Hello! Tom & I are about to depart on our flight to Europe and I thought I’d give you all a little rundown of my packing essentials. A couple of days before take off I decided to start doing a suitcase packing ‘rehearsal’ – you know, when you attempt to pack everything you want to bring overseas with you to make sure it actually fits. Does anyone else do that or is it just me?! Anyway, within the madness of this packing ‘rehearsal’, I thought I’d document some of the things I’m taking with me on our Europe travels and some of my personal travel essentials and tips when it comes to heading overseas, especially for those who don’t like to pack the least amount of clothes as possible (like me), but still want to be able to pack as light as possible.
My suitcase essentials:
1) A portable luggage scale: I never knew these things even existed but when I was first in London back in 2011 by myself, I accidentally did a bit too much shopping on Oxford St and couldn’t work out if I was going to be over my luggage limit or not on my flight back home. All I knew was that I really needed a portable luggage scale so I walked around Oxford St looking for somewhere that’d sell such a contraption. Hooray for Boots’ Pharmacy! I honestly don’t know why I looked for a scale in a pharmacy (?!) but this is where I found this amazing little thing. It’s been with me to every overseas trip now and has been such a gem in helping me weigh my hand luggage (airlines are very strict on the 7kg limit these days) & checked-in luggage.
2) Multi-plug travel adaptor: I picked up a travel adaptor with one power outlet & four USB ports from Officeworks the other day and it’s been impressing me ever since as it’s solved all of my travel adaptor dilemmas whenever I travel overseas. I always find there’s a shortage of power points (especially in hotels) when it comes to charging my devices and this five-chargers-in-one-adaptor has finally solved my problem. It’s basically like a mini power board without the bulk and whilst it’s probably the most expensive travel adaptor you’ll buy, it will be so worth it in convenience & value in the long run – especially if you want to charge your laptop, phone & tablet at your desk all at the same time.
3) Travel wallet: I haven’t quite found an actual travel wallet yet (I’ve been searching for one with lots of little compartments) but one day I stared at my The Daily Edited pouch and decided it would make a really good travel wallet. It’s sturdy and stiff so will keep my passport, boarding pass and important papers flat and is also roomy enough to fit a pen to fill in forms & passenger cards as well as spare change for your destination country etc. Still on the look out for an actual travel wallet but so far right now, I’m super impressed with this newfound use for my TDE pouch!
4) More light clothing, less heavy clothing: Because I like to shoot for my blog overseas, I love to pack a extreme amount of clothing and accessories. As I’m heading off for six weeks this time (but still with the usual 23kg checked-in limit) I’ve got to attempt to fit in as much as possible. To make it work, I’m packing more dresses & tops that can be dressed up or down and layered with outerwear. I’m packing less shoes, knits & coats (just one!) as they’re the heaviest and bulkiest. Before leaving, I make sure that everything I bring can be mixed and matched into at least two or three other pieces. Yes, I spent a whole afternoon rating the versatility of each item of clothing (such spare time post-uni life brings!). But hey, it was worth it because I cut my original rack of clothing to bring by 40%!
5) Comfortable shoes: I’ve learnt my lesson now and will only travel in comfortable shoes that I have worn in prior to heading overseas and know I will be happy wearing all day long. One of absolute favourite travel shoe discoveries is Bared Shoes and their fabulous foot beds. Probably the most comfortable shoes you’ll ever own other than runners, but then even so they’re just as good! Tom will be most impressed I’m finally not walking up and down hills in heeled boots..
6) Well organised suitcase: I think I love the American Tourister Cube Pop too much because I now have three of them. The reason why this suitcase excites me is the fact that it can open up flat and splits into two. I never realised this (but I do realise now, perhaps I’m a little slow!) but this makes organising your suitcase so much easier and saves you from digging around looking for things you’ve packed in the bottom of the suitcase. Where possible, I also separate my tops/bottoms/underwear into packing cubes, garment bags & laundry bags too. So great for those who love being organised and knowing where everything is.
7) A hat: I love bringing hats with me travelling (great for some shade and for hiding bad hair days) but they can often prove difficult to pack. I’ve learnt my lesson to always carry fragile/floppy hats with me on the plane (after ruining one of mine in Bali, sigh) but if you think your hat can stand it (and I feel like this straw hat can stand it – but we’ll see if I’m game enough to pack it into my check-in later), you can pack it into your checked in luggage by nestling it in between lots of clothing and stuffing it with small soft items such as socks & undies. Make sure it’s supported and padded as much as possible!
8) Hand luggage essentials: All your valuables, any polaroid film you might bring with you (they will get ruined by the machines that scan your checked-in luggage), cleansing wipes (Kosmea make an amazing one), a spare change of clothes so you can change into something clean & suitable for your destination, power adaptors for the plane & noise cancelling headphones are a must!
So there you have it, my packing essentials and tips! Tom & I can’t wait for the next couple of months overseas and can’t wait to show you what we get up to here & on Instagram. I’ve sadly caught a cold just before we left so will be recovering from that but hopefully you will be hearing from us soon. We’ll check in from our first stop soon – it’s London, of course! Our second home across the ocean.