When I tell my friends I only bring a backpack on most of my trips, they look at me like I’m crazy. Granted, I’m not one to wear a full face of makeup or blow dry my hair every day (or ever, really …) but I’ve seen girls who do successfully backpack it for trips. Trust me, it’s possible!
I know you probably love your stuff and you probably want your grams to be picture perfect but do you want to lug your giant suitcase around on cobblestone, on crowded trains/buses or when you’re sprinting to avoid missing your connecting flight? I don’t think so. I don’t know anyone who likes waiting at baggage claim either so you’ll be happy to realize you can avoid that by traveling with only a backpack.
I won’t even get into the pain of paying baggage fees for carry-on items and checked luggage.
Have I sold you yet? Here’s how to make this work.
Rolling up your clothes helps to condense your items so you are able to pack more while using less space. It’s as simple as it sounds. I typically place the heavier items like denim at the bottom and build up from there.
Don’t Pack Frivolous Things
… or things you can easily and cheaply obtain at your destination. For instance, if you’re staying at a hotel, most will provide complimentary toiletries like toothpaste, shampoo, etc. All you have to do is ask! If you want to bring makeup, pack only the essentials and use only those products throughout the duration of your trip.
Wear Your Heaviest Clothing and Bulkiest Shoes
It makes no sense to stuff a coat or giant boots into your backpack. Wear your biggest items on the plane to save room in your bag. I usually get cold on flights anyway so a coat serves as the perfect blanket. You can also place your coat under the seat in front of you. Bonus points if you have room in your coat or jacket for snacks and/or reading material. 😉
Pack Items You Can Reuse
Really think about this one. You probably don’t need a bunch of jeans and a different pair of shoes for each day. Consider items that you can use with more than one outfit. Check out the outfits I packed for my 2015 trip to Germany for some inspiration. If you absolutely cannot fathom re-wearing clothing, you can always plan to do laundry during your trip.
Take a few minutes to review what you packed. Did you pack everything you need? Make sure your number of “just in case” items is very small. Make sure you don’t end up with a backpack that is way too overpacked, which can wreak havoc on your back. I don’t know how I smiled in this picture.
Will you consider backpacking it for your next trip? Let me know how you do!