Trying to pack light is key for me and I gain a perverse pleasure from getting to the check-in desk and seeing that my back pack has come in at a record low weight (more space for souvenirs).
Usually, for a couple of weeks away, I can get by with several t-shirts, two pairs of shorts… and undisclosed number of boxer shorts and a tube of travel wash! Then the most important bits, cameras, power bank and a book, fit nicely into a hand luggage back pack and I’m away.
I mention this only because Rachel and I have slightly different styles of packing.
For the most part, my packing is done the night before and everything I forget I get when we land. Rachel, on the other hand, loves to write lists, checks the list, re-writes the list and checks again like a fastidious santa.
However, I think that the key difference in our packing styles comes down to imagination!
Before going somewhere you’d be a fool not to check out the weather for the upcoming week, any plug adapters needed, exchange rates and best places to eat once you get there. This pretty much decides all of the clothes that you need and how much money to take. You can sort out pretty much anything else at the airport!
Now, having described my obvious lack of imagination, I’ll refer to Rachel’s packing preparation in the little more detail.
Rachel can start preparing for a trip somewhere as early as 10 months before we go. This mostly takes the form of wandering into numerous charity shops, spotting a beautiful dress, and saying something along the lines of:
“I can just see myself sitting on a beach drinking a cocktail in this.”
This type of Nostradamus meets Audrey Hepburn flash forward will tend to continue until a couple of days before departure by which time there’s an entire wardrobe of perfect outfits for any occasion saved up and a finite amount of suitcase space remaining. Usually, around this time, my spacious back pack becomes a suitcase overflow. More than souvenirs, this is the real reason that I pack light.
Making a list for an adventure is the first thing I do. It’s like writing an essay, once you have the plan organised, the rest is a walk in the park. My list always contains the much needed items (suntan lotion, toothbrush etc), and also much vaguer ideas such as ‘dress for meal on the beach?’
Whenever we book an adventure, I spend a lot of time researching, perusing others travel photos and dreaming of myself in the various places that I see. After all, isn’t that why travel Instagram’s are so fascinating? We all love to dream of ourselves on that faraway beach, imagine the wind in our hair on that mountain. The outfits I plan (always sustainable – I only shop in charity shops) are a huge part of my dreaming sessions. Partly because I like to extend the excitement, and by prepping my packing list I get to go on an adventure much sooner than planned.
Daniel under packs, if anything, and I have watched him strap flippers to the outside of his rucksack and have been there when he realises he has forgotten an essential item. I have also seen him get soaking wet and have nothing dry to change in to, and have helped him out a few times by lending him my t-shirts…so when he says he travels on the bare minimum this may be true – but he only gets to do that because he travels with someone who prepares for every eventuality.
I do however enjoy the space he often has in his bag for items that I have found on our travels. In short, whether you pack light or heavy, it helps to have a friend around to help you carry that load.