The typical mistakes packing your luggage – Backpacking tips

What mistakes do you make while packing and how do you avoid them?

There are some classic mistakes when packing for your New Zealand trip. This includes the amount of stuff you pack. In addition, there is still the question for the flight, what may only be carried into the checked baggage, what must be in the hand luggage? Here are a few things to consider as well. If you do prepare, then you will have a relaxed trip.

Whether you are traveling for a short vacation with suitcases or backpack doesn’t make a difference. The main thing you do not exaggerate with the size, too much space invites you to take away useless things.


Person with a lot of luggage

Photo by Tommaso Pecchioli on Unsplash


What has to be in hand luggage?

In your hand luggage belong first of all things that you will need during the flight or at the airport. Most important are your travel documents and if necessary medicines. When traveling with children you should also think of their utensils such as baby food or diapers.

In addition, belong in the hand luggage fragile and expensive items such as your camera, the laptop or your tablet. Also, all items with lithium or equivalent batteries need to be in your carry-on. Otherwise there is the danger that these will be removed from your checked baggage during the security check. Also not in your hand luggage may all objects that you could abuse as a weapon. In addition to firearms, explosives and guns, these include knives or scissors. Golf clubs and a large number of tools such as screwdrivers are also included and need to be in the checked baggage. Special care must be taken with liquids. These, like creams, may only be taken in containers up to 100 ml in size and must be presented separately in a 1-liter plastic bag during the security check. All other information on prohibited items have ready online to view the respective airline and the respective airport.


What do I really have to take with me?

When packing, it is advisable to proceed in a planned manner. Therefore, you should first collect everything you want to take with you on the journey. Think about what you really need. Do you really need the shower gel and shampoo from home for your trip, these and many other things of everyday use are also available locally and do not have to take your place in your luggage. Do you intend to go on a larger shopping spree on things that you want to take back home, you should plan for this space already.

Sunscreen is usually rather expensive abroad, as well as in New Zealand. Sun cream is therefore useful to take. The advantage here, you can leave them behind if you have too little space in the luggage on the return flight otherwise.


For easier planning we have here on the blog a packing list which you are welcome to use as a template.



Photo by Glenn Carstens-Peters on Unsplash


Backpack or suitcase for travel

There is not the ultimate answer here. If you only want to travel around with the camper for a few weeks then a suitcase is absolutely ok. If you are traveling for a long time or change more often from the vehicle to the accommodation or back, then we would recommend a backpack. On our journey through New Zealand, we each had a large backpack with 50 – 60 litres volume; here everything fits in quite easily. To the backpack topic and how you can find a good backpack, we also have an article here in the blog.


In what order pack

First, you should start with the larger and heavier items. Small things like socks or underwear can then easily be put into the gaps that are created, so you make the most of your space. Ideally, you put down the heaviest objects in the direction of carrying. As a result, the content slips less and you have it easier when pulling or carrying your luggage. For example, you should pad sensitive objects with clothing. In addition, you should always pull a plastic bag around the container with liquids and seal it, then you have in the case of cases a double leak protection and it does not stain your clothes in case of damage to the container. Even shoes belong in a bag, preferably individually so they do not make each other dirty. You also save space because you can flexibly pack them with the other items. In order to get smaller clothes and other airy things you can use these reels, alternatively reusable vacuum bags are a good investment. These also save space in your luggage.


Avoid damage and loss of luggage

The safety of your luggage begins with the purchase. To avoid confusion at the baggage claim, it is advisable to buy a more eye-catching suitcase or backpack. Alternatively, you can also help with ribbons or other individual markings on your suitcase or backpack. For a backpack, the use of a transport bag is recommended; this protects the backpack and the tapes from getting tangled. If you want to lock your luggage, we recommend using a TSA lock, which can be opened and closed by the security authorities if necessary. Other locks are simply cracked here and can’t be closed again.

When packing, you should make a list of the included items; you can take pictures or scan them. So you can prove in a loss of luggage what was in it and can easily prove your claims for damages to the airline. If you don’t travel alone or have several suitcases, then it is advisable to split the contents on the luggage. So you don’t have problems even if a case is delayed or lost. Before departure, you should ideally take a photo of each piece of luggage, so you do not have the problem later to have to describe this piece of luggage in a foreign language. Also, a note with your own contact information on or in the luggage is useful. Ideally placed in a well visible place.


Flight times on a screen

Photo by chuttersnap on Unsplash


My luggage did not arrive

If your baggage has not arrived yet, you should go straight to the baggage counter at the airport and report the lost luggage. If you need something directly, you should also ask directly for an “emergency package”. Here you usually get a small basic care with toothbrush and the most important. If the baggage then no longer arises, you can claim damages from the airline. Most of the luggage will appear within the next few days and will be delivered to your location by courier.


Avoid additional costs for luggage

Already at the time of booking you should take a look at the baggage regulations. Here is exactly described how much luggage you can take. Either there are a number of pieces of luggage with a total weight there; alternatively there is also a weight per piece of luggage which you must not exceed. On long-haul flights are 20 to 30 kilograms and a piece of luggage. If you want more, you can book this the cheapest when booking your flight. The luggage surcharge at the counter at check in is the most expensive and therefore not recommended. Especially with low-cost airlines, in some cases, no baggage is included in the fare. When making your booking, also make sure that you have a board service with meals included. On the long flight to New Zealand, it is advisable to pay attention to the on-board service; alternatively, you can also wrap up some food yourself. For drinks, you have to be careful, you cannot take them through the security checks, so if an empty bottle with the take control and then refill in the bathroom or a drinking water tap.


What to do in case of a delay or a flight failure

If you have a delay or a flight failure, you may be entitled to compensation. Various service providers check this claim for you free of charge and request it from the respective airline on your behalf.


Specialists in case of flight delays or flight cancellations are Fair plane*, Flight right* and the people of Flugrecht*.These all represent the same cases. Did you have a problem with a delay of over 3 hours or even a flight failure? Then check out which of the three websites represents the best case for you. Maybe you can get some money again.


Questions, comments or ideas

Questions, comments or ideas? Then we look forward to your comment under this article. Frequent questions will be added later in the article. Thank you and have a good time in New Zealand!



With * marked links are affiliate links. This means that if you buy a service or a recommended product via one of these links, we will receive a commission. Nothing else changes for you. At the same time you support our work here in the blog and the various social media channels.



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