About a month ago I had a trip to England with my friend B, where we were trying out the somewhat “minimalistic packing” routine. Yeah it wasn’t all that minimalistic, but we did each manage on hand luggage only, even including bringing stuff for my mum and brother (Norwegian chocolate is a big thing 😉 )
So how did I do with what I packed? Well, as I suspected I did over pack somewhat, but not as badly as I thought I had done. Since the weather was a mix of everything between one evening of lounging in shorts in the garden, to crashing rain and cold weather, I used almost everything in my bag with the exception of a couple of tops, and a scarf. I have however found a couple of ways to streamline, so that next time, I will bring even less for a short week in UK (except next time might be Christmas, and we all know that is dress up time in mums house… hmmm… that might put a dent into my light packing plans..).
Did I lean anything from my trip? Yes Actually that would be a resounding YES.
I found that I loved how easy it was to navigate with a small wheeled carry on, how easy it was to roll it through the streets to get to the London underground, how easy it was to lift and carry when there was no other options, how easy it was to find space for it on the train and on the plane. It was so easy I don’t think I’ll ever want to go back to big suitcases, it was that easy 😉
I did have one more revelation!
After having meandered around in London for a couple days, I came to the conclusion that the less you drag around with you, an easier time you have (yeah, big shocker, I know 🙂 )
Every time I’m out and about on travel, I carry stuff with me in a handbag or small backpack. Having issues with my shoulders, I made B drag the backpack around this time. And what a relief, not really having to carry ANYTHING!!!
I do realize that it’s futile to think that I will be able to continue to never carry stuff around, as I’m THAT person who always need a bottle of water at hand, a small bag with my medication (just in case) and when there is no safe at the hotel, have to keep my passport with me. But, having had a couple of days in London where I was not the designated backpack carrier this time around, I’ve realized I need to re-evaluate, how much I really NEED to lug around.
When we were out and about, I kept my wallet and phone in my jeans pockets. Passport, medication, water, rain jacket, small camera ++ was in the backpack B carried. I quickly started to feel like a nuisance when we were wandering the streets of London, as I was forever digging into the backpack. To get a bottle of water, sunglasses, dig out the camera, and stuff all that crap back in, over and over again.
So I’ve realized that, for the times I wear clothing that don’t have “huge” pockets, I need a small (very small) cross body purse/bag, that is just big enough to hold on (temporary basis) things like water, wallet, phone, sunglasses and a small camera.
Even though I’m trying to only buy necessities this year, I think there might be a small purse purchase in my near future, if I can find the perfect bag that is. It needs to be light, have a good strap and I would prefer, good internal organization. I would love if it was possible to clip to my belt loops so I wouldn’t really need to carry it cross body, to save my shoulders, but guess that might be a tall order (unless I find someone who can make it for me).
I love the look of this little Cath Kidston bag, and this one at Tom Bihn seem to have some nifty solutions, but since I tend to like to see/touch the product before I buy, I was hoping to find something a little closer to home.
If you have any suggestions on geat little bags to use for travel, oh, yeah, and what to carry in it. I sure could need a little help 😉
Conclusion! Never use a big bag again, if I can avoid it. Now goal! To downsize even more 😉
After my experience of “lost” luggage on my trip to US last year (it took them 4 days to find it), I’ve decided to try a more minimalistic approach to my packing.
I’ve come across a lot of ultralight packing sites lately, where they travel with 20-32 litres bags, for months at a time. Now, there is no way I’ll ever be on their level of “small” luggage, but I should be able to travel for a week with hand luggage only, wouldn’t you think?
Here is the plan, one carry on and a purse of some sort! Now that can’t be too bad, I am after all only going to be gone for a week, so shouldn’t really need all that much stuff… right?
It all sounded fine, until I got mums shopping list, for Norwegian jam and mayonnaise, and then there is the chocolate I need to bring, a book or two for my mum… What it boils down to, is that since the jam jar are bigger than the allowed 100 ml carry on bottles, the luggage have to go into the belly of the plane. As I’m travelling with a friend of mine (B), we’ve decided to send one of our carry ons as regular luggage and bring the other into the cabin. With only one carry on each, we still get to practice packing a “lighter” load.
So what am I bringing?
Well.. let’s see.
Beside all the goodies for my mum and my brother, this is pretty much my packing list for a week in England:
- 1 blue jeans (wearing on the plane)
- 1 white jeans (for dressing up)
- 1 blue top (for dressing up)
- 4 t-shirts (1 for the plane)
- 1 thin long sleeved shirt
- 1 tank tops
- 1 hooded top (wearing)
- 1 very thin sweater (for dressing up)
- 1 short
- 1 belt for shorts
- 1 belt for jeans (wearing)
- flip plops
- jogging shoes (wearing)
- thin rain jacket
- thin down packable jacked (wearing)
- 2 sleep shorts
- 1 lounge pant
- 3 pair of socks (wearing 1)
- thin neck scarf (to protect me from getting cold on the plane)
- toiletries – the regular stuff like toothbrush/paste, face and body oil, shampoo, contact lenses, medication ++
- 2 iPads + chargers (my mini, and mums Christmas present (yes, the one she hasn’t gotten yet))
- small camera
- phone + charger + ear buds
- book to read on the trip
- passport, money and e-ticket
- regular glasses for the evenings
- travel adapter
- 1 box of Nescafe Cafe au Chocolate – gotta have my choca mocha fix, you know;-)
My gosh.. that is one awful long list of things.. doesn’t seem very minimalistic now, does it?
I’m sure I’ve packed more than I’ll need, but never mind. It’s not like I’ll be trekking this luggage all over the world now, is it? It’s only a quick trip to hang out with family. Still, it’s a good way to test how little I can get away with for a weeks trip.
So is all this stuff going to fit into my small carry on?
Well… take a look, and see for yourself 🙂
It all fit!
Thankfully, half of the stuff is not coming back home with me. Which means, when it comes down to it, I packed with space to spare 😉
So, off I go, tomorrow morning… See you in London!