So I don’t have any appropriate photos for packing so enjoy more photos from my European adventures!
- Having never backpacked before I was slightly apprehensive about how quickly my backpack would become disorganized. We all have experienced it with our suitcases… we take them on vacation and it takes less than a day for them to become disorganized and no longer neatly folded. At least with a suitcase it is easy to find everything, but when I thought about this with my backpack I envisioned pure anarchy and chaos (also if you have ever seen the amount of clothes I own and how many end up on my bedroom floor you would understand). Luckily I have a sick obsession with reading travel blogs and I quickly realized my saving grace was going to be packing cubes. I can’t even imagine what it would have been like without them. They helped keep my absurdly huge backpack organized and honestly alleviated a lot of stress throughout my travels. I got them from Target, and I can’t even tell you the name of them right now causes my Aunt is actually borrowing them for her upcoming trip. They came in three sizes and I put all my jeans/cardigans etc. in the biggest, tops in the middle, and intimates in the smallest one. If you are planning on backpacking, get these cubes. I don’t want to say they will change your life, but your life will never be the same.
2. ROLL YOUR CLOTHES. You always read about people saying this is the best way to pack your clothes but you think to yourself, “how dare you suggest that folding isn’t the one and only option! I will always fold my clothes”. Well, I caved. I rolled my clothes when I went to Asia earlier in the summer and all the rumors are true… you can fit more clothes and your clothes don’t wrinkle as much. So when space is precious and you don’t want your clothes to wrinkle from hostel to hostel ROLL YOUR CLOTHES.
3. So for forever and a day I always have complained about the weather in June. In Vancouver at least, it’s that awkward in between weather where it’s not hot enough for just shorts and a t-shirt, but also not cool enough for a jacket. Or during the day you are all right in a t-shirt but by 5pm you need another layer. Or out of nowhere it’s raining, but a warm rain. With all this in mind it was a struggle for me to figure out what to pack. The answer is layers and having thin clothes that you can easily throw into your bag. I LIVED in two of my Banana Republic cardigans as well as a thin North Face shell jacket that I was lucky enough to get from Sport Check before I left for only $45. The jacket was such a saving grace… it was the perfect weight for the June temperatures but also thin enough that when it did get warmer I could take it off and put it in my purse.
4. Let me set the stage for you: I was returning home from Asia on June 10th, had my university convocation on June 13th, and then left for Europe on June 14th. There was very little time to do what I really wanted, which was binge watch the rest of Friday Night Lights on Netflix. Instead I was knee deep in laundry and our living room became the communal packing/unpacking space. To make all of this even less stressful Air Canada was nice enough to misplace my luggage from Hong Kong. Luckily, nobody over thinks packing as much as I do. While I was packing to come home from Hong Kong I thought to myself, “Wow it would suck if I lost my luggage and all the things I wanted to take to Europe would be gone”. So, I packed everything I knew I couldn’t live without in Europe in my carry on. Crisis avoided. I really encourage this practice to everyone when they travel. Always put at least one extra outfit and other things you can’t live without in your carry on… as long as they aren’t liquids over 100ml, cause in that case tough luck.
5. I am so conscientious about not looking like the biggest tourist possible whilst travelling. I quickly realized the fastest way for people to know I was North American was to essentially dress exactly how I would dress in Vancouver. In Vancouver we dress so casually. Luckily, I had already been privy to this knowledge in Hong Kong so I was prepared for this in Europe. I don’t understand why people don’t embrace wearing shorts when the temperature creeps above 22, but that’s just me. Anyways, I’m so happy I brought two pairs of closed toe shoes (Toms and Chucks) cause everywhere you look people are wearing sneakers (especially in Hamburg, Amsterdam, and Salzburg). While we were in Berlin, Munich, and Prague the weather was warmer and I made the bold decision to wear sandals a couple times. There was even one day in Berlin where it was warm enough I wore a sundress. It also didn’t help that my travelling companion had this weird vendetta against shorts so he was always in jeans and sneakers.