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How To Fit Everything You Need Into One Bag

The good news is you are about to head off into the big wide world on your travels. The bad news is you have no idea how you are going to get all the things you want to take into one bag.

Traveller Girl smiling with backpack

Most airlines only allow 20kg per hold bag and to be honest this is probably as much as you can sensibly carry anyway, unless you are a Bolivian rugby player. An even better idea is a much smaller bag of about 9kg which you can fit into an overhead locker, under your seat or even on your lap. We can hear you screaming “that’s just the size of my wash bag!” Calm down, dear. Think of it this way if you need a team of Sherpa’s to cart your stuff around that labels you as a tourist and a possible target and it’s not much fun.

So how do you actually fit all that stuff into that teeny tiny bag? Easy – spread it all out on the floor and look at each item and say “If I didn’t take this would I really miss it?” If the answer is no then leave it. Pack for the best case scenario; don’t take a heavy coat or jumper “just in case” the weather in Spain turns chilly. It probably won’t and if it does just layer up instead. You can survive for 3 weeks or 3 months on the same number of clothes. Most places will have a laundrette, shops for toiletries and extra clothes; so there is no need to take enough deodorant to last all summer.

Let’s face it clothes are going to be your biggest packing item, so do it carefully. Roll items together that you will wear together. It can be helpful to plan outfits for a few days ahead then you can have to hand the complete set including underwear. Some people recommend the rolling method, where each item is rolled as tight as possible to fit more in. Some even go to the lengths of vacuum packing clothes to remove air – we think this is a little extreme, but hey whatever floats your boat.

Travel direction

Colour coordination is vital. Make sure that all your clothes complement each other so you can mix and match items. We know that you just love that neon blue nightclub dress, but unless it doubles as a beach dress or top over jeans or shorts then save it for when you get home.

If you know you will be doing something highly cultural like going to the opera then guys need a collared short and neat cargo pants, and girls even beach dresses will be OK as long as you do not reveal too much flesh and accessorise with a long sleeved top.

One last thing – a great way to carry a few extra items is to wear them while travelling. A coat or jumper doubles up as a comfy pillow for those long plane flights. And have you seen this guy?




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