My Travelling Checklist/Essentials
When I go travelling, I take ONE big backpack and that is it – I admit I stuff it to the absolute brim but it’s still only ONE. I take a small bag as hand-luggage on the plane as well but I make sure there’s enough room for it to be tucked away into my main backpack when I’ve landed and began travelling around. The main reason for this is because a small bag is so easy to leave behind somewhere such as on a bus or whilst i’m waiting around. Therefore, I have learnt and adapted to what I WANT to take along with me and what I really NEED to take along with me.
I’ll start with my plane carry on bag.
It’s actually a big camera bag for my DSLR and was only cheap from eBay. Since flights tend to be extra long when travelling, mine have been ultra long at minimum 12 hours, this bag is great to hold all of the essentials and a few luxuries. It has two compartments, one for the camera and the other is meant for the camera accessories, but instead I used it to store my passport, boarding passes, contact lens pot with the solution already inside, iPod & headphones, phone, tablet, a universal charger and a small purse with cash & cards in. On long haul flights, you are provided with a toothbrush, blanket, pillow etc. so there’s no need to take any extra unless you really want to. OH and of course anything you need to help improve your face which can look HORRENDOUS after a long flight, so I tend to carry a small mascara, powder and lip balm.
My main backpack holds everything else that I don’t mind not having on me at most times.
This list is loooong so i’ll bullet point it, starting from the absolute musts. Just a couple of packing tips first…!
1. Pack light! Anything bulky and heavy think to yourself, do I really need that enough to be carrying it around for miles?
2. Role, don’t fold. Tuck clothing into any space available. Roll it into shoes & compartments.
Walking boots (wouldn’t fit in the bag)
Stupid Oz hat
OK… so what to put in the bag?
– A decent camera. To me, part of the experience is taking fabulous photographs and sharing them with people. It’s so worth taking a good quality camera. I always risk taking my big DSLR but it’s up to you if you want to make that decision. Just make sure you have a case for whatever you take.
– Chargers. Even thought you are in the big wide world and away from home, it’s important to always have your phone charged, not just for messaging your favourites but also for taking quick pictures. It’s amazing what unexpected and sudden things you’ll come across. Also, having an iPod was my main luxury. There’s so much waiting around time and it’s amazing how much you can miss music when you’re travelling.
– First Aid Kit. It’s amazing how many blisters, cuts, scratches you can get by just doing everyday things when you’re travelling. You don’t know where you’re going or what could happen so it’s always good to be prepared with the most basic things such as plasters, antiseptic cream and pain killers.
– Blanket and/or pillow. Like I said, I don’t take a blanket or pillow on the plane with me but I do keep a light blanket in my backpack because it can really come in handy. There were times when I was extra cold and the blankets provided for me just weren’t quite warm enough. Also, if you’re travelling by bus, coach, car or train for a lot of the time, it’s lovely to snuggle up to then. It also gives you a little extra privacy.
– Clothes. Yeah, quite important. MAKE SURE YOU KNOW THE CLIMATE AND CONDITIONS OF WHERE YOU’RE GOING. I went to Australia all naive and little did I know that our Summer is there Winter and the further down we travelling the colder it got. It was FREEZING. I had to buy extra jumpers etc. On that note, it’s not the end of the world if you forget an item of clothing, there’s plenty of opportunity to buy clothes out there, and it’s a little something extra to bring back with you from that wonderful place. Take extra underwear with you. Just take all that you are willing to lug around with you whilst you’re out there. Wearing the same thing pretty much everyday doesn’t bare thinking about when you’re at home BUT when you’re travelling it’s a whole different game. Everyone will smell anyway so it doesn’t matter, and there will always be a chance to wash your clothes. For 7 weeks of travelling around Australia, I literally look 2 pairs of shorts, a bikini, a pair of pumps, flip flops, walking boots, enough underwear, a nicer dress for going out at night, 3 tops including 1 vest top and a pair of joggers.
Clinique anti-blemish solutions foundation. My all time favourite.
Clinique high impact mascara
Simple face wipes
MAC Studio Fix powder
My favourite must have MAC Lipstick in red
They all just popped nicely into a small make up bag. I used the one I’d got from one of Clinique’s Bonus Time. I did also take my hair straighteners to Asia with me. Not worth it at all because the heat just made my hair stick to my head and go flat anyway – lovely.
– Padlocks. It’s a scary world and people will take things from you if you provide them with the opportunity. Take a couple of padlocks just to lock things away such as your Passport or anything with value.
– Emergency money card. Get a money card from any Travel Agents before you go off and put a decent amount of money on it. It will be worth it if your debit gets blocked out there or if you lose some cash. You can always take the money off the card when you get back and put it straight back into your account. My debit card was blocked in Thailand and having the extra money card was a saviour. I didn’t want to have to make that dreaded phone call to home.
– A map/book on where you’re going. Even if you don’t have a planned route, it’s nice to know where you are in the world and what’s around you for possible opportunities. Small detours over to islands separate from the main land are always a good option.
If you’re young and want to meet people I highly recommend staying in a Hostel. You’ll meet loads of people there with loads of stories to tell and there will always be social activities such as games going on as well. Never a dull moment!
Remember that you will come back with more than what you went with, even if it is just a tattoo, but always leave a tad of excess room in your backpack for stuff.
It all sounds a lot but it really isn’t, you’ll see when you come to pack it. But most of all, enjoy it!
Happy travelling 🙂
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