Thoughts on Packing

by Danielle on September 30, 2009


I never used to be a big supporter of the pack lightly club.  I was always a believer in the “I would rather have it and not need it than wish I had not left it at home” method.  No awards are given to the ones with the smallest bags.  However, airline weight restrictions and baggage fees  have curbed some of my over-packing tendencies and after lugging all our crap halfway around the world and back I am a changed woman.

Packing the bags up more than 4 dozen times made me kind of hate it. Squashing us and all our bags into taxis made me wish we had brought less. Tripping over the suitcases made me want to get smaller. While digging through our bags earned me the title Finder of All Things, it also drove me crazy and made me want to ditch more and more stuff at every stop.


In Thailand we took a side trip to the beach. I was able to get our stuff down to one suitcase (not counting the carry-ons) and leave the rest in Bangkok. For almost 3 weeks we had just the one bag. For the 4 of us.  Certainly made me wonder if we could do it for three weeks, why not longer?

Lesson learned: So yes, for the next trip I WILL be packing lighter. It IS a burden to bring the non essentials. We CAN get by just fine with less.


September 30, 2009 Mary Beth Haley

But how do you decided what’s essential and what isn’t? I always take too much stuff on a trip, but I, like you, have vowed to change – lol.

September 30, 2009 Pat Hoffmeiser

What happened to the high maintenance Danielle? No matter. I love you both ways.

October 1, 2009 Chrislyn

As I pack for our upcoming RTW, I look at an extra sundress and think, It really does pack up small… Surely it couldn’t hurt? :) Thanks for the reminder! Less is more- and leaves more room for NEW little sundresses!

October 2, 2009 Danielle

Walk a couple of miles lugging all your stuff and it gets much easier to let go of the things you are not using almost every day.

October 5, 2009 Victoria

We did a trial run for our RTW trip this summer and managed to get all our stuff into a bag each, 65l pack for my husband, 40l pack for me and small packs for the three children. We took absolute essentials and it was great, easy to find stuff, less stuff to worry about losing and easy to hop on and off trains, even with a three year old. I found it harder work when we did a road trip in May and shoved everything in the boot of the car. We just had too much and I could never find what we needed. I’m definitely with you on minimising the packing!

October 13, 2009 Erica R.M.

What freedom! I love traveling thru this life lightly. The ability to pick up & go @ a moment’s notice to adventure around the world – Yum!

October 20, 2009 maria

I really enjoyed reading about your adventures, both the best and the worst! I have traveled myself around the world for many years with my husband and our 3 (homeschooled)kids. We have sometimes traveled to one place and stayed there for a longer period and rented a house or so. At other times we have traveled with a campervan. The times we live out of our suitcases, like you did,usually creates the most “different” travel experience. We then get closer to people, often stay at peoples homes, and feel more “free” when we don’t have loads of stuff around us.
We’ve been at our “home base” for a while now, but are planning (as always) to get on the road soon again. Reading about your adventures makes me want to go at once.
Great site!

November 8, 2009 Jeremy and Eva Rees

When we were packing for our trip, we read a blog that said “Put out everything you need and throw away half.” I know this is common travel knowledge but when you are deep into your travels, you realize you don’t need a 7 pound first-aid kit or 4 pounds of anti-biotic and assorted other pills, no matter how dangerous the world seemed at home. The real secret of travel is most places in the world have the things you will need, if you ever actually need them – cheaper. Part of the live and learn strategy for next time we travel.

Part of the fun is traveling with only one pair of shoes, three t-shirts and no cell phone.

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