I was a horrendous packer in college. That 50 pound bag limit was exceeded every time I’d fly home and I’m embarrassed to mention that tears were a common occurrence at the check-in counter. But just the thought of that gives me anxiety now. WTF did I need to pack so badly? I have no idea. Thankfully, years of international travel has taught me that a 30 liter backpack offers more than enough space to travel almost anywhere in the world. On my first solo international trip, I spent 10 weeks in the Mediterranean and Turkey with this 30L Osprey bag. The experience was all at once, freeing, efficient, and inspiring. I’m now obsessed with figuring out the most efficient way to pack for any destination and climate.
If you look at packing as a game, not as a chore, you’ll never go back to stuffing a suitcase. Challenge yourself: How small can you make your backpack? How light can you make your luggage? Travel with only 3 tops and 2 bottoms and see what happens! When it comes to clothes, I have one piece of advice- bring neutral colored clothes that can be mixed and matched for several outfit combinations. Sami might suggest something different (as you can tell from the website, we have very different tastes in fashion), but I only bring 5-9 pieces of clothing on any trip and have yet to be bored with my options.
Below is the exact list I run through before every trip. Obviously, not everything on this applies to every destination, but putting in the 5 minutes to check everything off/cross things out is worth a stress-free trip. And in case you’re wondering: YES! This will all fit in a 30 L backpack. (*I carry the DSLR either around my neck or in a separate camera bag.)
Face cleansing oil
4-8 pieces of clothing to wear day/night
Underwear (4 max.)
Bra(s)…if you think you’ll need them
Thick socks for plane
Miscellaneous for summer backpacking:
Backpack rain cover
Before leaving the house:
Download podcasts/offline maps
Take out Trash/recycling
Wash/put away dishes
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