Featuring guest writer John Miller
When you are a frequent traveller you know the struggles and time constraints of waiting for checked bags at the airport, especially when you are limited for time. You might also have to pay luggage charges when travelling by coach or train too. So it pays to pack light and keep your baggage to a minimum.
How to pack light for a long trip on the road in Europe?
Chances are you will want to take different forms of transport during your trip through Europe. That along with the fact you will be carrying your luggage around by yourself means you will want to keep your backpack as light as possible. It’s hard to make that ultimate packing list when you don’t know what to expect on the road. Here are a few things that will make your life easier when packing for a European Trip.
Use a lightweight backpack
When you are trying to keep the weight down in your luggage, the last thing you want is a hefty heavy suitcase. Choosing a lightweight backpack will help you to keep any unnecessary weight to a minimum. It helps when you are unpacking too, not taking up too much space, especially when you are staying in small quarters. Do your research to find the best backpack for you, they vary in quality and comfort so you should try them on before you buy to make sure the shape suits you too. Remember this backpack will be your best friend during your trip, you need to pick the right one. All that carrying can take its toll on your back so you are protecting your health!
Make use of packing cubes
Packing cubes are a great way to save space and keep organised on your backpacking trip. You can separate your clothes, toiletries and other items keeping everything clean and safe in your bag. Some come in waterproof fabrics so if you have a leak you know your clean clothes and electrical items are safe. They also help with planning what to bring with you too as you can allocate space to different items and prioritise when packing. For more advice check out my blog at Pretravels for more advice and reviews of what packing cubes to use. They come in all different shapes and sizes and some are even made to fit certain type of backpacks. Whether you use expensive or budget cubes they will all do a great job and help you to pack and repack during your trip.
Limit your clothes
It can be difficult to predict what the weather will be like when backpacking Europe as it can be so changeable at all times of the year. You don’t want to take too much but you need to bring the right things too! The best thing to do is to bring clothes you can layer and mix and match. Essential items are good walking shoes or boots and a waterproof jacket. Of course, you will need different items depending on what you want to do and where you are going. Packing clothes for a ski trip in France is a bit different to packing for a trip around Croatia. Knowing roughly where you’re going and what you will be doing will help you to limit the clothes you pack for your trip. Of course you’ll want to look good whilst in Europe too, so pack light but don’t compromise on style.
Plan to do your own laundry
When you limit the amount of clothes on your trip then you should plan to do your own laundry on the road. It’s easier than you might think, most places that are frequented by backpackers have laundrettes in the vicinity. Or if you are lucky your apartment/hostel or other accommodation may offer you the use of a washing machine. If you have an itinerary for your European trip then you can figure out when you will need to do some laundry and check out the facilities at the destination you plan to be. Then at least you will have a plan to set aside some time to do your washing. It will be like having a wholes fresh backpack again!
Don’t forget essential accessories
There are some things that you can’t do without whilst travelling even when you are struggling for space. Make sure you leave room for essential items such as a travel adapter and your electronics chargers and locks to keep your luggage secure. You might also consider bringing a water bottle along so you can fill up on the go and save money on bottled water. (It saves on waste too). Having spare bags for laundry is also a good idea or use one of your packing cubes for dirty clothes. Make an essential packing list catered just for yourself to prevent forgetting anything important.
What’s the weight limit?
To save on over limit fees you need to be careful about the weight limit for hand luggage on your flights. Make sure you comply with the lowest weight limit and you’ll be safe from further payments. What you might forget is if you pick up souvenirs along the way, your bag might be heavier on the way home. Make sure you take this into account when planning and packing for your trip. Most airlines have a limit of about 10kg which should be enough for a full backpack with everything you need. Remember the carry-on restrictions for liquids too. By having all of your liquids under 100ml you’ll comply and save space in your bag. Save money by decanting your large toiletries into smaller travel bottles and the weight will be reduced as well.
If you’re not sure about how much your luggage weighs, make sure you have a travel scale either with you or at home.
Do you have any tips for packing light?
Have you found any of these tips helpful or do you have any other advice for packing light for a European backpacking trip? By taking into account these few words of wisdom you will pack light, have everything you need and enjoy a fabulous trip backpacking around Europe.
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