Packing can be very challenging. You only want to take the absolutely necessary… but what is that, really? You want to take extra clothing with you in case something bad happens, but that will just add weight that could prove unnecessary. On the other hand, you don’t want to end up with only dirty clothes before the trip is over…
If you travel by plane, before you pack you first should be informed about the rules of baggage. IATA “passenger baggage rules ” can help you with that. Then you can choose what kind of bag you will take accordingly. Can you pack all you need in a carry-on baggage? If not, what should you put in the checked baggage?
Electronic devices, like laptop and tablets, should go with you in your carry-on baggage and should be completely turned off. However, you have to think if you need to take them with you as they mean extra weight. You may also have to unpack them in security check. In addition, together with your smartphone, you need to carry the corresponding chargers and, ideally, an electric extension cord (hotels might only have one power plug available, so an electric extension cord could be handy). Speaking of power plugs, you should check if you need to take an adapter with you.
In case your baggage gets lost, you might want to have with you some extra clothing and your hygiene items, although the airport could provide a toiletries’ kit in these cases. If you take your hygiene items with you, and you are travelling by plane, you need to be aware of liquid restrictions. One way to go around this is to check if the hotel where you are staying provides free toiletries (shower gel and shampoo, usually). If you don’t have allergies problems, you can use these. However, you have to take with you some items like creams and toothpaste. Of course you can buy all of these at a local supermarket. Anyway, be sure to only pack those items which are indispensable.
Should you take an extra pair of shoes? It depends on the purpose of your visit. If you’re going to hike during the day and going to have dinner in fancy restaurants, you should consider taking an extra pair of shoes. However, if you are going to do a backpacker kind of trip, then maybe you shouldn’t. However, do be aware that you may need a pair of slippers at night, at least.
Finally, the real challenge: how much clothing should you pack? It depends on the number of days that you are travelling and the purpose of your visit. If you are going to a conference, you have to pack formal or smart clothing as well as informal clothing for the flights and eventual leisure trips. If you are on a backpacking trip, you should only pack comfortable outfits. You also may consider taking soap with you for washing up sometimes. If you are on a beach holidays you probably are packing much lighter than if you are on a skiing holidays. Furthermore, the means of transportation can also influence your decision: if you are travelling in your own car, your worries about quantity and weight are less important than if you are travelling by plane.