Packing is the bane of all our lives before a trip away. You want to be prepared for every possible scenario and yet baggage limits just won’t permit it. My next adventure in Asia is consisting of two months backpacking with just hand luggage (50l) allowance so I completely understand the struggle. It’s hard to decide what is truly important but there are few essential items that can’t be missed for a light weight but lengthy trip.
Bum Bag/Fanny Pack
These little waist bags are great. Embarrassing sometimes but ultimately wonderful and practical. Embrace your tourist identity and invest in one, you won’t regret it. Keeping money and your passport very close to your body is a great method of additional security that you can’t beat.
Bringing a huge beach towel is just not possible or efficient for most restricted baggage trips. Instead investing in a small hiking towel is ideal. They fit into little bags that are usually no bigger than half an A4 size of paper and unwrap to provide a great length towel. If you want quick drying and extremely soft then I would recommend bamboo towels. Best £8.99 I’ve spent towards this trip. I purchased mine at Trespass but I’m sure most outdoor shops will do them.
When you’re only carrying hand luggage the airport guidelines restrict liquid to the bare minimum causing a huge problem when you need to carry essential liquids such as sun cream, shampoo, toothpaste and all those other liquid health products. The best thing to do is of course to buy them once you have landed, however if you are like me and flying from place to place constantly during your trip then it will surely be infuriating to keep binning half used products. The main tip is to just buy miniature sized products to reduce waste but for toothpaste there is a great alternative – Toothy tabs. These are small little tab sized solid toothpaste and you can buy a pack for £5.95 in all different flavors from Lush. Cruelty free, small and efficient – you don’t even need water to brush your teeth with them and they are great for the environment so when you spit you’re not spitting chemicals into the ground.
It’s always nice to dress up on holiday but when it comes to backpacking or traveling for a long period of time then it’s unfortunately not possible to be on your fashion A-game 24/7. You have to be picky and practical when packing clothes, you can’t be bringing 6 nice dresses just in case you go on a night out a few times. However there are options and marzipants are a wonderful investment for light weight, cheap and fashionable clothes. Also known as Thai trousers, they are bright, pattern, vibrant and perfect for travelers. They keep the sun off your legs but are airy, comfortable and look great. If you’re actually going to a place where they sell marzipants then don’t even worry about buying in advance, just leave a little room for them and then invest in a few pairs when you get there. The cost ranges but usually they’ll be £2-£5.