Packing for a trip is an indispensable part of every journey. Making a list of things to take with you or taking everything out on the bed or floor and making final selections in choosing clothes and accessories - these are the methods I try to use every time I start packing.
Still, packing is not my strong point and I'm not one of those people who plan and analyse what to take with me a month or at least a week before a trip. I usually do it at the last minute and postpone packing as much as possible. This is how I once almost left home without my ID, which was left on the printer because I made a last-minute copy of it, which I always take with me. I took the copy, and the ID was almost left behind....
When I think about packing, I first of all think about what I should pack. The choice is determined by where I'm going, the season and the number of days. Backpack, suitcase or travel bag? Here are my packing methods!
Best luggage for trip. Backpack
I'll write about the backpack first because it will be the longest. Why? A backpack can be both your main luggage and an accessory to your main luggage.
Backpack as the main luggage
When I think of a backpack as my main luggage, memories of a trip to the USA immediately come to mind. I packed in two backpacks: A 55-liter main backpack and a 25-liter backpack that was treated as carry-on luggage. On the one hand, taking a big and a small backpack with me is a good idea, because while the big one stays in the hotel or hostel, the small one comes in handy during trekking or sightseeing and I can always have it with me. But on the other hand, when moving from place to place, a small backpack carried in front is not very convenient and uncomfortable.
What kind of backpack does he travel with? The largest backpack I own has a capacity of 55 litres.
I also take my backpack as main luggage with me on weekend trips in the mountains. During a two- or three-day trip, when I sleep in huts and move from one to another, a 35-litre backpack is enough for me. I keep the amount of stuff to a minimum, because I know that as much as I take with me, I will have to carry on my own back. I use the same backpack in the mountains also when I sleep in places outside the mountains and I only need it during my trekking.
A backpack as an additional luggage
I cannot imagine going for a longer trip and not taking my backpack with me. Or rather a backpack, because the one I take as an additional luggage has 10 litters. It is small and handy, it can carry water, camera, wallet, tissues, a book, e-book reader or guide book and something warmer to wear. That is, everything I need while exploring the city for a few hours.
The advantages of a backpack:
- doesn't take up your hands - this is definitely the most important advantage of having a backpack. Whether it is a large or small backpack, you can carry it anywhere and always have your hands free. When paying for groceries, taking pictures, sightseeing - in every situation the backpack does not get in the way, and thanks to it my hands are free,
- It is handy - it adjusts to the amount of space. This is another advantage of having a backpack. It will always fit in the trunk, on the top shelf in the bus or under the seat. It can be easily shaped and adapted to the amount of space you have,
- It is capacious - thanks to the fact that it is not rigid, but made of soft material, which can be slightly "stuffed" - if we have such a need. Moreover, it has additional pockets where you can put handy things,
- Ideal for long walks or hikes - well-chosen backpack will make you feel almost nothing, even if you pack 20 kg into it. A frame, hip belt and adjustable shoulder straps are the basis of a good backpack. Thanks to these elements, the weight you carry will not rest only on your back, but also on your hips, so it will be practically invisible.
Best luggage for trip. Suitcase
A suitcase was, is, and always will be the luggage I like to pack. Especially when I go away for a week (or more) to a city. By "city" I mean a trip where I fly to southern Spain, northern Italy or an island in the Mediterranean and stay in one place for a week, making day trips to explore the area. This was the case, for example, during last trip to Venice, where I stayed in Mestre for less than a week, but during that time I also visited Verona, Padua or Treviso.
A suitcase will always be considered by me as my main luggage. I doubt I will ever pack in two suitcases (just as I can pack in two backpacks). A backpack can be an addition to a suitcase and this is the case, for example, when I go to the mountains but stay overnight in guesthouses that provide me with a base for mountain hiking.
Which suitcase do I use? A cabin suitcase is my most common choice in terms of size. For almost two years, I have owned a set of 4 suitcases. The suitcases made of ABS (Acrylonitrile, Butadiene, Styrene) have travelled with me many times and traces of use can only be seen on the largest suitcase that went to the cargo hold:
- safety - when you pack in a suitcase made of hard and rigid material, you can be sure that the luggage transported in it will arrive safely. A bottle of wine from Spain, Italy or France is much more likely to arrive if it is transported in a suitcase than in a backpack. Of course, the bottle should also be secured with additional clothes, so that it does not "fly" around the empty suitcase. By security I also mean the ability to padlock the suitcase. My suitcase set has a built-in, encrypted lock which I use to secure access to it,
- Capacity - of course it all depends on what size suitcase you choose, but one of its advantages is definitely its capacity. I never had a problem to pack into the suitcase what I chose by way of selection, and there was always some space left for souvenirs from the trip,
- Convenience - the convenience of a suitcase is associated primarily with the fact that having a suitcase, we do not have to worry about carrying it because of the wheels. The possibility of moving with a suitcase from the airport to / from the hotel or bus / car is convenient and even if the suitcase weighs a few kilograms it will not feel its weight.
Best luggage for trip. Travel bag
I admit that I discovered the travel bag at the time when cheap air-line reduced the size of free hand luggage. And because you love city breaks and I sometimes go away for 3-5 days, the travel bag fits perfectly in size to the number of things I take with me. Thanks to this, I stopped packing my computer, which you can finally rest from (until now I had a huge problem with it), because it always fit in my suitcase and not in a travel bag.
While looking for a suitable bag I came across a product available in store bags. The bag, admittedly described as a "team sports bag", fits perfectly into the dimensions of hand luggage. It has a capacity of 20 litters. I can pack everything; I need for a maximum 5-day trip. I can take this bag with, when I fly for the short city brake. If I was in Rome for up to 4 days and easily packed everything, I needed in it.
The advantages of a travel bag:
- It's lightweight - unlike a backpack that has a rack or a suitcase, the bag is very lightweight. All thanks to its small size. Thanks to the fact that the bag is light, carrying it on the shoulder or in hand does not cause any difficulties and is not uncomfortable,
- Convenience - I can sling the bag over my shoulder, so (similarly to backpack) I have two hands free. This is an unquestionable advantage, e.g., when taking out documents at the airport, buying tickets on a local bus or taking pictures,
- Size - thanks to its size it is not only light but also it will take up less space and will easily fit under the seat on the plane without limiting the legroom of the person sitting behind us or on the bus.
- easy care - a travel bag, as opposed to a suitcase or a backpack with a rack, can be very easy to maintain. It is enough to throw it into the washing machine and wash it.
And you, what do you like to pack for your trip?