One of the most common mistakes that newbie travellers make is very simple. They don’t keep it simple! I haven’t checked bags in years because I want the quickest entry and exit from an airport as possible. Plus, it’s a good way to avoid hefty airline fees for checked or overweight baggage. Does anyone actually enjoy sitting for an extra forty minutes at the baggage carousel hoping that their luggage didn’t get lost along the way? Not a chance! Be the first to the exit and begin your adventure!
Whether you’re travelling for a weekend or even a few months, ask yourself how much you really need to bring with you versus what you can buy along the way.
One one of my very first trips, I packed what felt like my entire closet! Halfway through the trip my suitcase was overflowing with dirty, once-worn, clothes that it started coming down to a sniff-test. Another great lesson learnt: always bring a laundry bag that has a drawstring or zipper. Personally, I use a waterproof hiking compression bag to help the smells from escaping! This allows you to minimize the space it will take in your luggage as well.
Part of your travel planning process should be including time for laundry. As a rule, I’ll pack 5 days of clothes. See my other post for a packing list. This will give me enough diversity to ensure it doesn’t look like I wore the same thing every day, and also some backup clothes in case something is ruined or lost along the way.
Another common travel mistake? Packing ANYTHING white! ‘nough said.
There are three types of travellers out there. Which are you?
- The Commoner: You’ve Google Map’d the closest facilities to your hotel and their hours. Maybe this is even in the hotel, or maybe this is a few blocks away. But, you know from experience that this is the fastest way to get the turnaround to get your undies clean. You’ve called in advance and know how many machines they have and what coins or cards they accept and if you need to bring your own detergent.
- The Traditionalist: You don’t mind the 24-hour turnaround time and cost with the hotel’s laundry service. You want your clothes nicely pressed or folded and waiting for you the next day.
- The Backpacker: You’re likely a penny-pincher who isn’t afraid to get their hands dirty washing manually in the sink and air drying out of their hostel window. You know by the time you leave and have to pack that your clothes may not be entirely dry yet, but this doesn’t bother you.