So you’ve decided to see the world, great! One of the first things you will be thinking about is what to pack when travelling? Many people overpack, some under pack and many have no idea where to start. We’ve put together a few tips based on our experience whilst travelling which we hope will help you.
It’s hard for us to tell you what clothes to back, as it depends on your plans, but ensure you bring at least one set of water proof / warm clothes:
- Lightweight top (i.e. 100% polyester)
- Lightweight shell jacket (nylon / polyester).
- Lightweight trousers (spandex / nylon)
Essentials (excluding clothing)
- Washing line
- Universal plug adapter
- Universal sink plug
- Passport photos for visas
- Basic drugs (to keeps things in, get things out and for pain)
- Antiseptic spray and plasters.
- Small drawstring bag for day use (drawstrings are very secure)
- Credit card that is free to use and withdraw from abroad
- Waterproof micro compass (we use this constantly)
- Mobile phone. Even if you don’t want to take an expensive smartphone it’s good to have something quad band that will work in an emergency
Buy the right backpack
When we tell people that we travel the world with only carry on luggage they cant believe their ears, but it’s true, and sometimes we wonder just what people have in their ginormous backpacks. Also take in to account how much hold luggage is for flights. Before we traveled we once paid £80 each for hold luggage when we went on holiday!
We both purchased carry on backpacks, packed the essentials and then what was left we filled with clothes. It’s entirely up to you if you take a big rucksack but remember that some days you will have to walk around with this thing on your back, if it’s smaller, it’s lighter and less cumbersome.
Don’t take loads of clothes
Don’t worry, you won’t run out of things to wear! Washing is a big part of travelling, we wash clothes the second they come off our back, doing a full wash at a launderette when we can. Taking clothes that are quick to dry will pay off big time in reducing how much you need to take. Nick only has 2 pairs of boxers and 2 pairs of socks that he alternates every day. Pack a travel washing line, which is twisted elastic, this will be the first thing you hang when you get anywhere.
Choose the right electronics
Take a decent camera, preferably a DSLR, and learn how to use it properly before you go. Everyone has a friend that is a hobby photographer; ask them nicely to give you a couple of lessons on how it works. There is nothing worse than bad photos. Leave the camera case at home to save space. A slim line laptop is very useful, the 11” MacBook Air is stunningly small and what we chose to use. If you can, we’d recommend a GoPro, the video quality is second to none and the fact it’s waterproof is useful to catch all your magic moments. A Kindle will save you carrying bulky books, and of course a smartphone with GPS and Google maps is invaluable.
Prepare for the worst
- Ensure you have photocopies of your passport and travel insurance accessible online. i.e. in an email or cloud storage.
- Take a backup credit card with you and leave it in your room when you go out. If you lose you wallet or purse you can still have access to money.
- Backup your data. Take a small portable hard drive with you and make sure you always have two copies. We have two copies with us and everything backed up on cloud storage too, just in case!
- Always have money reserves. Travelling with absolutely no money behind you is very reckless. Always ensure you have access to at least enough money to get home and a couple of expensive hotel bills. Preferable stored in a different account to your cards that you have with you.
- Have someone back home that can help you when you need it. Whether it’s a friend of a family member you might need someone at home to book you a flight, call the local embassy or police if something bad happens.
If you’ve got any further tips please leave us a comment below, if you can make our bags even lighter we would really appreciate it 🙂