Are you an over-packer, an under-packer or maybe even an ‘Into the Wild’ style freestyle packer?
However you pack, I’m sure you will have felt a certain amount of pressure recently to pack lighter. The ‘carry-on only movement’ seems to have picked up pace recently, with a flurry of travel bloggers telling you why you should be ditching x, y and z to lighten your load and give you the freedom to swan past the other chumps at the airport and their outdated 80 liter backpacks.
Full disclosure: I am one of those annoying bloggers. I have been traveling with carry-on only for the past year and yes, it has made a significant difference to my traveling experience. However, there are downsides and there have been more than a few times I longed for a little more “stuff”.
Why Packing Light Isn’t For Everyone
Written by: Lucy Sheref
One of those times was when I joyously arrived in Bangkok ready for my Wednesday ‘ladies night’ hit of swanky bar action, and free-flowing bubbly. If you aren’t aware, ladies night in Bangkok consists of bottomless prosecco and much merriment.
But of course, the bars that participate are not the backpacker dive bars (that I also love). They tend to be in the upmarket ex-pat areas such as Sukhumvit. As such, I spent a full hour rifling through my teeny weeny 30 litre Karrimor backpack desperately trying to find something, anything, that would be acceptable in the gorgeous skyline bar we were heading to.
I finally had to go out barefoot, with a borrowed dress.
I looked semi-ridiculous and felt even worse. Clearly, the night wasn’t as amazing as I’d hoped. While the waiter frequented our table topping us all up with endless prosecco, I winced, hiding my feet under a friends handbag so as not to draw attention to my naked feet.
Not the night out I had imagined.
Granted, this is one hell of a specific scenario, so I certainly don’t advocate taking a backpack double the size ‘just in case’. However, it highlighted something to me; sometimes you shouldn’t pack light.
There is absolutely no shame in taking a nicer outfit or a third pair of shoes (shock horror, maybe even a pair of heels!) when you travel. Perhaps you even like to keep your toiletries full sized and fancy-free? Do it. If that’s what makes your traveling experience all the better, then more power to you.
Over the years, I’ve made plenty of mistakes and will happily share them all with you in the hope you don’t do the same. Nowadays, I am a lot kinder to myself, and approach each trip with a fresh mind. Ensuring that you keep your packing appropriate is an art form, and one that TFG has perfected, hence why I live and die by TFG’s packing lists!
Personally, I am of the opinion that traveling to Asia warrants a lot less ‘stuff’ than other areas of the world. Europe, for me, requires more layers and chunkier shoes — even in Summer — and I often have more skincare and makeup too.
I certainly will be on my next trip.
Just in Case Items that Won’t Weigh You Down
Are you one of those whom packing light isn’t for? Why? Please share below!
For more packing tips, please read:
- Pack Light Stylishly: The Ultimate Guide
- 10 Step Packing Guide to Stop Overpacking
- 10 Step Packing Guide for Trips with Different Climates
- Stop Overpacking: The 30 Day Challenge
Hope you’ve found this post on why packing light isn’t for everyone useful. Please share with your friends on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest. Thanks for reading!
Author Bio: In 2013, I quit my job and booked a ticket to Sri Lanka thinking I’d be back to the UK in 6 months. Two years later, and I’m still traveling! In that time, I’ve discovered new passions (weekly spa sessions!) and old ones (travel, writing) and combined them to create a career that keeps me on the road. You can find me on Twitter, Instagram and at my blog WanderLuce.