Before we set off for Australia, as per usual I struggled with what to pack and then when the deed was done, I struggled with being way over on the scales. I therefore wanted to list out the essentials for you to pack (this is in addition to the items listed in the post below), which I only really discovered when travelling myself.
What to pack (accessories and toiletries)
- Sandwich bags – you’ll be surprised at how handy these will come in, whether it is to hold toiletries in your hand luggage when travelling,a leaked product, keep possessions dry or to put a wet bikini in to stop other things in your bag from getting wet
- Goggles – a snorkel would be the ideal, but let’s face it who has one, and who has the space?! But for any times you get to swim in regulated areas (and I must stress this point as sharks are known to swim up the rivers from the sea) goggles will come in very handy – there was many an occasion that I wished I had them
- Trek towel – if you don’t already know what this is, it is a lightweight and fine towel which dries very easily itself, along with drying you reasonably well too. Another major benefit is that they fold away to nothing and so do not take up too much space or weight in your bag. You can pick these up from most outdoor stores and of course online too – if you do go for one, make sure buy the larger size so you don’t end up walking about a dorm with what looks like a hand towel around you…
- Hand held mirror – ideal for taking on trips when you only take your hand luggage (e.g Fraser Island, Whitsundays) and also for a decent view of any facial hair which might be growing faster than normal in the sun, I myself would turn into a yeti if I did not keep up with hair maintenance when in the sun
- Toothbrush caps or a toothbrush which bends into itself – the aim is to protect your bristles from picking up dirt in our bag
- Wipes – just be sure to pick these up yourself, leave it to someone else (such as your partner/ husband) and they might just come back with 5 bumper packs of intimate feminine wipes from the pound shop – thinking you would like the colour of the packaging as opposed to realising that they were not actually for one’s face. Can only imagine what cleaner’s of our rooms must of thought with the packs scattered everywhere…
- Travel hairdryer and straighteners – when staying in hostels and shared dorms you have to have your own appliances
- Travel plug – don’t forget and then pay a fortune for one at the airport
- Batteries – again you’ll be surprised at how handy it is having these
- Torch – this is essential for trips into the wilderness as they are not supplied and you are likely to often find yourself wandering about in the dark
- Water container – again when you are on trips, you will always have to have a water bottle close at hand. It is of course ok to simply use an empty plastic bottle, but having your own water container will make it easier to find, especially if you do the tag along trip on Fraser Island and everyone in your car’s stuff all ends up lumped together
- Anti-histamines – After a few nights in Tropical North Queensland, when the mosquitos have made a banquet of you, these will become your best friend to ease the itch!
- Compeeds – even if you are not prone to blisters on your feet, the different types of terrain you find yourself walking upon can easily change that. I myself fell at the last hurdle, when shopping in Melbourne in Converse which were a bit too tight…
- 1 x suncream – the cost of suncream is similar to the UK in Oz and so don’t waste weight taking lots over, just take one to get you started
- Sea sickness tablets – I have never been sea sick, but came extremely close one day on the Whitsundays when we were sailing through a storm – remember that you have to take these before you feel sick, they are a prevention not a cure
- Journal – take this and note doing all of your adventures when you get the chance, this will be a lovely keepsake to look back on in later years
- Change purse – might seem like an odd one, but I took a change purse from Primark with us (rather than doing the norm and losing change at the bottom of my bag) and within this we managed to collect up to 70 dollars at a time in coins
- Bottle opener – again an essential when on trips to ensure no cracked teeth!
- Padlocks – ideal for your case and lockers in hostels, you may also come across a bridge (like the bridge over the Yarra in Melbourne) where you can attach your lock with the initials of your loved ones
- A good facial moisturiser – I would always prefer to use this on my face rather than aftersun, which can often irritate my skin. Towards the end of the trip and much to my dismay, I realised Lee felt the same way about my Clinique Moisture Surge as I walked into him gingerly rubbing it on his face whilst whispering ‘where have you been the past 3 days’ (I forgot the Moisture Surge on the Whitsunday Sailing trip)…
- Other toilet bag essentials such as – toothpaste (also take a mini one for travelling as its a long way to go without freshening up), razor, shampoo, conditioner & shower gel (although if you are more hotel than hostel hopping, you will be provided with these in mini and so you could almost get away with not taking any if you need the weight), batiste and hair bobbles
When it comes to make-up, everyone has their own items which the deem essential, for me that was: foundation, 3 lipsticks (light pink, fuschia pink and red), mascara for my lower lashes (as I wear eyelash extensions which makes me look a million times better with no make-up on, which is a common occurrence for during the day when travelling), 1 nail polish with a cheap remover, Fake Bake bronzer, Fake Bake Amplify, Benefit What’s up highlighter, blusher, Benefit High Brow and an urban decay eye palette.
When it comes to your travel wardrobe, again this will be subjective per person but here are some things I learned about my own clothes selection:
- I took far too many dressy clothes. Australia is not an especially dressy place unless you find yourself in very posh places. Many of the places are beach towns and so do not overload on big fancy dresses, I would recommend instead taking 1 really dressy outfit and then be sure to select items which can be dressed up or down
- I took too many heels. Again you’ll see that flats are the most popular choice of footwear. I would recommend taking a pair of wedges that can be day or night and would dress up any outfit, 1 pair of heels, 1 pair of trainers and then a couple of flats including flip flops and then perhaps a slightly dressier flat, like a Gladiator or something similar
- Take at least 1 warm outfit! I took no jumpers/ lightweight jackets and found myself pretty cold in Melbourne
- Take cheap strappy tops in a multitude of colours – this was something I really felt I lacked and it would have been so easy to pick them up in Primark or H&M before setting off
- Take clothes that you do not mind getting ruined in the hostel washing machines and dryers, to be fair our full load was more ruined by my leaving a lipgloss in my shorts pocket which exploded when in the dryer, staining all our clothes and I mean everything, which to be honest left me surprised at how much liquid is actually contained within a lipgloss. However in saying that, the washers can be rubbish at getting stains out and the dryers can shrink everything so just make sure you don’t take anything you love
- Finally, if you get to shop like we did in Melbourne you will have to ditch at least a quarter of what you took and so again it is not worth taking anything that will you have separation issues from if you are forced to leave clothes
And finally for accessories, my essentials were hats (which I bought over there) and then 3 bags, 1 for evening, 1 with soft straps for during the day (any metal straps will heat up in the sun and burn you) and 1 larger beach bag, which again I bought over there. I also took 2 pairs of earrings, 2 necklaces, a watch and replacement engagement and wedding ring. Again I would recommend not to take anything expensive and top up any accessories when in Oz – the shops are great 🙂
Hope this helps with anyone worried about what to take on their travels… x