How To Pack a Light Backpack in 30 Minutes

Warning! There is a shocking fact I want to share with you: Most of my friends don’t know how to pack a backpack in 30 minutes. I cannot understand why is so difficult for some and probably for you too, but I will try my best to explain the simple logic I use. My friends, amateur travellers and all people, here is how you pack a suitcase in 30 minutes:

1. Check the weather online

Yes, it takes about 5 minutes and it will help you sort the useless things you want to take with you.

I prefer to use AccuWeather, it is most of the times extremely accurate, but it can also fail. It doesn’t matter which website you use, just take a look where you check the weather usually. I recommend to check the hourly forecast, to know how to organise your outfits.

2. Count the days

Most of my friends need their entire closet when they travel someplace. I say you need to count those days, then that’s how you get the number of shirts you need. If it’s more than 7 days, then you will have to wash some stuff or wear it twice.

3. Clothes

Get the clothes out of the closet. You need the number of t-shirts you counted earlier, of you can add one more. Just one! And if it’s less than 1 week, one pair of pants will do. You can wear that when you travel and save some space.

If you are going someplace warm, pack a pair of shorts, too. And the essentials: socks, underwear. One for each day, but no more than 7. Learn to wash your stuff and you will save so much space. I use the washing machine when I get the chance. I’ve done this while Couchsurfing. You’ll be surprised by the people’s good will.

4. Toiletries

Three words: Travel size kit. So there are 2 options for this. You either buy travel size whatever you use, shampoo and shower gel and whatever body cream lotion you may use, or buy a set of recipients which are travel size and fill those with your products. I have small recipients from hotels or I bought some and fill it from the normal size product package.

You need shampoo, soap or shower gel, or you can use a shampoo for washing your hands and body and save space, a small toothpaste, a small perfume (I don’t use it, and save the space), deodorant, and makeup. All of these must be in recipients smaller than 100 ml and fit in a 1 L plastic bag if you are travelling by plane.  Other non-liquid toothbrushes, shower sponge and a small towel. I’ve been in places where they provided no towels.

Keep your makeup bag light. There is no need for more than a face cream, foundation, powder, mascara and a brush. And this is coming from a former makeup addict. I buy travel size makeup, like powders and brushes. Also when I’m travelling with a check in luggage, I take my makeup in my carry on, because disasters can happen, and you don’t need foundation on all your clothes.

5. Shoes

The weather will tell you what shoes to wear, so I mostly have only the shoes I am wearing. For longer journeys where you walk a lot, pack another pair of good walking shoes.  Some people pack slippers too, but I don’t find it necessary, it depends on where will you be staying.

6. Accessories

Travelling light will mean you will have to ignore fashion calls and stick with basic stuff, which hopefully can be used for more than one purpose.

I usually include in this category: gloves, hat, scarf (which can be used as a blanket as well), umbrella, sunglasses.

7. Technology

A short list of my devices: ear buds, phone, charging cables, power bank, watch.

traveling alone

And this is my short list!

Probably the first time will take a little more than 30 minutes, but I am sure you will get things done pretty quickly.


30 minutes to pack your backpack

Iulia Vasile

Iulia is a travel expert, blogger, engineer, freelance copywriter, and a curiosity-driven personality. She sees travel as the ultimate tool for self-improvement and personal growth, and that's the main topic of her blog,

View stories

1 comment