Since you have landed here to read this post, you must have been surfing around to get tips for packing your bag for your next trip. So I welcome you to my blog post. Planning is always the first thing a traveller does before venturing out. After you are done deciding on the itinerary and booking travel packages, the mind immediately starts thinking of what all items to take on your journey. Packing a backpack for travel is quite a task in itself. It is important to pack wisely for a journey. The lesser and lighter we carry, the more comfortable the journey becomes.
I always avoid packing at the last minute or else you might miss something. Though there is no scientific rule for packing your bag, but still it can be done effectively to make ourselves more comfortable while travelling. Every person has her/his own style and way of packing their bags. One cannot say that their’s is a perfect way. Packing a backpack is more of a skill or an art. So different people, different hands, different mind and hence different styles of packing. It all comes with experience and how often and the method you use for packing the bag. I have listed down the ways that I follow while packing my stuff.
How To Pack a Backpack For A Trip
Choose a bag: Before you begin to pack a backpack, the first step is to choose the right size of the backpack you want for your trip. Depending on the duration of your trip and the purpose of visit, choose the size of the bag. For example, if you are going on a long trip, say about a week, you will have to carry a big handbag. Or else if you are going on a short trek, choosing a small backpack is a wise choice as it will be easier for you to carry on mountains.
Keep the destination and weather in mind: It is important to pack a backpack according to the place you are travelling to. Also, thoroughly read about the weather conditions of the place so that you can take clothes and other items accordingly. Like if you are visiting northern or central India during the extreme summer months (April to august) bringing a full sleeves shirt or t-shirt will make you uncomfortable due to sweatiness. Same goes for other places like hill stations, beaches, etc.
Make a packing list: Once you are done researching about the place, make a list of all the necessary things that you need to take along. Write down all the items which you think you want to carry. If you are doubtful of any particular item, jot it down as well since this is not the final packing list. Writing down the items saves time while putting in the stuff and you won’t forget or leave anything behind. While you make your packing list, do remember to add general items in it. Don’t put items that you use for a certain kind of trip like a woollen cap, ski goggles, etc. One can always customise the list according to the place being visited.
Take out the stuff: After making a list of items, take all of them out from your cupboard and put on your bed or anywhere you like. Roll your eyeballs over everything and do remember to pin out all the items in your packing list. If you tend to notice some extra items that you might want to take, pull them out too and add in your list that you had created. I often tend to notice things that I want to take on seeing them. Oh, wait.. that doesn’t mean I forget things, it’s just a natural human reaction after seeing things that you want this too. Hence writing down will always help.
Crop it now: After figuring out what all items are necessary to be packed tick the ones in the list to confirm. Using a coloured marker strike through the ones that you think are not important and you can do without them.
Fold your clothes/ categorise items: Before you start stuffing your bag, fold all the clothes properly so that they can fit in well. You can also categorise all the items (accessories, toiletries, essentials, clothes, footwear, etc) to make it simpler while packing your bag and save time. It’s always best to have lightweight travel clothes.
Start Packing: Start putting all the important items in your bag that you have marked on the packing list as important. After putting in important stuff, you can put more items ticked on the packing list as per your necessity if there is enough space. I have listed some points below that are helpful in organising things efficiently in your bag:
- Roll your t-shirts, socks and lowers as they become compact and take less space. Remember rolling is good only if you are taking a lot of luggage in your bag. If there is plenty of space available try to just fold only. Rolling the t-shirts creates more creases than folding
- For jeans or pants do a double fold or three fold to place it in your bag while placing it horizontally.
- Use the inner pockets of the bag to keep your documents, id’s, cards, money, etc
- Use side and front pockets for other items like water bottles. Don’t put liquids inside the bag.
- For puffy items, use shrink bags.
- Buy some ziplock bags to put your electronic items and makeup material. Use different coloured bags to categories the items. Ziplock bags helps in managing the space well as the items don’t get cluttered in the bag.
- Pack in layers. When you pack things in layers in the bag, it is not easy to keep them organised all the time. If you need to take out something from the bottom of the bag you need to dive into the depth. You can’t do it without disturbing the neighbours on the upper floor. Hence, don’t keep the items that you would need often at the bottom of your backpack. Keep such items at the top. I divide my bag into zones namely the bottom, middle and top zones.
- Put the heavy and less to be used items at the bottom and back side of your backpack so that the bag doesn’t pull away from you. Do note that the bag tends to sink downwards due to gravity if you put all the heavy things at the bottom. So other way is to evenly place the heavy stuff in the bag to balance it perfectly.
- It’s important to keep your back comfortable while travelling. While packing your bag put soft clothes on the back side and keep it as plain as possible. Keeping random or hard stuff at the back side of your bag will form bumps causing discomfort and pain.
- If you are carrying some footwear, make sure to wrap it in a big ziplock, plastic bag or a newspaper.
- For all your dirty clothes and stinking socks (if you don’t get time to wash it in the water on your stay) carry a separate bag as I am sure you don’t want your bag to throw a gushing smell out of it while unzipping. Another idea is to tie your socks or shoes at the bottom of your bag.
- Make effective use of the space in your bag so that things can fit in easily and in a manner that you don’t have to cut down on the important items. Over stuffing always cripples the journey.
Never pack to full capacity: Make sure that you never pack a backpack up to the brim. Your backpack or suitcase should be 70% to 80% fill only. This is because while returning from the trip, we need space for shopping that we have done. I always keep some space empty, because if I plan to purchase some gifts or souvenirs for my family and friends back home, there is enough space to adjust them. Also, it’s a general habit to pack stuff in an unorganised manner and hastily while we are returning. Our dirty clothes occupy much space too. As cleanly as I pack my backpack while going on a trip, the more carelessly and untidily I pack while returning.
One Bag Policy: I always prefer to carry just a single bag with me. It makes the journey less hectic and much lighter. By putting more kilos on your shoulder, you will end up all tired and won’t be able to enjoy to the fullest while on vacation. Keeping light luggage in your bag will help you travel on your feet for miles without getting tired.
That’s It. This is what needs to be done for packing the bag. You must have been tired of packing ( i mean reading about how to pack your backpack). I am tired too. Okay so here’s a bonus tip for making your packing time more enjoyable– Play some Music and then pack your stuff. It will become more exciting and will boost up your energy.
Keep Packing..! Keep Travelling..!