I am extremely proud of my packing skills! It’s a part of travel that I really enjoy! I often pack quite light and love the convenience of travelling with hand luggage only. It means all of your luggage stays with you on board and no waiting at baggage carousels. If you don’t take a wheelie case, then you don’t have to worry about heading straight to your accommodation as soon as you arrive, especially if you can’t check into the room until late anyway! Here are some of my packing list posts and all my favourite items that come with me on all of my trips!
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Moving on to my favourite backpacks, I tend to rotate between 4. For shorter trips the Travel Hack Backpack, which was in collaboration with Cabin Max, is great. It’s designed to fit within the dimensions of Ryanair’s (poor) carry-on policy…they have a very small size requirement for under-seat bags. My High Sierra backpack is very bright, but I like having the option of a black backpack too, it’s not quite so obvious! It has a top floating pocket, laptop compartment and an expandable water bottle pocket. It has several internal compartments too.
(Previously gifted) My current favourite go to backpack is the Cabin Max Metz 30L. For me, it’s perfect for 1-2 week trips. Other than on Ryanair, it fits in the dimensions for most airlines as a free under seat bag. It’s available in a range of colours and designs but I love the tropical print on mine. It has a large main compartment as well as several smaller pockets on the front. The straps and back are padded, making it comfortable to wear too.
SHOP Cabin Max Metz 30 Litre Cabin Bag Backpack
I love the High Sierra Loop backpacks. They have so many pockets that I can easily organise my bag. The floating top pocket is great for sunglasses and the side pockets can fit in a water bottle…or even flip flops! I do tend to over fill it though. It can fit under the seat on an airplane, but at full capacity I’ve had it weighing 10kg. It can dig into your shoulders after a while!
SHOP High Sierra Loop Backpacks
Another is my ‘anti-theft’ backpack. The zips are located on the back and it’s next to impossible for someone to open it without you being able to feel it. If I’m going somewhere like a city which might be crowded, I feel more confident knowing people will struggle to get into my bag. The only downside is the lack of external and quick access pockets! The newer versions however do have some additional pockets!
SHOP Anti-Theft Backpack
I only really use packing cubes when I travel with a suitcase, they are great for ‘Tetras like’ packing and organising things. I find that when using backpacks, I can fit more in my bag by just rolling up items. However, the smaller ones are really good for keeping little items together or for separating dirty laundry from clean clothes.
SHOP Packing Cubes
TSA Combination Padlocks are recommended when flying through the US. However, I use them on all of my travels worldwide. They are easier recognisable as they have a red diamond on them. It means that airports are able to open them without having to cut or smash them off. Having a combination code also means you don’t have to worry about travelling with a set of mini keys! I put padlocks on my backpack as well as my cases. When a backpack is on my back, having a padlock gives me a little extra bit of security. I know bags can be slashed but it makes it a little harder from someone that might just try and undo a zip.
I have a small waterproof pouch that I use for various things, especially when travelling to a beach destination solo. They are big enough for a little bit of money and a key. I then wear it around my waist, tucked into my surf shorts. It keeps them dry when I’m in the water and I don’t have to worry about people snooping around wherever I left my clothes. They also work great at theme parks. I like to take as little as possible into parks and it means I can then take all my belongings on the rides with me…hidden in my shorts/trousers!
SHOP Waterproof Pouches
Along with my iPhone 2020 SE, I use a Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ80EB-S superzoom compact camera with Sandisk Extreme memory cards. I used to have a bridge camera but it was so big and heavy, I would get annoyed carrying it around. I have a DJI Spark drone but has stopped travelling with it now. More and more places are bringing in restrictions and for me, it’s just not worth it for the amount of space that it takes up. My GoPro is still going strong too, after 7 years! I only really pack it if I know I will be snorkelling or doing something like quad biking.
I love my Kindle Paperwhite. I often spend a lot of time reading when I travel, taking multiple books would just take up so much room and weight in my bag. With a Kindle you can have a whole library at the click of a button! The battery life lasts between 2-3 weeks with the brightness set at a level 2 and airplane mode ON.
I’m obsessed with my Fitbit Inspire HR. It also has a heart rate monitor and it’s waterproof! It also has a meditation breathing exercise on it which is quite a nice addition. It does need to be charged around once a week. If you are after a more ‘traditional’ type watch that runs on a normal watch battery, I have been wearing Baby G G-Shock watches for YEARS. They are: waterproof, often has multiple time zones, they light up, has the date, one even had a high tide chart on it! I always go for the ones with a depth test rating of 20 BAR. You can find my full review here: My Waterproof Dual Timezone Watch – A Travel Gadget I’d Be Lost Without!
I love, love, LOVE worldwide travel adaptors! I have a couple that do both plugs and USB leads. It’s so handy to just pick up the plug and know you’ll have the correct adapter, without having to search what country uses what outlet. When living in the US, I used them in day to day life. My camera battery charger still used a UK adapter, but when I visited home (UK), my drone had a US adapter.
Now I use my phone much more while travelling, I like to carry a power bank with me. I have two, a larger one that uses the USB leads and works for different devices, and a smaller more pocket sized one. The 1000mAh Anker power bank charges my phone at least three times before it needs recharging itself. However it is bigger than my phone and weighs a lot, so I’m not really a fan of carrying it around on day trips. BUT it does work very well.
My newest power bank is a 5000mAh plug and charge power bank which I LOVE. It’s compact, lightweight and plugs directly into my phone without the need of a charging lead. I can get approximately one full phone charge from it. Once I’m back at my accommodation I then use my universal adapter above, to charge both the power bank and my phone at the same time.
SHOP Power Banks
When I travel somewhere which isn’t covered by my regular data roaming plan. I use Airalo eSims. You can read my full guide here: Airalo Review | Why I Use An eSIM For Travel!
As I’ve started to ‘glamp’ more, my head torch has been making it onto more of my packing lists. I first bought when I went to Costa Rica as part of a sea turtle conservation project, my accommodation didn’t have any electricity, so it was a must for the evenings! If you plan on staying in shared accommodation, it’s less intrusive than switching on the main (or a bright) light. I don’t have a big fancy head torch, just a small one does the job well enough!
SHOP Head Torches
Just like everything else, I like to keep my toiletries as small as possible.
- Solid shampoo bars are great and when travelling with only hand luggage, it avoids the liquid allowance, giving you more space for liquid things like suncream. I use the company Lush.
- Fold up toothbrush. Keeps the bristles clean and it doesn’t get squashed.
- Fold up brush. Again, keeps the bristles contained and can be slid into small spaces.
- Mini sewing kit. Believe it on not, I’ve used it multiple times when travelling. I first bought one while in Australia to repair a hole in my shorts and have since repaired bags, suitcase zips, clothes and more! It gets you out of a pickle until things can be replaced.
- Travel towel. No all accommodation comes with complimentary towels, so I like to travel with my own. I’m also terrible for jumping into any sea or body of water that I see, so having a small towel is great for throwing into my backpack. The microfibre towels are fast drying and lightweight.
- Suncream. Even if it’s just a 100ml travel sized bottle.
I have been sunburned far too many times while on snorkelling trips, so now I ALWAYS travel with a rash vest. It’s like a tight t-shirt made from swimsuit material. Just make sure to tuck it into your swim bottoms or surf shorts because I’ve still managed to get burnt on the bottom of my back! I have three, two short sleeve one and one long sleeved one, but usually only pack one.
SHOP Rash Vests
I have a hatred of umbrellas so will choose to wear a raincoat over using an umbrella. I have the Columbia Women’s Arcadia II ‘pack-a-mac’ style raincoat by Columbia and I LOVE it. It’s thin, lightweight and very waterproof and I don’t think it looks too dorky!
My all time favourite flip flops are by the surf brand ‘Animal’. They have a soft toe post and I can walk MILES in them and they are always so comfortable. I’ve tried a couple of the plastic type flip flops on the past and they literally shred my feet to pieces.
The cheap ‘festival’ style sunglasses are my FAVOURITE type of sunglasses. It was a tip I picked up via a fellow travel blogger several years ago and I have never looked back. The biggest pro is that the nose grip bits don’t get stuck in your hair. You can push them up on top of your head and know they won’t get tangled up!
Any questions, let me know!