Lottie, I am THE worst at this. Recently I went to Paris for four days and took almost the same amount of stuff as I took when I went to live in Italy for six months. I’m hopeless when it comes to travelling light. I always pack at least double the clothes I need, because what if I suddenly get the urge to wear that dress? Or that one? Or that sequinned head band that I’ve NEVER worn? Afraid that the perfect opportunity might suddenly arise and I left it at home. I usually also pack about ten books, hair straighteners, hairdryer- the lot… I don’t travel light. I remember once, in Thailand, one of our new found Dutch friends asking where my luggage was, and the priceless look on her face as I pointed to my giant pink suitcase (it turns out that everyone else in the world travels with a back pack.)
Now, I may be impractical, I may carry too much, but I have one rule that always sees me through – never pack more than you can (comfortably) carry. That means safely up and down stairs, for moderate distances, up big hills, on and off trains, gang planks and buses. Don’t rely on other people being around to help carry your stuff for you, just in case they’re not there when you most need them. I’ve often found people are kind, and only too quick to offer assistance, but I always think it’s good to maintain your independence when it comes to suitcases.