Packing Tips from the Pros: Olka Zagórska-Chabros

Olka Zagórska-Chabros (known as "ruda" which in Polish means "redheaded) is a travel, Balkan blogger from Poland, crazy about road trips, mountains, vegetarian & vegan food and... cats. Has been writing blog for more than 4 years and trying to convince people that Balkan Peninsula's countries are really worth seeing all year long. Also Olka is promoting active tourism - hiking, bike rides, rafting and beeing close to the nature. She writes blog with her husband Marek, who is responsible for films and some of the photos that You can find in their web site and social media. Together they explore Balkan Peninsula on their own, with their small, yellow car.

Olka also writes guide books (about Balkan Peninsula's countries of course) and also planning to publish her own book about her travels. She is dreaming about moving out to the mountains (in Poland or in the Balkans), because she lives with her husband in the most flat part of Poland, which makes them depressed ;)

What's usually in your carry-on?

Mostly some sport clothes, mini cosmetics, my camera and GoPro, small notebook and pencil. But if I'm not going for typicall backpacking trip I take much more things ;) In Polish we've got this saying "lepiej nosić niż się prosić", which we can translate "it's better to carry than to ask". So for road trips, when all luggages are in the car, I used to take more things, to be prepared for all conditions and eventualities.

Tell us about the usual type of clothes you bring when traveling? 

I'm very outdoor/sport person (during my trips I hike, have bike rides etc) so I alway have with me some sport clothes, which are comfortable, breathable and get dry quickly. They've got also one big advantage - most of them don't take a lot of space in bag or backpack. But I don't plan my day by day outfit, I just focus on what clothes will be needed to practice various physical activities.

What's the best packing tip anyone has given you? Who gave it?

It's better to roll clothes rather than fold them in the typicall way. To be honest I found this advice somewhere in the internet.

What is the best thing about packing light?

In my opinion the most important thing is how much Your bag/backpack weighs. If it's relatively light, You don't have to focus as much on the weight of the things that you put inside. But if your carry-on is quite heavy it's more challenging. As in all things in life, it is also important to keep the golden rule when packing.

How does your packing for a travel routine look like?

Normally I'm trying to pack everything few days before my journey. I put all my stuff on the bed and than I do the selection on those clothes/things that are 100% necessary and on those which I like but not need as much as the others. I put selected groups into the bag/backpack to see if they fit. If they are, I leave the bag and come back to it one day before the trip to check if I really have all things that I need. This routine I practise when I'm going for a road trip and also for o typical backpackers journey.

How do you deal with "excess baggage" situations? 

I have never had such situation. My luggage is always below the weight limit.

What's your best-kept packing secret?

It's good to have husband. If you forget to take something, you can always borrow it from him. ;)

Quick Q's

Photo Credit: @balkanyrudej on Instagram

  • Favourite region? Balkans
  • Favourite country? Bosnia and Herzegovina
  • Favourite city? Sarajevo
  • Favourite beach? Velipoja in Albania
  • Favourite food? Vegan or vegatarian
  • Favourite mode of transpo? Land
  • Favourite book? Margaret Mazzantini's Twice Born
  • Window or aisle seat? Window!
  • Carry-on or check-in? Carry-on
  • Hostel or hotel? Hmm...camping, especially in the wild.
  • What's your favourite design from the Cabin Zero collection? I love the flags edition!

Follow Ruda's adventures on her travel blog, Balkany Rudej.

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