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How to pack your suitcase

How to Kofferpacken

Vacation time. Time to pack your suitcase. Looking around, I could detect two opposite types of people: The one eager to go on holiday, and the procrastinating burying-their-head-in-the-sand-type. You surely know them too, or you can assign yourself to one of these groups.

Direct quote Eager-to-go-on-holiday-type:

“There are only two weeks left till the flight departs! It’s time to take out my shoes and think of some outfits. Also, I need a shirt against mosquito bites and an energy-bar for emergencies. Let’s call the hotel again to make sure everything runs smoothly. I better fetch my suitcase from the basement to air it…”

Direct quote Burying-their-head-in-the-sand-type:

“Holiday? Weeeell… this is still far away. I’ll quickly throw some stuff in the kitbag when the time is here, that’s gonna be fine. Packing is tiring and I forget half of it anyway. Doesn’t matter, after all, you can buy everything at place. credit card and cell phone and I’m ready to go …”

While one person refuses to pack their suitcase until the night before, the next one has been thinking for weeks of everything they need to bring with them. Like many times, the best way to pack one’s suitcase is the golden mean. A little bit of planning doesn’t hurt anyone. However, you shouldn’t equip yourself for all possible contingencies. It’s best to travel with light, multifunctional luggage and exactly those things that enrich life while on the road. Easier said than done? Fiddlesticks: Just stick to this how-to-guide.

Suitcase or backpack?

That depends on where you are going. For cities, car trips and longer stays at one place, a suitcase is more applicable. You can pull it and it won’t get chaotic inside too soon. Until you can find something in your backpack, you might need to rifle through it first. Therefore, it allows you to be more mobile and flexible: your first choice for a tour afoot, or for travelling with public transport means, as well as in countries with less infrastructure. A friend once travelled to Cuba with her suitcase. She mainly carried it (cobbles, holes in the road, no road at all). A great thing for everyone travelling with hand luggage: Hybrid models one can wear on the back and pull as well.

Holiday wardrobe with a system

Okay, you may take the colorful beach tunic with bobbles. But apart from that, it is helpful to stick with one basic color (black, grey, khaki, dark blue) and 1-2 accent colors. Plan about 4-5 outfits at home that can be combined with each other. This way, you don’t need to waste a lot of time on site. Consider also, that probably no one will know you where you are going. So you can easily do without the latest trends and uncomfortable shoes. Speaking of shoes: Always pack your shoes first and then search for clothes that match them. Otherwise, you’ll end up with ten different pairs in your suitcase. If you put your clothes into a vacuum bag, you’ll save space and provide for some order while on the road.

3 things you can easily leave at home

  • Disinfection gel: It tends to foster an obsessive fear of bacteria, rather than being helpful. You can infect yourself anywhere, you don’t even need to touch something for it. In case of emergency (when the toilet was disgusting), pour some water from your drinking bottle over your hands and trust your immune system that it will deal with it.
  • Jewelry: There is nothing more impractical than value items on vacations. And even fashion jewelry is not needed on tour in abundance. Who even wants to fetch the matching necklace from the sachet every day and disentangle it? Limit yourself to one to two favorite pieces you are already wearing at your departure.
  • Books and travel guides: Why? Too heavy! Rather use an e-reader or a reading-app on your smartphone. Audio books and podcasts are also ideal to pass one’s time on long train rides.

3 things that should be part of every luggage

  • Multifunctional cloth: A large cotton cloth in a decent color can be used for anything: as a blanket, a scarf, a towel, on the beach, as a dress, a seat cushion…
  • Earplugs: Even if you think you aren’t sensitive – the moment will come. Be it a booming engine of a ship, a snoring neighbor in the hut or a crying toddler on the plane.
  • FLSK drinking bottle: No, this is no covert advertising, I’m dead serious. I never go on holiday anymore without my FLSK. Because it saves me a lot of money and weight (drawing tap water instead of carrying bottles). Also, I love that I don’t need to drink lukewarm or hot water in warm places. Long live the thermo bottle!
Last but not least, you should make clear to yourself why you are going on holiday. Isn’t it about making new experiences and living differently than you would at home? Enjoy being on the road a little more minimalistic, improvising, and airing your habits with the fresh winds of adventure.

Have a good trip!