Packing. It's almost always the slowest and most-likely-to-drive-me-crazy part of traveling for me. Those who have seen my wadrobe, shoe collection and accessory stand can attest to that fact — even I am shocked at how much I have sometimes. But this time, it's completely, and surprisingly, different.
I finished packing three days ago: Considering I'd usually wait until the day before to startand finish the day of, this is definitely an achievement. Packing for my study abroad program this time was stress-free as well - my tetris skills must have improved.
I allowed myself a checked luggage and a carry-on for Glasgow, but I was worried that they wouldn't be enough. Of course.
Nevertheless, on Tuesday afternoon I sorted out all the clothes that I plan to take with me. (I did not expect I could actually finish packing everything by dinnertime.) Here you see one coat, nine pairs of socks, two scarfs, and multiple piles of tops, cardigans, skirts, jeans, PJs, workout gear, dresses and other clothing girls love to wear.
Oh, the shoes! How can I forget? Picking the right pair of shoes with style and for the right purpose while traveling is just as hard as waking up for 8am classes, especially when you are limited to what's really only one pair of each type of shoes.
Anyway, I am taking a pair of ballet flats, a pair of wedged heels for more formal occasions, a comfortable (and new) pair of walking shoes, and a disposable pair of shower sandals. Since Glasgow's weather is similar to Berkeley's, but much more cloudy and rainy, I decided to wear my rain boots on the day I travel.
And now, the packing begins! I had been looking up packing tips and space-saving hacks to, well, pack as much as I can in my two luggages. (I'm taking my backpack on the plane as well, but no one ever worries about that one.) One hack I was really excited to try (and see if it actually works) is rolling my clothes.
Following this pro tip, I laid my jackets and cardigans one on top of another, placing the biggest one at the bottom. I did the same for my tops (long sleeves, short sleeves and sleeveless) and rolled the multiple layers of clothing from bottom up together.
Rolling just one stack didn't seem like it helped save much space, but after I put every roll in the luggage, I was surprised — and pleased. I now have a lot of room in the luggage, and I didn't have to squeeze or force anything into it. (*Note: I still folded my jeans and shorts regularly because a mix of folding and rolling will create the most space.)
Furthermore, I've also made use of three other packing tips to maximize space. Here, I placed three pairs of socks in each shoe (this one's a no brainer), put two scarfs inside my beanie, then tied the roll of dresses with a belt. Look at that neat, space-saving bundle!
After a few hours of rolling, I packed 90% of everything I wish to take with me in my checked luggage. I am lucky that my shampoo and conditioner are also in a container that's the same cylindrical shape as the rolls. This was the quickest, easiest packing I've ever done — not to mention this is for two months in a foreign city where the weather is, unfortunately, quite unpredictable and bipolar (hello, Berkeley).
Wow, then what about the carry-on? I can probably do without the carry-on, but in case of flight problems and missing/delayed luggage, I'm still taking it and packing in there two more outfits, travel-size toiletries and other personal items I might use immediately.
And there you have it. My packing story for an exciting summer abroad at the University of Glasgow and other places in Europe! I leave in less than 24 hours, YES. See you on the other side!