"This holiday will be the perfect time to crack out this playsuit I have only worn once in six years," I tell myself as I cram yet another outfit into my small suitcase, preparing for a three-day city break.
I know I'm not the only one; a lot of us are guilty of seriously over-packing when it comes to travelling. I ended up hauling a suitcase around London and Sydney that literally weighed just under half my body weight - one, I might add, that took me 50 minutes to zip up on my way there and ended up being split into another two bags on my way back because I didn't want to commit to leaving anything behind.
However, with more and more airlines adding heftier and heftier charges for luggage, it's time to start learning to pack light. I spoke to my brother, Taran, who has travelled to Milan, Oslo and Madrid with just a backpack. Here are his top tips:
First things first, why do you travel with only a backpack?
“I like only having one bag to carry. It makes going through the airport faster and I have everything in one place. I only have space for essentials, so I use everything I bring, and also, when the check-in is late, or check-out is early, I can go and explore without any issue.”
What is actually in your backpack?
“Aside from clothes, I only pack the following:
- Underwear for the number of days
- Socks for the number of days
- Credit card (just in case)
- Toiletries (in small airport bottles)
- Wet wipes
Okay, so how do you pack minimal clothes?
“Don’t bother with spare shoes, spare jeans, spare towels or bulky clothing. Wear one jacket and a plain pair of trousers - these can be transformed into two outfits when worn with two different coloured, patterned or style tops.”
Are there any negatives to travelling with just a backpack?
“The bag can get heavy, and things at the bottom of the bag are not always easily accessible - but with smart packing, you can put the essential things you’ll need at the top.
Also, if something spills, everything is wet. I always try and put things in waterproof bags or put the bottles in an outside pocket.”
What are your top tips for someone who struggles to pack light?
“Start with what you need to get you through the day, your passport, money and travel pass. Then only bring one any extras, where possible - one pair of shoes, one pair of trousers, one lipstick; and if you can do without at home, you can do without it while travelling, and by that I mean shaving, painting your nails, that kind of thing.
I always do a beauty regime the night before, so I stay fresh for longer. Do a face mask, shave, any grooming really. And always remember, worst case scenario, you can buy anything you desperately need when you’re abroad.”
Do you have any top tips for packing light? Send them my way… I defo need them.