Travelling home briefly – how to pack just one bag? – OurWarwick
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Travelling home briefly – how to pack just one bag?

United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland (the)
Harriet Waldron | Mechanical Engineering Contact Harriet
Anything about anything!
Find out more about me Contact Harriet

I’m currently at my term-time address. And, each time I’ve been home (the first time for about 3 weeks, and the next time will be just for a weekend), all I’ve taken with me is a single backpack. This one bag was suffice for me to do any work I needed to do, and had all my essential things that I need on a day-to-day basis. Maybe this isn’t such a big deal to some of you, but for me, this is actually an astonishing feat; I am usually that person that brings too much stuff with me everywhere I go (just in case I need it, you know?) and then only end up using half of it.

Bearing in mind, I have my room at home, and my room at my term time address – both are fully set up and I am accustomed to living in both for long periods of time.

What I packed:

  • Work stuff
    • Laptop
    • Laptop charger
    • Laptop case
    • Scientific calculator (I do engineering, and you just never know)
  • Clothes
    • Basically, 2-3 of everything (3 tops, 3 jumpers, etc)
      • I also made sure to wear the largest jumper, and a pair of jeans on the journey, because they would take up more room in my bag than other clothes
  • Toiletries
    • Toothbrush
    • Jewellery in a small tin
    • Minimal make-up
    • Hairbrush (I only have one, so I had to take it, although in retrospect maybe I could have taken a comb instead – though I sort of hate combs so this would be unlikely)
    • Travel sized pot of moisturiser (like, tiny)
    • Deodorant (I could buy this once I got home, but I knew I wouldn’t go shopping on the day I got back, so I brought it anyway)
  • Miscellaneous
    • Water bottle (need that for the journey, if anything)
    • Headphones (can’t live without these – I don’t even feel like I’m exaggerating)
    • Plugs (this sounds really random – but a bunch of plugs have the USB port in them, so instead of taking the whole plug and lead, I only took the shortest leads I could find)
    • Clogs (very random, but I wear these as slippers – I wouldn’t bring them but at the moment I have to wear particular insoles all the time, so they were a must)

What I would normally try to bring (but forced myself to leave behind):

  • Work stuff
    • Monitor (I know – sounds overkill, but I love having two screens normally. Turns out it’s fine having just one for a few weeks)
    • Pencil case including pencils, protractor, pens, rubbers, calculators (plural),  (I have pencils at home! Why the heck do I need to bring them with me?!)
    • Flashcards (I told you, I normally go overkill)
    • Notebooks (useful, because I use these a lot, but it’s not like I don’t have any back home)
    • Tablet (as in, electronic tablet – I use this to write lecture notes on OneNote, but I just didn’t need it for this trip)
  • Toiletries
    • Shampoo/conditioner (have it at home – don’t even need the travel sized bottles)
    • Toothpaste (at home)
    • Full pot of moisturiser (I could buy this at home, but I knew I wouldn’t go shopping for a few days, and I didn’t have room for the whole pot)
    • Hayfever tablets (a bit specific)
  • Miscellaneous
    • Books (they take up too much room and are super heavy)
    • Plants (I don’t always take plants – that would be a bit ridiculous – but when I am leaving them uncatered, I ask my housemates to water them every so often)
    • Trainers (two pairs of shoes was the limit, and a pair of trainers just wouldn’t fit)
    • Hairdryer
  • Clothes
    • Just more of everything, usually

What I learned/the results:

I can fit a lot into one bag. I also happen to have a waterproof sack thing that I put my laptop into, before putting it into my main bag, just so that if it rained, it wouldn’t matter if my rucksack got wet. I still can’t believe that I managed to get everything; all my clothes, toiletries, laptop, all my chargers, a pair of clogs, etc, all into one backpack. I also found that it took a lot less time to unpack once I got home. Having only one bag means you have less to carry and are less likely to leave something behind enroute. It also meant that there was so little stuff, I could remember exactly what I’d packed and where in the bag I’d put it. Also, having to deal with less stuff in general was just a lot less stressful and allowed my room at home to remain nice and tidy whilst I was there.

I also realised that there were lots of things that I normally need, but that if I really considered them, I could leave behind. Things like my hairdryer, and the entire pot of moisturiser.

I have realised, though, that without a small laptop, there would be no way I would be able to fit all of that in one bag again. This laptop is a 14″ screen (my old one was 15.6″, and about double the width and weight, and would barely have fit in the bag in the first place, let alone with all the stuff I would want to take too).

Overall; the less stuff, the better the journey, and the trip in general! I am so glad I made myself downscale the stuff I could take to fit in just one bag; I will be doing this forever more.

Photo by Clem Onojeghuo on Unsplash.

United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland (the)
Harriet Waldron | Mechanical Engineering Contact Harriet
Anything about anything!
Find out more about me Contact Harriet

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