This is something that a struggle with every time I travel. Whether I’m going away overnight or for a two week excursion. You never want to bring too much but inadvertently you always do. So how do you decide what is essential or not?
There are so many website out there boasting the best way to pack or my favorite “travel essentials”. What is a travel essential and how do they know if it’s essential to you? When I was traveling for Sotheby’s, I had my packing down pat. There was always extra but it would take me maybe a 1/2 hour while I played French Kiss in the background (My essential travel movie. I watch it before I travel abroad…every time.) When you travel for work your “essentials” are much different then when you’re traveling for pleasure. You run through every possible question in your head. Will I go out? Will I be walking a lot? Will I need a swimsuit? Will it be hot all the time or will I have to pack warm clothes for the evening? What kind of terrain am I going to be in?
If you ask me this is an essential question to ask…what kind of terrain will I be in.” For example, if you’re going to Italy but you’re only going to be in Cinque Terre you should know that heels are not going to cut it, you might as well leave those at home because all they’re going to do is collect dust in your bag.
So what is essential for you to pack when traveling? For me it’s my Kindle, IPhone, a convertible vinyasa scarf from Lululemon and a comfortable pair of walking flats that are versatile, everything else… you can buy there and either leave there or ship home. I always only travel with a carry-on. It’s the easiest way to get around and you don’t have to wait for your luggage, or worry that the airline might lose or leave your luggage. That happened to me once. Flying from Milan home to New York. The airline just left it sitting on the tarmac. I finally got my luggage delivered to me a week later but I always think…what if I was going on vacation and not returning home? After that I only trust in the Carry-on.
So figure out what is essential to your travel needs. Maybe you cannot live without your (fill in the blank) and that’s cool but build around the things that you need and the rest will fall into place. One of my friends who I met on one of my ventures in Italy gave me this piece of advice that I live by now, “Pack your bag, then take out half, you still probably won’t wear half of what you bring. So take the minimum and buy what you need along the way.” Words to live by.
Until next week, travel as you desire!