If you’re going to Europe or anywhere for that matter. One of the cheapest and best ways to do it is to backpack. You live a little less luxuriously but when you want to see all the world has to offer spending untold amounts on hotel rooms doesn’t seem worth it. I mean how much time are you planning on spending in your hotel room when you fly all the way over to Italy? Not much I hope.
Early on I learned fast that the way you pack can make or break you. Considering you will be walking around carrying your own bag you need to make sure its light enough to not weigh you down yet packed with all the essentials you will need for your time abroad.
What to bring
You start to realize you can wear that one pair of jeans quite a few times. Instead of bringing 4 pairs of jeans for a 2 week trip bring 2 or even one. Most cities have places you can do laundry and most hostels offer laundry services, just be sure to check if yours does. Instead of bringing jeans bring lighter clothes like leggings for girls or khakis for guys. Always bring clothes you can wear more then once. Having things that are versatile like leggings means you can wear them under a dress or instead of pants and make more use of what you bring.
What not to bring
Don’t bring things you don’t need. For example you do not need your blow dryer and your hair straightener. I have learned to live without either when traveling. They take up too much room and are really heavy. When you are away you are going to want to buy things and having unnecessary objects taking up all the space will mean you will either have to forgo the extra bottle of wine in Italy or the delicious olive oil in Greece or start to carry extra bags which gets confusing and hard when you are moving from place to place.
Buying during your destination
Which also leads me to tell you don’t over buy. You will regret buying too many things if you have to carry your bag that much longer. A few years ago I went Island hopping in Greece, they have so many signature goods, olive oil, honey, wine, etc. I went crazy and purchased as much as I can. The last couple of days I could barely carry my bag. I literally had to drag it. Of course when I got home I was happy to have all my goods but my back paid the price while I was there. May I suggest just buying things you really want or making sure you have a great carry on that you can transfer some of your stuff too. It will make things easier on your body in the end.
Suitcase vs. backpack
The most important thing I can tell you when you venture out on your backpacking adventure is never use a suit case always use a backpack. Maybe that sounds obvious but you don’t know how many people I’ve seen rolling suitcases into hostels and struggling with them while boarding trains or walking to where you need to be. You don’t want this when you can make your life so much easier by just purchasing a good backpack. I used the same one for almost 10 years. It got me through many trips and was more convenient then you can imagine. May I also suggest that you get one that either opens in the front like a suitcase but you can still carry on your back or when that opens from both the top and bottom. My new Osprey carries like a backpack but unloads like a suitcase. It also has an attachable backpack which can give you more packing room or can be used as a day pack.
What is your packing style? As I am preparing for my next trip I am looking for suggestions!