6 Tricks to Pack Perfectly

One of the most useful skills I have learned from moving all of my stuff to and from one side of New York State to the other for 4 years while I attended SUNY Oswego was how to pack. This really helped my prioritize when I set off to live in London and had a baggage limit of one 50lb checked bag, a carry on and a “purse” for my 3.5 months staying there. I think that my travels has really taught me a few things about packing so it is not stressful, it is easy, and sometimes a fun challenge!

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  • Check your baggage limit. Many small airlines you can take around Europe such as Ryan Air have a limit of one carry on, no purse, per person. Know exactly how much you can bring, and how much it costs if you need to check an additional bag. For me, paying an extra $80 for a bag was not worth it. Also, pack heavier items in your carry on bags (computers, cameras, jeans and shoes) because they usually have no weight limit. 

  • Invest in a luggage scale. Trust me, trying to guess whether your carry on is over the weight limit with all of your new souvenirs in a hostel in Rome is not ideal. They are convenient, small, and inexpensive. 

  • Comfort is key. When you are traveling, being comfortable in what you are wearing really makes or breaks your experience. No one wants to sight-see soaking wet from the rain, with sore feet, or try and sleep on a train in something uncomfortable. If you don’t wear it at home, you won’t wear it abroad. Break in shoes before packing them, and use water-proof spray on coats and boots.

  • Bring only what you need. Plan out a basic outfit for each day you will be traveling. Try and cut down bottoms, sweaters and jackets by planning to re-wear them when you can and pack extra socks and underwear. 
  • Trial and travel size toiletries. Most airlines will only allow a quart sized ziploc bag of small liquids in carry-ons. Use small trial or travel size toiletries and throw them away when your trip is over and you are heading home.

  • Roll your clothes. Roll up each item of clothing into the smallest you can get it. This will save space, keep your luggage organized and keep them from getting wrinkled. Stick socks and underwear inside your boots or sneakers to save space as well. 
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Vegetarian Food you have to try in London & England

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Sunday “Roast”

Grab a few friends and enjoy a Sunday afternoon in a cozy pub or at a restaurant. A Sunday roast isn’t just about the food, it is about hanging out with your friends and family, having a pint and a delicious meal before starting a new week. While the traditional English Sunday Roast includes beef, chicken or lamb, many restaurants and pubs offer a vegetarian option such as a nut roast ( think veggie burger meets stuffing). Yorkshire pudding, roasted veggies, and crunchy on the outside, fluffy on the inside potatoes.

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Falafel

I must admit, I am obsessed. In London, there is a good chance there is a place to grab a falafel within walking distance to you no matter where you are in the city. Deep fried balls of a seasoned chickpea mash on top of a pita with lettuce, tomato, cucumber and yogurt sauce. The perfect lunch you can walk with or snack after the pubs and clubs. You have to get one from a street vendor to get the full experience.

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Brick Lane Curry

The heart of the Bangladeshi community is in Brick Lane, and if you like Indian food, you must try it here. Peek into one of the many restaurants and sit down for a nice meal.

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High Tea

Many hotels and some restaurants offer a high-tea. Dress in your best and enjoy a proper english afternoon snack. Have some tea, scones with clotted cream (think butter meets whipped cream) small sandwiches and  cakes. Perfect for a girls day, or something to do with your family.

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A Pint of Hard Cider

Pop into a local pub for a tall pint of hard cider. Refreshing, sweet, and always cold. Perfect as a treat after school or work. Better yet, enjoy it in a beer garden and mingle with other pub-folk.

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A Proper English Breakfast 

An English staple, toast, an egg sunny side up baked beans, and Canadian bacon. You have to try it at least once!

Photos taken by myself. 

How to Pack When Traveling

One of the most useful skills I have learned from moving all of my stuff to and from one side of New York State to the other for 4 years while I attended SUNY Oswego was how to pack. This really helped my prioritize when I set off to live in London and had a baggage limit of one 50lb checked bag, a carry on and a “purse” for my 3.5 months staying there. I think that my travels to and around Europe have really taught me a few things about packing so it is not stressful, it is easy, and sometimes a fun challenge!

  • Check your baggage limit. Many small airlines have a limit of one carry on, no purse, per person. Know exactly how much you can bring, and how much it costs if you need to check an additional bag. For me, paying an extra $80 for a bag was not worth it.

  • Invest in a luggage scale and light luggage. Trust me, trying to guess whether your carry on is over the weight limit with all of your new souvenirs in a hostel in Rome is not ideal. They are convenient, small, and inexpensive, you can get one at most department stores like Target. Also, carrying a heavy dufflebag through airports is not fun, my biggest regret is not buying a small carry-on with wheels. 

  • Comfort is key. When you are traveling, being comfortable in what you are wearing really makes or breaks your experience. No one wants to sight-see soaking wet from the rain, with sore feet, or try and sleep on a train in something uncomfortable. If you don’t wear it at home, you won’t wear it abroad. Break in shoes before packing them, and use water-proof spray on coats and boots.

  • Trial and travel size toiletries. Most airlines will only allow a quart sized ziploc bag of small liquids in carry-on baggage. Use small trial or travel size toiletries and throw them away when your trip is over and you are heading home.

  • Electronics. Only bring what is crucial. I keep my camera, ipod, phone charger, camera charger and adapters in a ziploc bag to keep them organized and easy to access if I am asked to remove them from my bag when going through security. 

I hope you find these tricks helpful and have safe, happy travels!