Carting your life around in a backpack can be quite a burden, especially if you have over packed with items you rarely need or never even use when you travel.
The more you travel the more you will realize the less you really need. The first time I went away I took 5 pairs of everything, which was utterly stupid. But the best thing was that I learnt (although it was the hard way), and the more you travel the more you will continue to do the same. So instead of learning the hard way, learn from my stuff ups.
So first things first, you can’t get about naked, so clothes and shoes have to be in there. When you are packing clothes only take one pair of long pants, 1 jumper (hoodie) and try minimalizing the shoes to one pair and a pair of thongs for warm days and hostel showers (flip flops for all y’all from the states and the UK). Try not to pack enough clothes for a whole week, you can do washing abroad and wear the same things twice or more. As they say, less is more.
Oh and when you go to put all your clothes in the bag, don’t fold them, roll them. You may be thinking umm okay this guy has lost it, but I assure you rolling your clothes will save you loads of room in your bag. You may not believe me as I never believed it all those years ago but you will be stunned just as I was.
You will want a camera to capture all the amazing things you will see and do. I travelled for so long with a waterproof point and shoot camera, which worked great. That is until I upgraded to the Canon 60D
(DSLR Camera). Now I will never use a point and shoot again, the photos just don’t do the places you visit justice. A good camera is really worth it and this is where I suggest you spend a little extra and get a camera you will be happy with.
Be selective with these items too, there is no need to take 5 bottles of cologne/perfume. A toothbrush, toothpaste, hair and body wash, deodorant and some pain killers is basically all you need.
It doesn’t particularly matter which one you use but having one of these with you will make life a whole lot easier. Not only can you store your footage on them but you can keep in contact with your family and friends, along with being able to research where to go, what to see and do next in each place you visit, or even pre-book accommodation. Personally I use a Macbook pro 13-inch retina
laptop which is easy to edit photos and type to keep the blog updated. However, if I wasn’t running a blog, an I-pad
or any tablet for that matter would be my choice as tablets are a lot smaller and lighter.
Passport and Money
Obviously going abroad a passport is a requirement, but you are also going to need money so pick yourself up a travel card, which will save you a lot on fees. I recommend the Citibank Plus card
for ATM cash advances and the 28 Degrees card
for credit card purchases. Both have zero fees although with the 28 degrees you need to pay interest on ATM cash advances.
I realize on your first trip it’s going to be tough because you don’t know what to expect,but trust me, its not going to be a life or death situation if you forget something. Unless of coarse it’s your meds, which I am sure would never happen anyway.
So I stress to all you first time travellers. Please try and pack half, get it all spread out on the floor next to your bag and start to sacrifice things. If you think you might use it don’t take it, if you will use it all the time then in the bag it goes. What a lot of first time travellers don’t realize is that there are shops where you are going (most of the world) and they will stock what you need (most of the time). So if you forgot something you really, really need, its okay, just buy it.
Pack light because the lighter you travel the happier you are, and a happy traveller makes a fun traveller so only take the essentials before you embark on your awesome adventure.