Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Smart(er) packing

My Swiss Victorinox backpack. Photo: eBay Shopping.com 
Short weekend, half or one week - what and how much to bring? This is an important thing to decide for any traveler. Here are a few of my answers to these questions. 
Short weekend = bring one piece of carry on
Luggage compartments of Airbus 340-600. Photo: Mattes
Norwegians are traveling more, and more often. If you travel for a short weekend, you better pack less and avoid sending any luggage. 
The main advantage is to save time. When traveling for 48 to 72 hours you will not spend time on check in or waiting in pick-up lines. Only carry-on makes it easier and quicker to embark and disembark, and catch transportation  and save time to spend on your destination.
If you travel with carry-on luggage only, be aware of limitations on what (and not) to bring on board:
  • When packing carry on you must be aware of the regulations on liquids. You cannot bring more than 100 ml of liquids, and they must be placed in a sealed plastic bag through security. This also means that if you plan to buy articles as cream, perfumes, spirits on your destination, you will have to check in your hand luggage. 
  • Do remember that you will be allowed to bring things as scissors or other pointed items through security.     
Smart advice for the 48-72 hour traveler
  • Buy a small, thin backpack. I have a very good and durable one manufactored by the quality Swiss firm Victorinox. With nothing in, it takes no room, even in a carry-on suitcase. When on destination you can carry it around on your back. If you should decide to buy any articles you can decide you check in your small suitcase and use the backpack as your carry-on. 
  • If traveling to a cold destination wear an extra warm sweater in order to save room in your suitcase.   
Half week = one backpack and one small or large suitcase 

Baggage claim, Baltimore Airport: Photo: PD-USGOV-NASA
For those of you traveling up to one week, you will have more time and can check in and check out your luggage. Longer stays will also give you more time to do some retail therapy. 
That is why I highly recommend travelers to bring one backpack and one small or one big suitcase. 
Choice of size of suitcase depends on what you plan to do and importantly, what to bring back from your destination.
Smart advice for those traveling up to a week 
  • If you travel during summer and bring a small suitcase, pack only a few items of each, and buy the rest at your destination. 
One week + = one small AND one large suitcase (and a backpack)  
Grey suitcase. Photo: JEXP
For longer travel you need to bring more clothes for your travel, OR keep enough space to shop for a new wardrobe as well as high-quality goods to bring home. 
When I travel to Marrakech in three weeks I have decided to pack one large suitcase and take my small as a carry-on.
Smart advice for those traveling over a week
  • If you overindulge in shopping pack your backpack in your large suitcase. In this case you can send two suitcases if you find much (as I expect I will in Marocco).   


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