Travelers, dreamers, and all my fellow over-packers, traveling with a backpack is no longer just for hikers and gap year students with beards. Stuffing your entire closet, bathroom, makeup collection, shoe shelf, refrigerator, junk drawer, and the rest of your belongings in a knapsack is a challenge, let me tell you, but if we can figure out how to land on the moon and send money via technology, we can do anything. If you are traveling for the weekend or hopping countries, take a chance on the wild side with a backpack. You will not regret it. (Except when you’re going through security for the 5th time and they ruin your very precisely organized masterpiece.) Here are six reasons you should ditch the suitcase and carry your life on your shoulders!
1. Easy, breezy, beautiful backpack girl
Opting for a backpack is not only a time saver, it makes rushing from place to place and plane to train to bus to ferry, a much less stressful ordeal. Trust me, you do not want to be rolling a suitcase through the crowded, cobble stone streets of Rome while you’re trying to find your hotel/Airbnb/future husband. Save yourself the embarrassment and hassle.
2. It’s empowering
While it is very tempting to stuff all of your belongings in your backpack (as mentioned above), you will come to realize how little you actually need. It is completely possible to laugh, enjoy life, meet new people, eat grand food, and see the world in the same shorts you wore yesterday. Probably the same bra too. Lizzie McGuire, you are an outfit repeater. Yes, Kate, I am.
3. You can be a stylish outfit repeater
Just because you are living out of a backpack does not mean you have to look like you are living out of a backpack. Invest in some packing cubes like these here which allow you to fit more while keeping your threads organized and wrinkle free. You will be amazed at how many rompers you can roll up and fit in these cubes. Keep in mind, you will probably not need those wedges or that dress you’ve never worn from Target. Just bring a couple bottoms that go with everything and a few of your favorite rompers, light dresses, and tops.
4. Traveling never goes as planned
Flights are delayed, public transportation is crowded, weather is unpredictable, and you will without a doubt, get lost. All of these circumstances are made 20 times more stressful with luggage to worry about. Oh, and let us not forget that Europe is the land of staircases and buildings without elevators. I’ve been close to tears while trying to lug a 50-pound suitcase up 5 flights of steps. Don’t be like me. Also, trying to hail a taxi in the pouring rain with said suitcase while running late to the airport is the opposite of a pleasant time. True (and tragic) story.
5. Time saver and money saver
Opting for a backpack means you get to avoid the insane luggage fees at the airport which means more $$$ to go towards important things in life like pizza and gelato. Just make sure your backpack fits the carryon guidelines for all flights you embark on, not just major airlines. Flights in Europe are cheap but they charge a ridiculous amount to check baggage. Opting for a backpack also means you get to avoid those endless checked-baggage lines. Walking straight to security is quite possibly one of the best feelings ever.
6. It always has your back
Your backpack can go everywhere with you. Sure, you can leave it at your accommodation but if time is a factor, it’s possible to explore with it on your back. It becomes a part of you like a best friend or an extra body part. It can even double as a pillow for those long days at the airport or train rides. It’s also nice to have your belongings with you 24/7 in the event you spill red wine on your white t-shirt. Here are just a few backpacks that could double as your best friend/home-away-from-home: High Sierra, Kelty Redwing, ECEEN, and Doleesune.
These are just some reasons why traveling with a backpack is the way to go. I learned my lesson (twice) when traveling throughout Europe with a suitcase and a duffle bag. *Still have nightmares* Since then, I have traded the suitcase for a black High Sierra backpack and traveling has never been easier or more enjoyable. Ironically, backpacking is a weight lifted off your shoulders. Wanderlusters, give it a try!