Saturday 31 May 2014

How to pack light: Inside my little backpack

When people think backpacking trips.. they think THIS:

(via google)

I almost bought one when I was preparing for my Europe trip but thank goodness I didn't. I figured that if I give myself so much space, I would most probably fill it up with unnecessary things. Thus by making the size of my bag a limiting factor, I could sieve out the things I really need. And if you're just going away for a month or so for a backpacking/graduation trip, you hardly need so much stuff. NOTE: I  only did summer trips so far, I don't know if I can live in a backpack this size for winter trips.

Most people I met were surprised when they saw my backpack because it's so small. It's the size of a (slightly big) school bag. They often go, "What do you have inside??" So I decided to write a post about it.. let's see what exactly is inside..

As much as I'd love to bring all my pretty clothes/accessories/shoes/bags and take profile picture worthy photos against gorgeous scenery.. I've got no personal photographer and I love to walk so sport shoes and comfortable clothes are a lot more practical for me. And I always feel that it's safer to tone down when you're overseas for safety reasons especially for girls - to stay away from unwanted attention. I think bringing 1 week's worth of clothes is more than enough. You can just wash them overseas, every hostel (so far) has laundry service.

I roll my clothes up and tie them up with rubber bands so that they take up less space. I learned this trick from a friend and found it pretty useful.Then I put everything into a big plastic bag (to prevent rain from getting to them) and they sit at the bottom of my backpack.

Undergarments are packed into another plastic bag. By sorting everything into different plastic bags, I can find things more easily and I won't miss out on anything. I had one pair of sport shoes on and brought a pair of slippers along.

Wallet, camera, passport, sunscreen and umbrella/hat go into a small day bag. Shopping bag is for carrying groceries, I realised that in Europe and New Zealand, most supermarkets don't give you plastic bags or charge you for them so it's a good idea to bring one. Plus I use this bag to carry my snacks for bus rides, vegetables/fruits for cooking..

Toiletries include toothbrush, toothpaste, small bottles of shampoo, conditioner, shower foam, facial foam, toner and moisturizer.

Chargers and travel adaptor go into another bag. I bring a multi-socket plug too because some hostels only have one or two sockets for a room of 6 (or even more) people so you can imagine everyone fighting to charge their appliances. Especially if you have phone, camera, tablet, laptop, etc etc.. it's very useful to bring a multi-socket plug with you. 

You might also want to bring a lock because some hostels provide lockers but not locks (you can rent them for a fee).

And there you have it! My backpack gets lighter each time I travel, from around 9kg for my Taiwan trip to 7+kg for Europe trip to 6+kg for my last trip to New Zealand. I'm so not making use of my 30kg luggage allowance.

My Packing List:
1) Clothes (7/8 tops, 2 pants, jacket, scarf)
2) Undergarment
3) Socks
4) Cap, shades, sunblock
5) Toiletries
6) Contacts
7) Towel
8) Medicine pack (plaster, panadol)
9) Wallet (passport, money)
10) Chargers, adaptor, multi-socket plug
11) Notebook and pen
12) Lock
13) Umbrella

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