I have finally figured out the number of bags I need in my wardrobe - JUST ONE MORE!
No matter how many bags you got, you always "need" another one! Bags are an obsession, a hobby. But even apart from that, bags are a necessity. It simply does not make sense to carry a suitcase to your friend's place for the weekend. Also even with a suitcase, you need something smaller to carry things you are going to need on the journey when you embark on a long trip or vacation. A duffel bag is the answer to such situations.
Duffel bags come in all sizes, shapes, and styles too! They are easy-to-carry multipurpose bags that make traveling so much easier. But give one to someone who is not used to duffel bags, and the person will spend an entire day trying to figure out how to pack one! Here are some pointers...
How to Pack a Duffel Bag...
.. for a Day
A small duffel bag would be ideal to pack if you are going over to your friend's place to spend the day together, or if you are going for a sleepover or a pajama party. You would not be carrying any linen or too many clothes if you are going for just one night. But you would be carrying your toiletries, and maybe a little bit of make-up if you plan to head out of the house.
- Pack your towel and clothes at the bottom - you are not going to need them as soon as you arrive at your friend's place! Also carry light - pack only one extra set of clothes, and your nightwear.
- If you are going to carry an extra pair of footwear (oh it so goes with the dress you are going to wear when you go out for dinner!) then carry it in a shoe bag. Duffel bags do not come with shoe bags, so you will have to arrange for one!
- Carry your toiletries and make-up material in two separate pouches, so you do not make a mess or have to empty the entire bag on your friend's bed while hunting for the kohl stick!
... for the Weekend
You would need a slightly larger duffel bag when going off to somewhere for an entire weekend. You would or would not carry bedspreads or blankets depending on how you are traveling, how far away the place is, is it a camp or an indoor get-away etc. You would also be carrying more than just one extra set of clothes. Definitely the number of things you would pack would be more.
- Lay all the linen, bedspreads, blankets etc., at the bottom on the back.
- Try to carry clothes that you can mix and match - any bottoms with any tops. That way you have lesser things to pack and more room in the bag. Pack the clothes in two stacks above the bottom layer of clothes - bottoms in one stack on one side, tops in another on the other side.
- Big duffel bags usually have two small compartments on the sides. Use these efficiently. You can pack your make-up and toiletries pouches into one side compartment. Extra pair of footwear can go into the other.
.. for a Long Trip
When headed for a long trip, a duffel bag acts more like an accessory bag, with most of your clothes going into a bigger suitcase. Your footwear, your jackets, everything would go into your main suitcase. So your duffel bag may suddenly seem too empty! But there is in fact a lot that can go into it.
- Carry your money, passport and visa (if you are flying), travel tickets (plane or train, any), and all essential documents that you may have to produce in the course of the journey in your duffel bag.
- You can carry belongings you will need during the travel in your duffel bag - bottle of water, a book or magazines, a pen, chocolates, chewing gums and mouth fresheners, reading glasses, a hanky or napkin etc. Also carry your medicines in your duffel bag so you can quickly retrieve them as and when the need be. Motion-sickness tablets, tablets for headache, etc., should all go into the duffel bag.
- Finally, pack the things you are going to need immediately on arrival at your destination in your duffel bag too. This could include things like hotel reservation details, addresses diary etc.
... for a Business Trip
Duffel bags prove to be a real blessing when on a business trip. On a business or official trip, there would be two kinds of belongings you would be carrying - personal and professional/work-related. A leather duffel bag would look rather smart on a business trip. It can also carry a lot of things and in a smart way!
- Pack your laptop in your duffel bag. It should be the first thing that goes in, and probably also the first thing you are going to need on arrival at your destination. Better have it handy.
- Carry work related documents in the duffel bag. You can carry them in separate folders so they don't get mixed up and so they are more organized.
- Carry all other gadgets in the duffel bag too - CDs, DVDs, pen-drives, extra laptop batteries etc., should all go into the duffel bag.
I hope these tips have got your packing sorted for you! A few general tips I can give are - don't over pack! Travel light and carry only your essentials, especially if it's a short trip. As a final tip, I would say make a packing checklist to make sure you are carrying everything you need. Happy journey!