3 years ago I used to pack everything bar the kitchen sink when I travelled. Fast forward to present day and I am all about taking Hand Luggage Only!
Now this will have to be a 2 part-er (yes, that is now a word) because what you would pack for a week in Asia is a little different to what you would pack for a winter city break in Europe. So welcome to the ‘Summer Edition’ of Hand Luggage Only.
This is what I took with me for a week in Bali.
First things first, you have to decide whether you are going for a backpack or suitcase. I’m a firm believer of the backpack > suitcase. I find it easier to travel with, I can just shove it on my back and it leaves my hands free. It’s especially handy (no pun intended) when I know I am going to be travelling from place to place.
With that being said…
Personally, I would really like an Osprey bag but considering I’m broke (and Becky managed to wangle me a lovely little discount) I bought this 30L backpack from Mountain Warehouse. I haven’t had much luck with Mountain Warehouse backpacks over the years, with my last 3 having died on me (I LOVE MW’s accessories though!!) but this one did the job. Although if you’re travelling for a longer period of time I would recommend investing in a more durable brand.
This one has side pockets which I found useful to store my liquids in for easy access in the airport (I also prefer to keep them there incase of any leaks – saves on having to wash clothes in the event of an accident), 1 main compartment and 1 small compartment at the bottom where I could keep my shoes separate from my clothes.
Now to fill it…
Do NOT forget this. Seriously. Forget this and its game over.
- TICKETS and PAPERWORK
Boarding passes, Visas (if required – check this way in advance), any paperwork required for transfers and accommodation bookings
and a back up, e.g. a credit card (trust me, you’ll thank me when you’ve partied a little too hard and splashed your money up the wall)
If you have these, you can survive (almost) anything.
Enough (and some) to last you the length of your trip
I only took 1 bikini on this trip and found it was more than enough
I like my wardrobe to be minimal but interchangeable so I will deliberately pick out things that go with everything (in other words, a lot of whites/plain colours with the odd bold item).
- 1 X SKIRT
- 1 X SHORTS
- 1 X LONG TROUSERS
- 1 X DRESS
- 1 X GYM LEGGINGS
- 1 X SPORTS BRA
- 9 X TOPS
- 1 X SET OF PJ’S
- 1 x HOODIE/JUMPER
To travel in
- 1 X WATERPROOF JACKET
For SHOES I take:
For hikes and working out (not my kinda thing, but if its yours)
For day time exploring and going out in the evening
- FLIP FLOPS
You just can’t travel without FlipFlops
This is a pretty self-explanatory section, but just incase you’ve forgotten something…
(Confession – I had to look up other travellers packing lists for toiletries to make sure I hadn’t forgotten anything here LOL)
- Any MEDICATION you may need + Painkillers (again, trust me)
- TOOTHBRUSH + PASTE
I took a mini travel sized toothpaste and found it to be plenty
- HAIRBRUSH + BANDS
I quite often double up my Shampoo as soap to save on space
- SHAMPOO + CONDITIONER
- TAMPONS / SANITRY TOWELS
- FACE WIPES
I prefer to take Face Wipes over Cleanser when I travel because they’re more versatile
- INSECT REPELLENT
Make sure you check which type you need before you travel.
- PHONE + CHARGER + EARPHONES
- CAMERA + CHARGER / SPARE BATTERIES
- BOOK / KINDLE
For those long journeys or just to relax with. I take my travel journal and write my own stories.
For those of you staying in hostels I would recommend buying one of these towels. They’re quick-drying, fold up small and can double up as a privacy curtain on your bunkbed!
- DAY BAG
I take a little over the shoulder bag that can fit my phone, camera and money in
For those blisters from all your exploring
On a side note, I’d suggest investing in some Packing Cubes. I find that they make travelling so much easier. They keep your bag neat and organised, you can buy them (on Amazon) in sets and they come in different sizes – usually around £15 for 6.
& Voila! You’re ready for your adventure!
Have you ever travelled with Hand Luggage Only? Do you prefer a suitcase or backpack?
Let me know in the comments!
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