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Packing tips from the Pros: Megan Jerrard

( travel light )

Packing tips from the Pros: Megan Jerrard

Megan is a 28-year old travel addict from Australia, an outdoor enthusiast and adrenaline junkie with an incurable disease called “the travel bug.” Her husband Mike (from America) is equally as afflicted.

After having met by chance at the base of Mt Kilimanjaro, Megan and Mike set up a string of dates across different parts of the world, and after a long distance relationship which lasted a year, finally tied the knot in Hawaii. (Megan made the strong argument that as the halfway point between America and Australia, Hawaii was the only fair choice when thinking of their guests). They have been traveling the world ever since, having recently touched down on their 7th continent, camping overnight on the Antarctic ice!

Photo Credit: @mappingmegan

Megan has a degree in both journalism and law, though what it ultimately came down to was her passion for traveling and writing overtook her desire to sit in a corner office. She is now a professional travel blogger, her office ranging from villas in the Galapagos Islands to beaches on the Great Barrier Reef, bungalows overlooking volcanoes in Costa Rica, and everywhere in-between!

What's usually in your carry-on?

Electronics that I wouldn't want losing if they misplaced my check bag, or damaged if it falls off the truck, so laptop, camera, all of our chargers and cords. As well as a spare change of clothes, lollies, and snacks for the plane, and usually a book, even though I never end up reading it! Basic toiletries as well like a toothbrush (works wonders at feeling fresher after a long haul flight), small toothpaste, and some basic makeup.

Photo Credit: @mappingmegan

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

My approach to packing is throwing my normal wardrobe into a bag and pulling out clothes before my shower each day. I'm a last minute packer, so planning day by day outfits is a little too organized for me! The clothes I wear while traveling are the same clothes I normally wear at home. I think it's important to travel in clothes you're comfortable in, as it's one less stress when you're overseas.

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

My father told me to always travel with a spare change of clothes in your carry on. And for years I did, never having to use them.

Of course, the world has a stupid sense of humor, and the first time I traveled without a spare change of clothes, the airline lost my checked bag. Wearing my husband's clothes around Venice was the only option until it arrived 24 hours later. Lesson learned! Sorry for having doubted you, dad!

What’s the best thing about packing light/heavy?

The best thing about packing heavy is that you have access to everything you could possibly need at any point in time, and you have options. It's nice to have options for what to wear even when you're overseas.

That said, I've long since realized that I would prefer to travel light. I've never managed to pack so light that I can travel with carry-on only, tough with the amount of space in the Cabin Zero bags I'm going to try it soon! And a definite perk of not having to check a bag is making the quickest exit from planes and airports, and breezing past those stuck waiting at the baggage claim waiting for their bag to appear!

But even if you do check a bag, the heavier it is, the more difficult it is to travel with. It's tricky maneuvering trains, buses, taxi's and other forms of transport when you're hauling heavy bags.

How does your packing for a travel routine look like?

I'm one of those people who pack the day before I fly. I pull out all of the clothes I want for the trip and lay them on my bed. I'll then count out clothing for the amount of days I'm away and put them in my bag.

How do you deal with "excess baggage" situations? 

I've managed to avoid the excess baggage situation for the past ten years since having purchased a digital luggage scale - it's one of the best things we own - we can tell exactly how much our bags weigh before traveling to the airport.

Though in 2007 as a backpacker in Prague, I made the decision to avoid excess baggage fees by wearing 5 kg of clothing onto the plane! Provided quite a lot of entertainment for the passengers in the queue as I was getting changed in the corner and putting on layer after layer from my suitcase!

What's your best-kept packing secret?

Never traveling with more than two pairs of shoes. Shoes take up the most space in your bag, and they're usually the heaviest too.

One pair should be a sneaker that can double for athletic activities and also go out for a casual meal. If you must bring a second pair of shoes, make it a pair for more formal occasions or nicer meals. The only time I break this rule is if I slip a pair of sandals or flipflops into the side of my pack. And big bulky hiking shoes - you'll very rarely need them. Sneakers will do just fine for most hiking you'll do.

Quick Q's

  • Favourite region? Iceland
  • Favourite country? Iceland
  • Favourite city? London
  • Favourite beach? Whitehaven, Australia
  • Favourite food? Hawaiian Pizza
  • Favourite mode of transport? Skydiving (gets you into remote places)
  • Favourite book? "I Shall Not Hate"
  • Window or aisle seat? Window on short haul flights, aisle on long haul
  • Carry-on or check-in? Check-in
  • Hostel or hotel? Hotel - we've gotten soft in our old age!
  • What's your favourite design from the Cabin Zero collection? Classic

You can follow Megan's adventure on her blog, Mapping Megan.


Megan answered all your questions about her best-kept packing tips, and now it’s your time to answer hers!

Megan asks: What is the item that you always pack but never use on holidays?  

Click this link to answer the question and get a chance to win a 28L Cabin bag!

The winner was announced on Wednesday, 24rd of May on the linked post on our Facebook Timeline.


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