Image: 123rf.com 98705707 Vadim Georgiev
Whether you're travelling with a suitcase, backpack, Hogwarts trunk or wicker panniers on the back of a donkey, packing for a trip always leads to some eternal dilemmas.
Will you be able to carry it?
I always over pack, especially for long distance trips. I've recently been travelling with, to quote the manager of a hostel in Adelaide, a suitcase the size of a small apartment. I made a similar mistake when I first arrived in Australia, bringing with me a backpack which I couldn't even carry on my back.
The other extreme is a Polish bloke I met on an Uluru tour. He had one small bag, smaller than my average work day handbag, for six months of travel. He explained that he had simply had two pairs of shorts, two t-shirts, two pairs of socks and two pairs of undies. One set to wear and one to wash. In a hot climate, he said, that’s all you need.
Do you really need it?
My theory is that I just never know what might be waiting for me on my journey. I might need dresses and shoes for fancy dinners. I could be overcome with a sudden urge to work out three times a day, for which I’ll need a range of active wear and a specific pair of trainers. What about when I need to rustle up a suit for my dream job interview? In Darwin?
I’m also guilty of packing clothes that I absolutely love but will probably never wear. My same few black t-shirts will be on constant rotation while that beautiful pale blue sundress will never get worn because I’m too scared of spilling my dinner down it.
Can you actually find anything in there?
When your bag is too full it will basically vomit its contents out across the room as soon as you try to find anything. How I ever lived without packing cubes I really can’t tell you. Those black mesh zip up bags in assorted sizes have revolutionised my life.
I’d always been taught that it's a great space saving idea to tuck small items into shoes inside your suitcase. But this always lead to the question of which pair of shoes did I actually put my extra-warm socks in?
During a winter trip overseas I took a pair of knee high boots to be reheeled, only for the shoe mender to point out that my entire sock collection was still stuffed inside. He and I can both be grateful that I'd packed my undies in my other pair of boots.
Nicki Ranger is a freelance writer currently based in Perth, Western Australia.
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