What you REALLY need for your average overseas trip – only the essentials.
It’s always a dilemma – what the heck am I going to pack for my overseas trip!?
Well, I don’t want to toot my own horn, but I am an expert on the whole packing bonanza. I may be young, but it comes with its advantages…being broke. How is this ever an advantage you may be asking yourself?! To begin, one cannot afford to spend limited money on paying for checked-in luggage which therefore, leads to the 7kg carry-on option as the ONLY option which leads one to discover what I call ‘the simplicity of living and travelling’ without baggage (term can be taken metaphorically too).
I went away for 7 months to Europe with only 7kg carry-on, to Sri Lanka for 1 month with 7kg carry-on, to Greece for 5 weeks with 7kg carry-on and so on. This definitely qualifies me to know what you really NEED in your backpack when travelling.
ESSENTIAL PACKING LIST
- 3 x underwear – most essential item. Don’t be afraid to wear these babies inside out and upside down throughout your trip (or just wash them in the shower each night).
- 1 pair of comfortable enclosed shoes with hiking soles – you will be burning those calories fast with all the sight-seeing, nature adventuring, getting lost and running each morning to the nearest bakery.
- Wall charger& phone charger– Don’t make my mistake and bring a European wall charger to Sri Lanka. It would be best if you looked up the correct charger before you head off!
- Medication – DO NOT FORGET YOUR MEDICATION or you may run the risk of dying in a foreign country.
- Which brings me to Travel Insurance – in case you do forget your medication… I always go with 1Cover who are usually the cheapest and have all the essential inclusions.
- Water bottle x 2 – dehydration is a real thing, especially on aeroplanes so make sure you fill up AFTER GOING THROUGH SECURITY as they will make you pour out all your water before going through security.
- 3 x shirts & 2 x pants – one pair of long pants and one pair of shorts. You wouldn’t want to look bad in the multitude of photos you will be splashing all over social media throughout your trip therefore, all items MUST be interchangeable and match all others.
- Cossies & micro towel – togs, swimmers, bathers, budgie smugglers, pieces of stretchy cloth, whatever you call them, you gotta pack them because holidays are the time to get that vitamin D deficient bod out of it’s work uniform and into the sunshine.
- Warm jacket & rain jacket – these are essential items that you actually will need just in case. The worst thing is getting caught out in the cold and getting sick whilst travelling.
- Wallet – a small amount of AUS/NZ currency, back up the currency of the country in question, travel card, insurance documents, passport, printed flight details, drivers licence, international drivers licence (makes sure to separate these things throughout your bag so that they aren’t all in one place).
- Toiletries – don’t go overboard people! I usually get ALL of this once I arrive so that I get through customs with a light bag. But all I really need is deodorant, toothpaste, toothbrush, hair shampoo/conditioner and a razor.
That’s literally all you will need for your average adventure!
It’s that simple!
Let’s get real, after travelling light for a while I realised I didn’t really need much to live my life and having fewer things meant less to worry about! Getting out into the world and travelling light reminds me how simple life can be and not to lose sight in this material world we live in.
If you follow that packing list, you will not only be richer in coin but also richer in the sense that you have less to worry about and can focus on what you really came to the country for.
Written by Georgina Winchester, full-time arts/politics student at Melbourne University & part-time social media marketer for Abbey Language Travel