Unless you’re a fashion blogger that needs some quality fashion pics for the gram, read this advice before your departure.
When we first set off, I’d been planning what to take for weeks. 1 month into the trip, I realised I didn’t need many of the things I’d brought. 2 months in, I realised I also didn’t need much more of the stuff I packed and proceed to get rid of things as we went. Pack light is the key. Most long term travellers like to carry a pack, however I found it much easier and safer with a suitcase, particularly in South America where we went. The Samsonite ones have an awesome lock and also have a warranty for 10 years. Selecting white also made it easy to find on the luggage carousel. Remember it is about the experiences, not the stuff.
Image – Pandotrip.com
Here’s what I learnt.
1 – you can wash cheaply
2 – no one cares what you’re wearing, really.
3 – all the hotels give you beauty products and toiletries are cheap overseas anyway
So what do you really need? Not a lot. This is despite the fact we were in a range of temperatures: humidity in Thailand, hot and humid and rainy in Hong Kong, 30 degree heat in Mexico, freezing in Peru and high altitude in many places.
3 pairs of Shoes – comfortable walking shoes (I brought joggers/sand shoes/runners x 1) and since we were hiking, I also brought waterproof hiking boots. But wear these (they make your suitcase heavy), 1 x havianas/birkenstocks/ or sandals.
Underwear – x 5 pairs as you can wash.
Socks, take a mix of thick and regular socks.
T shirts – think plain with no branding: grey/black/stripe. They don’t look dirty and you look inconspicuous in shady areas.
1 x long sleeve shirt/thermal etc to layer of cold
1 x jumper – if you get one a high neck and hood, you reduce the need for a scarf!
1 x down jacket (Kathmandu or similar). These stay warm in cold areas and cool in hot areas. Expensive but totally worth it. They also fold up small.
1 x RIFD money belt
1 x International adapter that changes, changing plug, cords, spare battery pack for when you’re out and about (though keep in mind these have to be taken on board).
Reading material – I prefer books. But, we finished books quickly, and you can’t always buy good English ones overseas. Plus they’re heavy. I’d recommend a kindle.
1 x umbrella – we did use it!
1 x rain jacket
1 x beanie
1 x cap – the trendy panama I brought was unnecessary. No need for a fashion icon overseas.
1 x head torch / torch for those countries with poor electricity
Shorts x 2: tailored plus gym type
Tights x 1: can double as your exercise wear/ under your trousers if you’re cold
Pants x 3: jeans for day to day or day into night, hiking pants plain can double as those to wear out. Casual cargo/Jeanie/other for day to day. You can probably even limit this to two.
Towel: you don’t really need it that often unless you’re staying at hostels or plan to swim. Buy a small micro fibre one.
Lock: you’ll need a small one if staying in hostels.
Camera, phone, money belt, photocopies of bookings/passports etc.
Tip – wear your heavy shoes and bulky clothes on the plane if you’re worried about luggage weight.
Hopefully you’ll find this an easy guide to get ready for that trip.
Kurt and Sarah