Europe Trip Preparation: Packing

With experience from my previous travels, I have learnt on what to pack, and what not to pack. What complicates this is what could (or rather not) be brought through the airport and customs. Another thing to consider is the type of bag to bring along, and, if it has wheels, the "retain" it would be brought through outside the airport.

You know those big fat bags with built in wheels and a handle that many people passing through the airport seem to be bringing along? You don't need to have/buy those bags. If it weren't for the handle, it would be difficult to carry, but what makes it difficult to carry in the first place? The shape of the bag, and, because of the bag's capacity, you tend to fill it up and even exceed the allowed weight of check-in and have to pay more (not cheap) if you still insist on not lightening the load to drop to the limit. Don't forget that the weight of the bag itself, including its handle and wheels, has its own weight. Also, those bags scream "I am a tourist" out loud to people around you. Not a good thing if you want to avoid being robbed.

If you have carried anything for long periods of time, no matter how light or heavy it may be, you would find that the item seem to get heavier even if it's actual weight never changed that could turn out to be worse if it's heavy. Don't forget, every single thing, no matter how small or light, adds up to the total weight!

There are also things that you might think of bringing along, but you don't actually need. There might also be essentials, but you could just buy it at your destination city instead of bringing it along. If it's liquid based, you probably can't bring it through the airport security anyway.

Here are some things that you do not need to bring for a holiday:
  • Toiletries
    • You can buy them later
  • Bags that uses the vacuum to make it air tight
    • It doesn't reduce weight, and also, what are the chances of coming across a vacuum during the trip?
  • Laptops
    • Heavy, and you are likely to find a PC with internet or Wi-Fi hotspot at your hotel anyway
  • Several/Thick books
    • I know you want to kill time on the long flight, but these takes up precious space and weight
    • Use an e-book instead. Just one of these is far thinner and lighter than that physical copy of that Steve Jobs book you are so interested in. In fact, you can put in several hundreds of book content on to it and still not take up additional space.
  • Pillows
    • Hotels provide them, or you can use your clothes, or your bag (assuming that it's not hard-shelled) as subsitute
    • You would be surprised how many people bring them along. Saw a lot of people while queuing at immigration at the Bangkok airport.

Now, excuse me while I figure out what to pack: departing at the night of the day after tomorrow... *looks at time while writing this section* I mean tomorrow night.


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