Going On The Road? Here is Your Solution To Overpacking
Traveling for a month is sort of a misnomer. If you’re on the road that long, you can hardly call it “traveling” anymore; it becomes more like “living on the go.” And some long-term travelers make the critical error of assuming that they need to pack an entire month’s equivalent of clothing and amenities to live on the go.
But that’s where things go awry. Packing your entire wardrobe and medicine cabinet can severely stunt your ability to act spontaneously, move freely and travel cheaply. Traveling has always been an exercise in minimalism and resourcefulness – month-long trips are no different.
Finding the right solution to overpacking can make your extended journey more comfortable and manageable. In this article, let’s help you pull off the seemingly impossible. Below, find just three tips for fitting an entire month’s trip into a neat, freeing, no-checked-bag-fees carry-on.
Versatile Merino Clothing
Here’s a tip that most die-hard travelers already know, but it bears repeating: If you want to stretch your wardrobe past its imaginable limits and find a solution to overpacking, choose merino wool.
Merino wool is a superstar for travel. It is insulating and breathable, making it ideal for both hot and cold climates. It’s wrinkle-resistant, so you can guiltlessly stuff it at the bottom of a backpack. But merino wool’s main superpower is its combo of sweat-wicking and antibacterial properties, which actively resists body odors. Some travelers wear one garment for their entire month-long trip without reporting any off smells. It sounds far-fetched but it’s been tried and tested.
For a month-long summer trip, pack three pairs of Unbound Merino underwear, three pairs of socks, two t-shirts and a pair of shorts or pants. Really: that’s all you need.
One Perfect Pair of Footwear
Footwear takes up excessive space in a bag. Once you start adding that second and third pair, you’ve essentially filled your entire bag.
It’s better to pick one perfect pair of footwear: a pair that handles the rugged demands of a hiking trail, but still looks sharp enough to wear to dinner; something heavy enough for the elements but light enough for urban sightseeing. The best option is a comfortable, supportive, waterproof sneaker in a monochrome or neutral color (that way it fits with your wardrobe).
If you need a beach footwear option and are seeking a solution to overpacking, buy flip-flops at your destination. Basic flip-flops are under $10 in most places, so they aren’t worth wasting bag space.
Streamlined Electronics, Bare Essential Toiletries and Collapsible Utility Items
Clothing should comprise roughly 70% of your bag. You can earmark the rest of the space for electronics, documents, toiletries and basic utility items.
Be sparing and ruthless with this 30%. Do you really need an e-reader and an iPad and a laptop and a phone? Probably not. Choose a multi-purpose electronic device and stick with that. As for toiletries, bundle travel-sized basics like shampoo, skin products and oral care into a compact, zip-top bag. If you forget something, don’t sweat it – they have pharmacies where you’re traveling!
As for utility items like a water bottle or neck pillow, seek out collapsible versions. You can find collapsible water bottles and travel pillows for under $30 apiece.