Despite my love of travelling, I’ve never been very good at packing. I surprised not only myself, but also others too last weekend when I was packing to come back to Barcelona after the Christmas break. I didn’t blog about it in a bid to procrastinate, nor did I constantly update my Facebook status declaring how much I dislike packing. I just got on and did it, and I did it quite quickly too. (It’s amazing what you can do if you don’t procrastinate).
Maybe I should have contemplated it a bit longer, as I ended up overpacking. By that I mean I’d put aside 2 layers of clothes to wear on my journey back to Barcelona, as they didn’t fit in my small hand luggaged sized suitcase. And I still felt they were neccessary items. I guess wearing two layers of clothes is a definite give away that you’ve over packed!
Once I’d done the best I could with the small space I had in my case, I moved on to my coat pockets. I discovered they’re a good place for putting small t-shirts or socks.
Some airlines are very strict on the amount of hand luggage you’re allowed to carry on board, a lot of low-cost airlines tell you only ONE item, which means that ladies have to put their handbag somewhere in their small carry-on luggage. I have a tiny handbag that can actually fit a good amount of things in; passport, kindle, purse etc, the neccessities. The little things I can’t find space for in my case. As my handbag is so small, I don’t think it was seen my the ground crew as I walked through to the boarding gate, and so I didn’t have to join the other women in re-organising their entire luggage so that their handbag could fit in, which was good, as I actually had zero space left. I’d maxed out my space the way a shopoholic maxes out her credit cards. This was because I bought something in duty free.
What the airlines don’t really tell you is that they accept your one item of handluggage, PLUS a duty free bag, imagining that duty free was a spur-of-the-moment purchase you hadn’t planned for when packing your handluggage. I’d planned to buy in duty free as I had a carrier bag with my book and scarf and gloves and other items I either couldn’t wear or didn’t want to (2 layers of clothing can get hot, even when it’s winter). I also saw people were allowed to board if they had a carrier bag from one of the airport shops too.
There are possibilities for extra space if you overpack your handluggage, but don’t forget to consider the practicalities, like if you’re going on a short break, do you really need to pack so much that you don’t have space for the souvenirs you’re planning on buying? Can you even carry everything you’ve packed? And can you carry an extra carrier bag? If you’ve already maxed out your hold luggage and are still struggling for extra space in your handluggage, maybe it’s time to ditch the unnecessary items. I was still throwing nail varnishes into my luggage 30 minutes before I left for the airport, then realised they would not enhance my life in Barcelona in any way. Teabags, however do, they got priority above my essential facewipes when I packed.