Packing 101

Last year I had the good fortune of spending over a month in Europe. This trip consisted of ten days of solo travel through Madrid and Salamanca, a week with a girlfriend in Barcelona, and two weeks in Italy with my husband Jack. As this epic journey drew closer, one of my coworkers (who is originally from Austria) asked me what type of travel bag I planned to bring. I told her that I assumed I would have to bring a large suitcase since I was going to be gone for so long, visiting a variety of locations and climates. However, as an experienced solo traveler, she strongly advised me to pack light: “The last thing you want is to be struggling alone with a heavy bag on a crowded European train.” This terrifying image stayed with me and I was determined to find a way to pack for a month in a carry-on.

I did a ton of research and decided to purchase the Farpoint 55 Travel Backpack from Osprey, offered for $150 on Amazon. I ordered it in S/M (it also comes in M/L) – this was the perfect size for me (I’m 5’4″). Its volume is 55L (3,400 cubic inches), which complies with carry-on standards. The straps are adjustable, so it was easy to get a perfect fit on my body. It also comes with a removable day pack, which was great for hiking and various day trips. I easily fastened a small combination luggage lock to the main compartment zipper so that I could wear it on my back and not stress about getting robbed. I was incredibly pleased with this bag and will continue to use it on my travels.

Me wearing the Osprey backpack – large backpack on my back, day pack in front.

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