The 75% Rule

BagsWhether you head out travelling for a weekend away, or a couple months of backpacking in Asia, one common trait shared amongst travellers is that we almost always over-pack. 

Despi.jpgte our best intentions, we are all guilty at some time of packing things we rarely, or perhaps even never use.  

I'd estimated that I'm guilty of this 95% of the time I travel. Even though I tell myself every time, this trip will be different. 

But it never is, and we always end up taking more than we need. Perhaps this is due to the mind set in our home life – we usually require more items on a day to day basis at home than on the road. 

How do you pack just the right amount every time you travel?  

I wish I knew some magical answer, but sadly, I don't. But I do have a recommended formula that's worked very well for me recently. It's the 75% rule. 

Basically, this means that I only fill only 75% of my bag(s) capacity when departing, leaving 25% available for unplanned items I may collect along the journey.  

This means packing wisely, considering all the bare essentials. But it also leaves room to add a few mementos, perhaps a new shirt, or any other souvenirs collected along the way. (We almost always accumulate more than we expect on trips.) 

The 75% rule also leaves room for a gift or two, and best of all, it means your bags are light. Nobody wants to be that person struggling with heavy bags on a hot and humid day.   

We've all been on long trips, where we've packed things that only get worn once, or sometimes not worn at all. We end up carrying these items around for no reason, taking up bag space and creating additional weight to transport. In the worst case scenario, we may even discard an item or two, to make room for things we pi.jpgck up along the way. When we return home, we may even miss that poor item we discarded, which is now lost forever. 

If there's two travel regrets many of us experience, it's that we over-pack, and that we didn't collect enough momentos during our trip. The 75% rule should cure both of these regrets.  

(photo at Sea Tac Airport courtesy of Robert S. Donovan) 

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