Packing for trips has never been my strong suit. When I left for Oxford, the thought of packing for four months in one suitcase was terrifying. Thankfully, with the help of my mother, I managed to make it here with all the important things.
Now an entirely new task lies before me: packing for 10 days in a backpack. On any given three-day weekend, I have been known to pack my backpack completely full. I honestly don’t know how it happens every time, and I don’t even know what I put in there, but I never fail to look like a turtle walking through European airports.
With this in mind, I will now propose to you my guide on how to pack for a 10-day trip in a backpack.
1. Do your laundry. You’re already going to be wearing the same outfits more than once on the trip, so at least start with clean clothes.
2. While your laundry is washing, go ahead and come to terms with yourself and realize that you won’t look like Audrey Hepburn every moment you’re in France.
3. As your laundry is in the dryer, remember to bring a hip Italian pop star outfit just in case Paolo and Isabella decide to bring you into their act at the Colosseum.
4. Now that your laundry is finished, go back to your room and stare at the pile of roughly folded shirts and sweaters. Facetime your mom to ask her what you should bring. She always knows best.
5. After chatting with Mom, pick a movie filmed in your destination city. This will help pass the time and get you in the mood for your spring break adventure.
6. This is when you actually start putting things in the backpack. Here’s how this step goes: roll all your clothes and place them perfectly and cutely inside the backpack just like on Pinterest. Just kidding, every time you try to roll the shirts up it just ends up looking like a busted Sharky’s burrito and you realize you shouldn’t work at a clothing retail store or a burrito chain restaurant.
7. Rolling obviously doesn’t work for all of us, so now we arrive at the more traditional folding flat route of packing. Compress everything neatly, keep it in correct piles – this seems to be going better than the T-shirt burritos.
8. Do you have everything? Yes I think so. Are you sure? No.
9. Don’t forget toiletries. You can only bring travel-sized liquids under 100 mL that fit in one Ziploc. You aren’t going to check your bag because EasyJet will charge you a lot of money.
10. Camera, check. Charged battery, check. Phone charger, check. IPad, check. Headphones, check. Book, check. Boarding pass, check.
Passport, double check.
Passport, seriously don’t forget it.
11. You know you’re probably forgetting something really important, but the time has come for the zipper to do its job. Close it, zip it, stare at it for a minute or so before deciding to throw in one more shirt and pair of shoes and, oh look, you forgot your toothbrush.
12. Repeat the close, zip and stare step. Only this time, there is no turning back. It’s time for bed now and you will be walking to the bus station at 3:30 a.m. Lock your backpack because you don’t want to be pick pocketed, obviously.
13. At 3 a.m., roll out of bed, try to think of anything you could’ve forgotten and realize these efforts are futile because whatever you forgot is just not making it on the trip at this point.
14. Put on the backpack, accept the fact that you look like a Galapagos tortoise and let the adventure begin.