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Tuesday, 14 June 2016

Travel Tuesday: Backpack VS. Suitcase in Kraków

Dearest travellers,

Welcome to yet another #traveltuesday post :) it gives me great pleasure to share with you, from time to time, my thoughts and feelings about travelling. I believe that travelling is one of the most enriching things of life, travelling you learn more about the world around you but also about yourself. Travelling brings you memories and experiences and feelings that stay with you forever. I would rather travel and collect memories than sit tight in one place and gather things... in the end it is not the "things" that we take with us into our grave. Travelling always comes with different options that one can choose from:
1. Should I take this trip alone or with a friend or with family? Is it a business trip? 
2. How am I going to reach this place? Do I get there by plane, boat, train, bus, car, bike, public transport? Will I need to change the method of transport? Will there be a transit through another country? 
3. Where will I live? Where will I lat my head when I will be tired? Would it be a hotel, hostel, Airbnb location or will I couchsurfing?  Or maybe be wild and sleep under the starry sky? 
4. For how long am I planning to stay? What are the minimum amount of clothes that I need to bring?
5. What type of traveller am I at this point in my life?! = trust me, this is a very good and important question to ask yourself when beginning to plan the trip! Throughout our life our style and way that we handle trips changes a lot. It can vary from being able to sleep in a hostel with 8 other people in the room, waking up early in the morning fresh as a daisy and walking non stop until the middle of the night when you would hit a local pub VS. needing a 2 people room (if you travel with your significant other or with a friend) with its own bathroom included, in a hotel or an apartment rented and waking up around 9 am the earliest! As you level up (age) you will probably want to get more comfortable and spend your time in a more relaxing way. Probably the energy won't be the same as well and you will cut on those pub crawls ;) it gets even more interesting when you are 1+1=3 and you start having kids...
When you will decide to have a go and visit Kraków you should also try to decide what type of traveller you wish to be: Backpack VS. Suitcase. Both are perfect for Kraków bit you need at first to check out the 5 main questions above. I always say to my friends, when they come visit, to choose having a big luggage + backpack (as the hand item). Let's face it, everyone is so dependent on technology and social media that they always bring their laptop + phone. If they love to travel and take pictures that makes it even harder as they will bring the camera + probably additional lenses. All that takes space so the backpack should be suited for all the electronics (and other goods) that you wish to have with you at all times to make sure all is well. Don't worry about the safety, the hotels and hostels usually have safety boxes in case you wish to leave the goods while you explore the city. The suitcase I always recommend then not to overfill it as for sure they will but things here: be it souvenirs or gifts for people home or even clothing (Polish clothing stores have very nice brands that are not known worldwide but have exquisite collections at a very affordable price ;) trust me! My friends come to shop here!).
According to the weather, no matter the season, it would be good to pack an umbrella as it may rain and a jacket for windy conditions. Scarfs are a good accessory and they will come in handy as well ;) I recommend ladies not to take high heels as Kraków is an old town and it has mostly cobblestoned streets - flats and tennis shoes are way more comfortable and you won't get blisters. The weather is not as hot as Spain or Italy but we tend to have quite high humidity levels in the summertime, so matching a long dress with a thin jacket against the wind is perfect. When you will be visiting the museums in Kraków there is always a wardrobe where you can leave your umbrella/coat/jacket/backpack so don't fret about that ;) but if you plan a trip to Auschwitz or to Wieliczka make sure you bring a very light bag, a purse, not a backpack! You will be forced to leave it in the car/bus/outside or not go in (they do not have special deposit boxes).
Of course, again it depends on how long you are planning to stay: if you are in Kraków for a weekend I would not bother taking anything more than a backpack so you could travel fast/swiftly and have no problem, if you are in Kraków for a week... I would definitely recommend both :) the things you truly need with you in the backpack like the electronics + the suitcase for the clothes and potential goodies that you will buy (I recommend the candies and chocolate and for the guys the vodka, for the friends and family make sure you check out Sukiennice and the handmade items sold inside!). Of course the backpack only option provides you more freedom and more time when boarding the plane.  If you have the suitcase you have to take into account the checkin time for it as well + when you get to the destination you need to wait for it to pick it up (hoping all goes well and you are not so unlucky it gets lost). With just the backpack it's you and the wind upon your back, racing into the unknown :) but then again the backpack may be heavy and you may get sweaty and you might just want to take your time: take a suitcase and a small purse and feel as light as a bee (that's my option for when I do business travels). Think about it! It all depends on what type of travel you are embarking into and for how long. But for Kraków make sure you bring your camera, flat shoes/tennis, a scarf and an umbrella... just in case ;) there is so much to see and experience! Just ask me of you have no clue where to start! :)

Yours sincerely,
The Twisted Red LadyBug that loves both backpacks and suitcases :) depending on where and when one travels ;)