Wednesday, September 2, 2015

How to pack for a long holiday #TravelFeature

Packing light for a long holiday, and one that requires moving around to places with different weather conditions is not easy! We left for Europe in June, which is technically summer, but due to global warming and just crazy weather changes, it was freezing when we got to Paris, got even colder in Amsterdam, and stayed chilly all the way to Berlin, before warming up slightly in Vienna and finally becoming scorching hot in Venice and Florence. Even if the cold front only lasted for our first 3 weeks in Europe, we still needed to pack a few jackets, beanies and scarves so we'd survive. So how exactly does one fit two months worth of outfits in a 20kg baggage allowance? Here are some suggestions:

1. Start packing EARLY- In order to refrain from panic packing, get your luggage out about 10-14 days before and start doing a preliminary pack. Remember that this will be edited in the days leading to your departure, but at least you have an idea of what you would like to bring.

2. Bring multi-use pieces- As much as you probably hate repeating outfits, you will have to when you travel, especially if it's a long haul trip. Bring a lot of basics that you can mix and match. This is a challenge to your creativity! You really don't need 3 pairs of jeans and 5 scarves plus 3 jackets. Bring a nice leather jacket that goes with everything, and 2 each of jeans and scarves. Remember that you will shop along the way. I don't care if you say you won't because YOU WILL.

Black Leather jacket at Albert Cuypmarkt in Amsterdam

Black Leather jacket outside Liberty in Central London

Black Leather jacket in Blvd. Saint Germain in Paris

3. Consider what kind of city you are going to- If it's a walking city, forget your stilettos and stick to flats. A pair of nice boots and some ballet flats will go with a lot of outfits, and only bring fancier footwear if you are going for a wedding or somewhere you need to get dressed.

Ballet flats outside the Uffizi in Florence

Ballet flats in Jardin du Luxembourg in Paris

Walking sandals in Venice

4. Pack less than 20kg- Again, YOU WILL SHOP. Believe me. And when you get to the end of your trip, it will hurt to have to throw some stuff because your baggage is over weight. Remember that excess baggage fees are CRAZY.

5. Pick the right bag- I thought I did by bringing what was basically an oversized duffel bag with wheels. I had brought the same luggage to a 2 month North and South American trip a couple of years prior and it was fine, forgetting that in the US you are allowed 2 pieces of baggage. It was ok when I left Manila but got progressively heavier as we traipsed around and was especially a BITCH when having to go up and down stairs at train stations. I almost missed a train from Prague to Berlin because of this.

Bags! bags everywhere! leaving Amsterdam to go to Prague!

6. Forget toiletries- Buy when you get to your first destination and as you go along. Unless you have a crazy skin or scalp condition, I'm sure you can live without your 11 step beauty routine for awhile. Plus, it's so much fun to shop at supermarkets when abroad!

7. Prioritize- Make sure you get your MUST BRING items in your bag first before anything else. Some of these items might be chargers, cables, universal adaptors, passports and papers, identification, basic meds and the like. Get those important things in order first before deciding whether to bring your pink sneakers or your blue ones.

8. Lay clothing out and put outfits together- The ones that are featured in most outfits deserve to be packed and brought with you. If some of them can only be worn with one outfit, leave it behind for when you get back, or for another trip where it can get more airtime.

Remember, YOU will be lugging everything around with you so pack only what you are willing to carry. I threw out so much stuff along the way and I totally regret it!

Photos by Mio Paredes, Issa Perez de Tagle and Myself :)

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