Before any amazing trip can begin, comes the truly frustrating process of packing. No matter how long I go away for, be it a few days, weeks or months, I always manage to over pack.
Luckily, due to a combination of having to pack many bags and having my family lend many helping hands, I’ve managed to squeeze everything into my pack that I think I will need or use over the next four months.
Now of course when people travel we all have the items that they “can’t leave home without”- which is definitely true. My staples are things like moisturiser (I’m a bit of a fiend), face wipes, my Kindle, Lonely Planet, sun cream, locks for my bag, camera and of course, the right adaptors! However, whenever I’m lucky enough to get the opportunity to travel, there are always a few items that I take along with me in order to make my trip a bit easier.
-Speakers. I love listening to music, and rarely have a silent moment so speakers are a must for my travels. Obviously for ease of packing and movement, small lightweight are preferable, but there are so many brands out there that you can take your pick. SurfStitch has some great options, including Nixon and Kakkoii Speakers.
-Handbag. Now I don’t mean one of those Mary Poppins you-can-fit-anything-and-everything-into-this-bag kind of bag – I mean a good, small to medium sized over the shoulder bag, preferably with a few different compartments. I personally wouldn’t carry a money belt – I find them uncomfortable (and ugly) and I always feel like if I wear one I may as we’ll wear a sign strapped to my face saying “I’m a tourist: you can try rip me off!”. Probably not such a concern for European countries, but a definite one for Asia and South America.
I have found that over the shoulder length strap gives me the extra security when I’m out of a night or just in more crowded places – you can pop it over your shoulder and have the bag sitting in front of you, making it far more difficult of anyone to slip something out of it. In fact, when I was in Vietnam over the summer, it was because I had my bag over my shoulder that a near robbery was only a near one and not a successful one! The compartments are a personal preference as I tend to carry lots of bits and pieces with me, so it just makes them easier to find.
- Power board. This is a bit of a strange suggestion, but these days we travel with so much technology – iPods, phones, Kindles, lap tops, cameras and more! More often than not, hostels will provide only one (if that!) power outlet per bed. So to make sure you can charge everything at once and make sure you can take that perfect photo or listen to your favourite song, use a power board! Doesn’t have to be a huge one – I’m taking one with four outlets – more than enough!
- Travel Wallet. Travelling is the perfect time to purge your wallet of all those extra cards and receipts that you just don’t use anymore. Again, SurfStitch has some great options, with Burton being my favourite, but it really depends on what you want. If you’re looking for a smaller size, I find that a small card holder is ideal- the only down side is that it doesn’t have any space for coins. If this is what you are after, i’d go for Bellroy- SurfStitch offer a heap of different sizes, all super compact and made from leather too, which is always nice.
My final word of wisdom is when you’re packing and you run into the inveitable situation of trying to decide between two tops or trying to squeeze in that extra pair of shoes. The solution: rolling and stuffing undies! Rolling everything saves so much more space and also keeps some clothes looking less crinkles – which when you’re living out of a bag for months is quite nice. Just to further maximise your space-to-clothes ratio, saving packing your unmentionables until last and then fill all the gaps in your bag with underwear! Stuff them in shoes (helps flats keep their shape girls!), squeeze them down the side- any space you can see, fill it with undies!
Hopefully some of these suggestions are helpful for you! I know everyone has their own packing secrets – feel free to share some!
Next post will be from London- until then!!