Whenever I travel somewhere with friends we always decide on one person taking shampoo, one person taking make-up removal, one person taking toothpaste and so on.. Just because you then have more space for other important things (like clothes, duh) in your suitcase.
But when you are traveling solo, that’s not how it works. You have to pack everything you need in your own luggage. So how can you save some space in your luggage? Here are my tips.
#1 You don’t need everything you think you need.
This might sound weird but once you are traveling, you somehow turn to minimalism without thinking about it. Especially when you go to warm countries. I mean, who wants to wear tons of jewelry in a 35 Degree heat? And how many different shorts do you actually need? Just think about it twice and take the things you can easily combine with each other and you’re good. (Insider tip: There are washing machines all around the world ;))
Same goes for make-up by the way. Take a light powder and some mascara and you’re good to go. You don’t need much else.
#2 The important things can be bought.
Every time I go somewhere and think about what I could have forgotten, my mum always says “You’re not out of the world, they have stores everywhere”. So this became my mantra. When I go on big trips, I only bring small tubes of everything – toothpaste, shampoo, shower gel – and when it’s empty, I just get new ones wherever I am. It makes life so much easier!
#3 Always buy the lighter versions (aka travel gear).
And with travel gear I mean all the things you actually need when backpacking and not all the camping gear – definitely two different pairs of shoes.
So what I mean, for example, is a microfibre towel. Because, let’s face it, you need a towel when staying in hostels, since no one really fancies paying money to hire a towel that has been used by 100 other people before without knowing how clean it actually is. But all the normal towels can take away half of your backpack, so a microfibre towel it is. And a plus: It dries super quickly!
#4 Switch to alternatives.
Every girl out there needs tampons once a month. And if you think about traveling for 2-3 months you need to bring tampons. And they take up space. So why not switch to menstruation cups? They are easy to use, take up less space and are clearly better for the environment. So give it a try and you don’t have to worry about having enough tampons to get you through your trip to countries where they can’t be found easily.
Another thing you could use an alternative for are contact lenses. If you need those and have daily lenses, you obviously have to bring 100 pairs on a long trip. Why not try and switch to bi-weekly or monthly lenses?
And once you’ve got all your things together and start filling your pack, make sure to use your space wisely. Think about it:
#1 What needs to be within reach easily? (Underwear, socks, rain cover)
#2 How many little pockets do I have on my backpack? And how can I fill them?
#3 What needs to go in my carry on? (charger, book, diary, toothbrush and -paste)
#4 What else CAN go in my carry on? (layering and stuffing’s key!)