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Packing tips from the Pros: Margherita Ragg

( travel light )

Packing tips from the Pros: Margherita Ragg

Margherita Ragg is a 33-year old travel blogger from Italy. She has been travelling on and off since 2009 – backpacking for two years, then alternating a few months of work and a few months of travel, and now she’s a full-time digital nomad for two years!

She admits that she’s a light packer but a very lazy one. She’s really not the kind of person that takes a whole day to pack, so she just throws a couple of things in her bag and always travel only with a carry-on.

She learned the tricks of travelling light when she hiked the Camino de Santiago across Northern Spain – here’s her very own packing list for lazy girls if you are wondering how she manages to fit a DSLR and drone into her CabinZero!

In terms of travelling style, she thinks the best way to define herself is ‘independent traveller’. Luckily she doesn’t have to be a budget traveller anymore, but she still enjoys haggling and staying at hostels!

She loves making her way to places, walking around, meeting locals and taking the time to explore and connect with people. She’s done group tours in the past and loved them, but travelling independently (whenever possible) is what she truly enjoys doing.

Margherita blogs about nature and adventure travel on The Crowded Planet, together with her husband Nick who is the photographer and all around tech nerd for the site. They both love unusual destinations, long-distance hiking, street art, street food and all kinds of wildlife encounters. This year they’re celebrating their 10th anniversary with a very special trip – Namibia, Botswana and South Africa!  

What's usually in your carry-on?

Enough clothes to last me a week – which usually means three full outfits, seven changes of underwear and a spare pair of shoes. Plus my bathroom stuff and electronics, which actually make up the bulk of my carry-on. Even if I’m traveling non-stop for 6 months, I still pack the same amount of stuff. You can always wash your clothes, anywhere you are!

Tell us about the usual type of clothes you bring when travelling? Do you pick your wardrobe meticulously, plan a day by day outfit, etc.?

I love comfort and practicality. I don’t pack fancy clothes or high heels. Damn, I can’t even walk in high heels! I also won’t pack anything difficult to wash. Usually it means I take with me long skirts, leggings or harem pants (usually one of each), cotton t-shirts and long-sleeved shirts, depending on where I’m headed. I try to pack clothes that can be mixed and matched to make things easy. To be honest I don’t really care what I wear, as long as I’m comfortable. Which is really weird because I studied and worked in fashion from the age of 18 to 21, and I’m from Milan!

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

Take three of everything. I learnt it on the Camino de Santiago – there you have to wash your clothes daily because you walk and sweat so much. So you wear one outfit, have another ready to change into when you arrive, and the third one is ready just in case! I found that this packing style can be applied to most trips, so it’s become my new packing mantra!

What’s the best thing about packing light?

The best thing about travelling with a carry-on is not having to wait for luggage and not worrying your luggage might be lost or damaged in the hold. Also, packing light makes it easy to walk around and means you don’t have to rely on taxis. I hate taking taxis and only do it when it really cannot be avoided.

How does your packing for a travel routine look like?

I’m Mrs. Last Minute! The kind of person that packs at midnight when I have to leave the house at 3 for a 6 a.m. flight. I can pack in less than half an hour. But I always forget something! Every time I say to myself ‘next time I have give myself time to pack’ but then I never do.

How do you deal with "excess baggage" situations? Do you pay extra? Lessen your load? 

It has never happened to me, to be honest. But I guess I’d definitely lighten my load, or try to wear EVERYTHING!

What's your best-kept packing secret?

I don’t really use packing cubes or compression straps, but maybe I should try! I usually wrap clothes around my most fragile electronics like the drone and generally put clothes on the bottom, and electronics on top. I always wear the heaviest clothes when I’m flying if I’m struggling for space!

Quick Q's

Favourite region? The Middle East

Favourite country? Ohhhh I have so many! Japan? Or Finland? Or Iran?

Favourite city? Once again, so many. Can I say three? Berlin, Tel Aviv and Tokyo!

Favourite beach? Just about any beach in the Philippines!

Favourite food? Ramen

Favourite mode of transport? Train

Favourite book? The Master and Margarita

Window or aisle seat? Window

Carry-on or check-in? Carry-on

Hostel or hotel? Can I be annoying and say guesthouse?

What's your favourite design from the Cabin Zero collection? I love mine – the Classic Camo! But really there are so many awesome colours it’s hard to choose just one!

You can follow Margherita and her husband Nick’s adventures on their travel blog The Crowded Planet.


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