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PACKING TIPS FROM THE PROS: LAURA LYNCH
by CABINZERO EDITOR • September 22, 2017

Photo Credit: @savoredjourneys

Laura Lynch is a self-proclaimed travel addict for the past 25 years. She's traveled to over 55 countries, and recently moved to London to be able to travel quicker and easier. She started my travel blog in 2014 as a way to share her love of travel and years worth of knowledge with more people.

She writes mostly about discovering the world through food and wine. Laura prefers to pack as light as possible, and not weigh herself down with unnecessary items while traveling. In London, you have to take dozens of steps in the Underground to get to the airport, so it’s best to avoid suitcases or lugging heavy items around. Laura admits her backpack is all she needs!

What's usually in your carry-on?

When I travel, I typically only take a carry-on sized backpack. I’ve found over the years that limiting myself to what fits in the backpack is a great way to enforce light packing. Aside from essential clothes, I always have my tablet filled with entertainment options, my headphones to shut out the noise of traveling, and an umbrella, just in case.

Tell us about the usual type of clothes you bring when traveling?

I’m not worried about fashion when I travel. Instead, I pack versatile, mix-and-match tops and bottoms. This offers the maximum flexibility to suit every occasion. I’ll pack a few tops that are dressy, and a few that are casual, plus a pair of jeans, a neutral-colored skirt, and my black travel pants that can be casual or dressy, depending on what they’re paired with. I rarely pack more than 2 pairs of shoes, either. It’s all about finding the right shoes to fit multiple outfits and occasions.

What's the best packing tip anyone has given you? Who gave it?

I learned about packing cubes many years ago from a friend who does a lot of traveling. She swore by them, saying they changed her whole packing experience. As soon as I used them for the first time, I was completely sold. They give you the ability to be so much more organized and to pack way more into an even smaller space. They’re super flexible and resilient, no matter how much you try to jam-pack into them.

Photo Credit: @savoredjourneys

What is the best thing about packing light?

I was dragging a heavy suitcase over cobblestone streets in Belgrade when I decided I would never use a suitcase again. I don’t like being weighed down with heavy luggage. It makes every situation more tedious and trying. I see people with these gigantic suitcases all the time and I have to wonder why they needed all of that stuff. Even for a 2-month trip last year, we only needed our large backpacks, like the 44L CabinZero backpack. You can only wear one thing at a time, and there’s always a sink to wash things in.

How does your packing for a travel routine look like?

I start thinking about what clothes I might need for a specific trip about a week in advance, so I can pick up anything I might need, or wash certain items to have them ready. But I don’t actually pack until the night before. We’ve gotten really good at knowing exactly what we need, since we travel 3-4 times per month. My husband and I each have our own set of packing cubes, so we just put what we need in those, and stick them into our backpacks and we’re ready to go. We also have a toiletry bag that we keep packed up, so we can just throw it in.

How do you deal with "excess baggage" situations?

We would never pay for excess baggage. Now that we travel quite a bit on low-cost European airlines, we don’t even bother paying for one piece of luggage. We just take our backpacks, which always fit in the overhead bin or under the seat. The only time we ever pay for luggage is if we’re going to a wine region and want to bring back some bottles in our suitcase. Even then, we’d only pay for regular size luggage, never for excess. It’s just not necessary.

What's your best-kept packing secret?

I don’t know if these qualify as secrets, but my two best packing tips are to use packing cubes and to keep a toiletry bag fully stocked just for travel. I used to spend so much time packing and unpacking the toiletry bag and then crossing my fingers that I didn’t leave anything important behind. Yes, you have to buy a second set of everything you need, but it saves loads of time not having to pack it up each time. Packing cubes are a no-brainer. They’re the best thing ever to happen to packing.

Quick Q's

  • Favourite region? Any wine region
  • Favourite country? Italy
  • Favourite city? London
  • Favourite beach? Bora Bora
  • Favourite food? Mexican food, especially tacos
  • Favourite mode of transpo? Air. It’s quicker.
  • Favourite book? A Widow for One Year by John Irving
  • Window or aisle seat? Always the window
  • Carry-on or check-in? Carry on
  • Hostel or hotel? Hotel
  • What's your favourite design from the Cabin Zero collection? Classic 36L

Follow Laura's adventures in her travel blog, Savored Journeys.