Hacking Packing

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I love packing - To me packing always signals the beginning of an adventure, the start of a journey.

This packing wisdom I am about to share is specifically for long term travel, two weeks and onward. The way I pack for a long weekend is significantly different from the way I pack for a long trip. These hacks came to me as I was packing for my last long trip to Kenya. A country, a continent I have never been to before!

Regardless of where you go, I believe these pack hacks will be of value to you in your long term travels.


Just like a liquid fills up to the form of any container it's poured into, so will your wardrobe adjust to your chosen luggage. The most important question to ask yourself is: What do I actually want to be carrying around for 1 month, 3 months, 12 months?!

Your options will normally come down to a choice of two: Backpack or Suitcase.

I personally think that when traveling on the go, backpacks are best. Backpacks are great for ‘adventure’ travel. The kind of travel where you don’t know if tomorrow night you will be sleeping in a hostel or camping.

Suitcases are great when you know you will be staying put for longer periods of time. If you will have a home base where you can leave your suitcase during your travels, I suggest taking a suitcase. Reason being, suitcases provide and take up more space, but if space won’t be a problem then take a suitcase. It will also give you more room to bring back souvenirs.

With that said, for this trip to Kenya I decided to take a suitcase. Mainly because I was going to have a home base in Nairobi for the five weeks. However, even if you have a home base where you can leave your luggage, it is vital to always take a medium empty backpack with you. This will be essential when making smaller 3-5 day trips during your stay. It will allow you to move faster and freely.

Now that you’ve decided whether you will be a suitcase person or a backpack person, you can start filling your container. As a rule of thumb, and this took me a while to learn, pack for 7 to 10 days. I don’t care of you are traveling for 10 days or 12 months, pack as if you were only traveling for 7 to 10 days. In my experience that amounts to plenty of clothes and style variations.

Truth is, when you are traveling, you are constantly on the move and will end up using the same clothes over and over again. Plus, a laundry service is never too far away in distance or price!


Another rule I like to live by is... take what you wear in your day to day!

In my experience every time I take something I generally don’t wear in my day to day, guess what? I don’t use it while traveling either. Like heels! I never wear heels. Last two long trips I have been on, I took heels “just in case” and I did not use them once! Nevertheless, if you regularly wear heels, then by all means take them, you will use them. What I am advising is pack what you like to wear, what you feel good and comfortable in.

I am also aware that different places require different clothes, so it is important to check what is considered appropriate wear to where you are going. We always want to be respectful towards the local customs.


Also, very important to check the climate situation and if there are any health concerns in your destination. For example, this trip to Kenya I took lots of mosquito repellent equipment, given existence of malaria in the area. And I took long sleeves which protected from mosquitos and kept me warm. Just because it’s summer in your country it does not mean that it’s summer where you are going. Kenya is in the equator so you can always expect it to be a bit chilly in the mornings and at night, especially in Nairobi where I spent most of my time.

Don’t stress! Our world is so globalized that if you forget to pack something truly essential, you will probably be able to buy it at your destination. 

I never pack towels. I never take hair dryers (hotels and hostels normally have some). I never pack toiletries (I just buy them when I arrive). 

Just don’t forget your passport ;)

By Silvia Cristina Higareda

Content Manager, SUAVS Shoes


  • Tayleigh

    Hows the metatarsal support for the shoes? I tend to get plantars fasciitis because I have flat feet and just wanted to make sure there would be enough support for that.

  • Ruth Larson

    Good tips! I travel with too much luggage. I will think about your tips next trip. Nowadays, yes, you can buy whatever you decided to leave behind. Comfy shoes are so necessary. Comfy clothes as well. Forget the heels and fancy, fancy dresses. Enjoy the trip with less stress.

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