How to travel with one backpack

Traveling with one backpack is a skill to be learned and perfected. Even the most seasoned travelers fight the urge to over pack, and most will probably admit to throwing extra items into their bag at the last minute. Though practice makes perfect, and over time I’ve managed to hone my packing skills to the point where everything fits into one backpack, whether it be for 2 months or 2 days. 

There is something liberating and exciting about being able to live out of just one piece of luggage. When you’re hauling heavy bags it’s awkward on public transport, inconvenient to drag across town, and airlines will hit you with extra fees. You’re less likely to travel off the beaten path with all that weight, and it’s difficult to find your things when and as you need.

Do you really need 10 shirts? Probably not. If you can’t wear it more than once or if it can’t easily dry overnight, don’t pack it.Of course if you’re going on a hiking trip and will be sweating all day, it’s probably not feasible to wear your shirt twice (but throw some powder detergent in a ziplock bag just in case!). However, if you’re just planning on sightseeing, chances are there should be no problem wearing at least some of your clothes twice.

Not only should you think about the fabric of your clothing, but you should also consider its color and functionality.Darker clothing is less likely to show stains and is easier to pair with any pair of shoes or pants that you bring along. Dark t-shirts can be both dressed up for a nice dinner or dressed down for an athletic activity.

Think about the fabric of your clothing! Only pack lightweight clothing that can be easily rolled up in your backpack.

This kind of clothing is easy to carry, saves space, and will also dry much easier should you need to do some laundry during your trip.

Wear your heaviest and bulkiest clothing while traveling! I usually wear a pair of jeans and a jacket onto the plane. These two items alone will take up a majority of your pack space (you can also apply this rule if traveling with heavy hiking shoes).

If it’s too hot for a jacket, tie it around your waist or around the straps of your pack.

NEVER bring more than 2 pairs of shoes. One pair of shoes should be a sneaker that can double for athletic activities and also going out for a casual meal.

If you must bring a second pair of shoes make it a pair of shoes for more formal occasions or nicer meals. The only time I break this rule is if I slip a pair of lightweight flip-flops into the side of my pack.

What do you think?