After a few years now of travel experience, we tried to do things a little different on our most recent trip to Europe. We decided to take nothing but a backpack and free ourselves of the giant luggage we always lug around. This worked better than I’d hoped. Not only was it nice not to worry about a suitcase, but our time at the airports was cut in half due to not checking any luggage. We were first in line for everything and didn’t have to worry about the chance of lost luggage which we had experienced in the past.
It also allowed us to travel easier and cheaper to more areas. We could connect to the local tram, train or bus for connections from the various train stations as we arrived in each city. This is significantly cheaper than choosing the convenient but more expensive route of paying for a taxi to take you straight to the hotel which one would probably want to do having giant luggage that they don’t want to haul around town.
We had been tinkering with the idea of trying out a backpack for a few years. I realized that every time I went to Europe I always over packed and never wore half of my clothes. I always found myself wearing my most comfy pants and tops several times. I realized for a two week trip you really don’t need more than 3 pair of pants and a few shirts. New underwear and socks are the only essential things you need daily and they don’t take up much room. Anything else you may need such as soap, shampoo or hairdryers are easily accessible at a local shop or in the hotel. If you really need a wash while on the trip, there are laundry mates everywhere and some hotels will even do it for you if they don’t already have one available at the hotel.
There are even travel socks and underwear that are made so you can wear them numerous days and wash easily in the sink and dry in record time. I also bought a cross-body bag at the end of the trip for my souveniers. For the women, if you absolutely have to wear makeup, bring a bottle of mascara and some lip gloss. Don’t waist space with hairdryers, curling irons and straighteners. Throw on a hat and go! Your travel time is precious. I understand some people travel different and require all the essentials, but if you’re just there to see as much as you can, it really doesn’t matter what you look like! After several years of travel, I have now realized that it is simply not necessary to pack much for a two week trip and you will thank yourself if you do. I will never go back to luggage again.
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