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What I’ll be packing for my next long trip


I haven’t decided when or where to go yet, but every once in a while I like to experiment with packing. When I pack last minute, I have a tendency to carry more than I need, which I usually regret when I’m on the road.

Today I bought a smaller suitcase: 45 cm tall, down from 55 which is the maximum for hand luggage. I was able to reduce the weight from 15 kg on my last trip to 7.9 kg. This is mainly because I’m not bringing my Digital SLR camera and guidebooks and because I’m carrying fewer clothes. These two things combined mean I’m crossing a psychological threshold where I don’t consider my luggage a burden. I can comfortably keep this on my lap while sitting in a crowded bus, carry it up a high staircase or down a muddy path.

I’ll feel more comfortable at airports, because the staff is much less likely to make me go through the annoying process of measuring and weighing my bag. Most airlines allow at least 10 kg which means I don’t have to optimize for weight. I normally do that by wearing a sweater and jacket, keeping my Kindle, water bottle and other small but heavy stuff in my jacket and making sure that I’m wearing the heaviest pants. That’s not very comfortable on a hot airport, but that is how I can reach that 7.9 kg figure, half of that being the suitcase itself and my laptop.