how to pack a backpack for air travel Stage one - Get everything out that you think you might have to take, and I mean absolutely everything. Get your hair straighteners, your laptop, your camera, your TV, all the clothes you own, all your toiletries, get absolutely everything you think you might take with you in one big room (ideally your room as to not piss off anyone else in the house), and then start arranging everything into piles, i.e. pants, socks, shorts, T-shirts; 'have to takes' (i.e. passport, first aid kit, steri kit, etc.); 'would like to takes' (jumper, big towel, inflatable neck pillow, girlfriend - yup, get her squatting up there on the top of one of the piles - for a bit of a giggle anyway!); 'other' (for all the other bits and pieces that you haven't got a clue about); and then stare at everything you have to take.
Stage two - Be cruel to be kind. Get rid of all those things that you put in the pile in the slightest hope that maybe the pile wouldn't be too big and you could slip them in, such as slippers, dressing gown and girlfriend (apologise and offer flowers and chocolates). Hopefully your pile will have decreased somewhat. Convince yourself that it actually looks like a managable load. When you think you're just about there then start to pack. When you realise that the bloody thing is full up and you only have a quarter of the things in there, kick it very hard, curse the fact that it's all my fault and that I have obviously got it wrong about how to pack a backpack, give up on the idea of going off travelling and then break down in tears. How to pack a backpack can be a tricky affair.