trip prep: pack it all up

We are currently in Berlin checking out the Brandenburg Gate and all the art museums, not to mention some Soviet era spy museums and the Berlin wall. Tomorrow we’ll spend the day in Dresden.

I never gave much thought to packing before other than what I was planning to take. When I have traveled abroad in the past, I was basically going to one location, so I didn’t worry about hauling around my big suitcase (or two of them, when I studied abroad). But this trip is a little different. We’re going to be packing up and going to different locations basically every other day. While researching online, I found out about the travel light movement. These people are hardcore. I’m talking two-pairs-of-underwear for a three-week trip hardcore. I’m talking laundry in your hotel sink and carrying your own drying line hardcore. I wasn’t quite ready to go that far, but it did inspire me to think smaller. Here are my two options:

My old medium-sized suitcase or my sister’s favorite Kelty backpack that she was kind enough to loan me. I really wanted to make the Kelty work because I thought having a backpack would be more convenient for all those train rides and apartments that may or may not have elevators. I honestly didn’t know if I could do it. I have been working on a packing list for the last month – adding and removing items of clothing. I decided to try and pack only blue and black tops just to keep it easy. I couldn’t give up all color, though, so I added two bright shirts. Altogether, I packed 2 pairs of pants, 3 skirts (I love skirts), 10 shirts, and a cardigan.

Plus I had my small clothes (as they’re called in the Game of Thrones) and pajamas and a swimsuit just in case the Mediterranean is warm enough. Do you think it all fit in the backpack? Take a look:

Ok… so as I write this (remember how I wrote them all before I left), I still have a few more things to squeeze in there. But there’s still room. Mostly, I worry that it might exceed the weight limit. Luckily, I have an easy way to get around that.

I bought some huge 2 gallon Ziploc bags and split up my shirts into two bags. I also put my socks and small clothes into separate bags, so if I have to unload something from my bag to help it meet the weight requirements, I can easily transfer one or two Ziplocs to my stashable tote or my camera bag. The hardest part will be the stricter weight limit for our flight from Strasbourg to Nice. If I have to, I am not above putting on lots of layers of clothes for the short flight.



  1. goldenfever · September 25, 2012

    Awesome! I knew you could do it. You forgot to mention how cool you would look packing the kelty around with the bonus soviet era patch:) Have fun!

  2. ladylighttravel · September 28, 2012

    Good for you – you did it! You’ll be able to get more outfits next time if you plan a capsule wardrobe ahead of time (get all your tops and bottoms to work together). Also think layers. BTW, I recommend 3 pairs of underwear – one to wash, one to wear, and a spare 🙂

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