Tip's to fellow readers and myself for future reference!
YOU CAN NEVER PACK ENOUGH UNDERWEAR
No matter how many hostels offer laundry it is always the last thing on your mind when you are travelling the world. Trust me! I will happily admit one of my few splurges while travelling was new underwear ‘just incase’.
LEAVE THE MAKE UP, HAIR STRAIGHTENER AND HAIR DRYER AT HOME LADIES
Really, I’m not kidding! Don’t worry. I surprise myself saying this too. Before I left Australia I couldn’t contemplate leaving the house without make up on. Now I don’t remember the last time I actually used it. You are in amazing countries experiencing amazing things! The last thing you need to do is waste time looking amazing for people you've never met when you could be out exploring. If you simply can’t bear the thought of leaving all your makeup at home I would suggest opting for a tinted moisturiser and lip gloss. I will admit I used my hairdryer a few times during my time in Europe when it was below 5 degrees simply so I didn’t freeze. However most of my trip was spent in tropical warmer climates, such as Africa, so the sun dried my long hair just fine! Oh how I could have used the space in my backpack for much more necessary items! As for my hair straightener? I don’t recall using it once!
HOW MANY PAIRS OF SHOES DOES ONE PERSON NEED?
Firstly, the answer is lower then you think! I thought 5 was an exceptable answer. I rationalised a pair of thongs for the shower, nikes and converse for daily use, a pair of heels for formal occasions and boots to dress up in winter. My heels I used once when visiting the Monte Carlo Casino in Monaco. My Nikes are still brand new and too painful to wear even if I wanted to. As for my boots? They fell apart from overuse. My next trip I’ll happily invest in a decent pair of sandals for day use during summer and a pair of converse or boots for winter. Less is more!
A head torch goes a long way in hostel dorm rooms! You don’t want to be that person turning on the room lights at all hours of the night because you can’t find something. How about a power board? Yes it will take up space in your backpack but if like me you have a phone, laptop, camera and iPod to charge it could take you days in a hostel dorm room to get everything charged! Plus it’s a great way to make friends easily by sharing! I’d ditch my heels any day for one of these! Next is the all important medication. Why I didn’t think I would need nurofen once during my 8 month trip is beyond me. There is nothing worse then being stuck in an Egyptian pharmacy with everything written in Arabic when you are feeling awful, trust me! Lastly, a raincoat. Would you believe I wasn't lucky enough to escape 8 months without rain? You live and you learn!
INVESTING IN A DECENT CAMERA IS WORTH THE SMALL FORTUNE
I travelled the world reliant on my Samsung Galary and outdated $200 Nikon. Firstly my Samsung phone was stolen in Amsterdam. Secondly my Nikon was fine for basic photos BUT the photos I could have taken on Safari in Africa would have been breathtaking if only I had a camera that zoomed! Right now I am saving for a Canon 600D. This is my biggest tip of all. After investing all of your money into an amazing trip and if you are on a tight budget like me where souvenirs are only for looking at, the least you want is decent photos to remember your adventures by!
LEAVE 1/3 OF YOUR BACKPACK FREE
You are travelling the world and chances are there will be certain purchases you can’t resist making. For me it was stocking up on postcards that surprisingly take up a lot more room then you’d think. Sure you can mail things home but when it costs 2 nights accommodation in a hostel to mail a 1kg parcel to Australia it’s definitely cheaper not to!
PACK FOR THE WEATHER YOU ARE TRAVELLING IN
It sounds pretty simple but it is something I didn’t really appreciate until it was too late. Europe in winter is cold. Really cold! A pair of jeans just didn’t cut it for me. I ended up wearing 1-2 pairs of tights underneath as I CAN'T handle the cold. A warm scarf goes a long way. How I wish I opted for my warm thick scarf instead of my newly purchased ‘pretty’ Forever New scarf that wouldn’t be any warmer then a napkin. Beanies! One thing I am thankful I packed. I invested in a pair of gloves along the way. I do wish I had purchased them prior to my trip however as I could have afforded a higher quality pair. Another thing I am grateful for is the singlets my mum insisted I pack. Thanks mum! Not only do they provide extra layers in winter and are light to carry but they can be worn in the day during summer or double as a PJ top.
Whether you love music, reading or word searches make sure to pack something to keep you entertained during long haul flights, lay overs, trains, buses or nights when you are jet lagged. I am a huge reader. Thank you hostels with book exchanges! However I could have avoided lugging countless books around the world if I had of invested in a kindle or downloaded an application on my laptop. I am also hooked on word searches. It takes me about 20 minutes to finish one so for the 1 pound I paid to purchase a book in Scotland, it was well spent as it has kept me occupied for months. It could be as simple as investing in a pack of cards. My best friend and I played cards for hours onboard trains throughout Europe and even made a great friend in Barcelona by whipping them out at the hostel.
If you have any packing tips, tricks or regrets I would love to here them!