently took notes and consulted clever books. Then he gave me a long list of things I should be vaccinated against. And what should definitely not be missing in my first-aid kit .

"If I were you, I would definitely take disposable syringes, sterile gauze bandages, bandages, painkillers, malaria pills (the list went on forever) ... with me. You never know what the medical and hygienic conditions are like on site.”

I felt quite daring, like going on an expedition or moving to a remote area as a development worker. Of course, that was not the case and my trip around the world seemed almost boring in comparison.

THAT'S THE REALITY

Most likely you will not travel through remote areas and in the typical backpacking countries there is usually quite good medical care. You can therefore reduce your first-aid kit to the essentials, which you need for first aid.

If you get sick, you go to the doctor or the pharmacy on site to get the medication or bandages you need.

And to protect against mosquitoes: I also think a mosquito net is unnecessary, since these are usually present in areas with many mosquitoes. Just look at the local accommodation, if there is no network, look for something else. Bring bug spray from home or buy it locally.

World trip packing list: clothes, shoes

9. THE IDEA OF ​​ALWAYS WEARING THE SAME CLOTHES PUTS YOU OFF

If you have a well-stocked wardrobe at home, you probably cannot imagine getting by with so few clothes. Wearing the same clothes over and over again can be a bit of a change at first, but you get used to it pretty quickly. Because you're constantly surrounded by new people who don't even know what you wore yesterday or the day before. And they don't do it any differently.

You might even find that you don't think twice about what to wear in the morning. A clear selection of clothes has its advantages.

I HAVE A FEW TIPS TO MAKE THE BEST OF THE SITUATION

Pack clothes for a week. Look for clothes that you can combine well with each other, in terms of colour, cut and style. Which ones you like to wear, which are comfortable and which you can wear in as many situations as possible. Which are lightweight, compact, easy to care for, quick-drying, non-translucent and not easy to wrinkle. And which you can layer on top of each other when it's cold.

You don't have to be neglected or walk around in functional clothes, but choose every piece of clothing consciously.

10. YOUR APPEARANCE IS IMPORTANT TO YOU

The care products are piling up in your bathroom, you don't leave the house without make-up and you can't imagine life without your hair straightener and hair dryer. Then the journey will be a true change, but it is not impossible. On the way I met many women who said they pay more attention to their appearance at home. But it is not so important to them when traveling.

Radically reduce your toiletry bag. Also keep in mind that you can air dry your hair in warm countries and your skin may need completely different things. In Southeast Asia you can always treat yourself to a spa day to pamper yourself.

Another way to save weight on the toiletry bag is to swap liquid for solid. Take soap with you instead of shower gel, it saves space and weight. There are also soaps for hair that replace liquid shampoo and conditioner. Try to reduce the creams and rather take something with you that you can use all over your body.

World trip packing list: camera, mobile phone, USB, lamp, watch

11. YOU LOVE YOUR GADGETS

The good headphones, the jukebox, your laptop , the tablet, the e-reader, the smartwatch, what else have I forgotten. Does it really make sense to take all this with you? Where can you reduce yourself or alternatively use the smartphone?

When I'm not working while traveling, I only take my smartphone and camera with me. And that has several reasons. For one thing, I don't feel like lugging everything around and taking care of it, because the more I take with me, the more things can be stolen from me. I prefer to travel inconspicuously and try to leave unnecessary possessions at home.

And then there is a second reason. I enjoy having fewer digital distractions on the go and being able to focus more on the here and now. After all, I still have my cell phone, which has now replaced many devices.

12. YOU ARE AN AMATEUR PHOTOGRAPHER

Proper equipment can be quite heavy and extensive: interchangeable lenses, tripod, drone and action cam. Then there are the various bags, spare batteries, chargers, memory cards, external hard drives and other stuff.

If you earn money with your shots, that might still make sense, but as a hobby photographer? That's quite a lot of extra weight and the question remains whether you always carry it around with you and whether it is safe in the accommodation.

I'm not saying that you have to leave your SLR at home, but keep everything to a minimum here as well. With which equipment can you best photograph most situations on the road? What can you leave out?

13. YOU LOVE YOUR BOOKS

You have a large bookshelf in your apartment and you are looking forward to finally having more time to read when you travel. Yes, do that, but please read eBooks or listen to audiobooks ( try the Audible trial month *). From my own experience, I can tell you that paper books are far too heavy and you just have to adjust. Personally, I actually prefer reading on my phone, so try it out first to see if you prefer an eReader.

Unfortunately, most people only want to read more, because somehow the days are already full and many evenings are spent on research and travel planning.

EVERYONE CAN TRAVEL WITH LESS LUGGAGE

Some suggestions may sound crass to you, especially if you've never traveled in such a minimalist way before. But sometimes you have to reach for the stars to make the most progress. So just try it.

Once you've traveled light, you won't want to go back.

HERE'S THE SUMMARY I PROMISED

This is how you manage to travel light

  • Ask yourself: What can't I live without?
  • Learn from your mistakes and try to keep optimizing your packing list.
  • Take a small backpack: 40 liters in warm countries and 50 liters in colder ones.
  • Layering: Better pack several thin layers and also pack a light rain jacket.
  • Simplify: Forget perfectionism. Improvisation is popular when travelling. Pack multifunctional things.
  • Take some extra money with you on a world trip to buy the things you didn't pack if you need to.
  • Get inspiration, but write your own packing list.
  • Reduce your first-aid kit to the essentials. If you get sick, you can go to the pharmacy and to the doctor.
  • Minimize your toiletry bag. Do you really need all the creams and makeup? Swap shower gel and shampoo for soap.
  • Less is more. This also applies to electronic devices and camera equipment.
  • Read eBooks.

Rudolfus Kikkert
Rudolfus Kikkert Interest In City Tourism

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