Thursday, 30 January 2014

GENERAL TRAVEL - Travelling light

During a 7 month trip to South America we travelled from the heat of the equator to the Antarctic. We were mainly backpacking but as well as having to cover us for all seasons our clothing also had to cover us for a 20 night "posh" cruise.

How did we manage it?

Type of luggage:-

First you need to have the correct size of bag preferably the maximum size for airline carry on.

Soft baggage is lighter and also easier to squeeze
                                                onto luggage racks etc.

The biggest thing most people have to decide is whether to carry their bags like a rucksack or trolley them
along. Whilst a few bags come with both options research has proved that people rarely do both. Many bags have a zip on day pack as well and these seem to work well. "Rick Steves"has a nice range as do London Luggage Company

Never skimp on the price you pay for your bag, when you see how they get thrown around and have other things piled on top you will realise that this is where the quality bags hold up better. The zips and seams are far stronger so can take more punishment when you are trying to overfill your bag. Check out whether you bag is waterproof.

What to pack guidlines:-

Try to pick 3 or 4 colours for your clothes, one dark, one fairly light and the other a mid contrast.

Keep all skirts, shorts and trouser plain and only have patterned tops enabling you to mix and match the tops and bottoms

Polyester and man made fabric clothing may make you a little sweatier but is much easier to wash and dry, shows fewer creases and packs in a smaller space

Here I am wearing a black skirt
with a couple of scarves used
to create the impression of a dress
Try to find items that can be worn in a number of ways for example a mid calf length elasticated waist flowing skirt can be worn on the hips below a long top to create a full length evening outfit, hitched up under the bust for a shorter skirt or worn over the bust with a sash below the bus to make a nice mini dress

The secret for travelling in all seasons is layers - If it is extremely cold during our Antarctic cruise I could layer up with a pair of tights, socks, leggins, trousers and long flowing skirt on top. For my top half I could start with a strappy top, then long sleeved thin top, t-shirt, cardigan, fleece and jacket.

I never travel with jeans as they are very bulky, heavy and difficult to wash and dry, cotton smart cargo style pants work better and you can roll up the hem to create ¾ pants

This is exactly what I have with me on this trip:-

5 pairs of underpants, (many people suggest cotton but I find nylon mesh style are much easier to wash and dry, lighter and take up less space)

1 black and 1 skin coloured multi way bra

3 pairs of trainer socks in black (so they don’t show the dirt)

2 pairs of tights

1 bikini

1 black bikini bandeau top (can double up as a bra) and 1 pair of black shorts that can be worn together to create another bikini

2 thin scarves for dressing up tops (also handy as an eye mask at night, belt or hair accessory)

1 pair of long black cotton fairly smart cargo style trousers with fancy belt that can be used on other things

1 pair of black leggings (Wear under a top by day or with higher heel shoes and a dressy top for evenings. They can be worn under trousers on cold days or as pyjama bottoms at night.)

1 pair of "thermal base" leggings

1 mid calf layered black elasticated waist skirt

1 short black stretch skirt

1 lightweight mini skirt

2 black strappy attractive tops

3 coloured tops

1 t-shirt

1 long sleeved "thermal base" top (can be worn alone, dressed up with jewellery or a fancy scarf, put under another top for warmth or used as a pyjama top)

1 black cardigan

1 pair of flip flops

1 pair of crocs (lightweight, can be worn in the sea and with or without socks)

1 pair of soft leather shoes with trainer style soles

1 pair of strappy high heeled sandals

1 sun hat

2 sarongs (doubles up as a towel, beach or picnic mat, skirt, dress, sheet, bag, dressing gown for nipping out to the bathroom at night and so much more)

1 face cloth

1 travel towel (travelling with one for the first time but think I would rather use a face cloth as a towel and just keep squeezing it out

1 micro fleece jacket

1 lightweight thing jacket, waterproof and windproof

1 warm hat

1 pair of gloves

We have homemade cotton drawstring bags, 1 for my underwear, another for our electrical good and one for each pair of shoes.

Toiletries and first aid:-

All my toiletries have been decanted into strong small bottles of 100cc or less. Baby lotion can be used as a face cleanser, body and after sun lotion. My toiletries bag is the upright kind with a zip around the top so I don’t have to take everything out each time.

First aid kit is in a pencil case, I take tablets out of blister packs and put them in the kind of mini zip lock bag that you get on new clothes with the spare buttons in. Always label the bags and put the information leaflet inside (after cutting off the foreign or other irrelevant parts). Either by small tubes of creams or pack partly used ones that you can roll up. Always be on the look out for trial sizes of products. Tea tree oil, lavender oil and eucalyptus oil are all multi use products that I always carry as well as Tiger Balm.

A small toiletries bag holds basic cosmetics, fashion jewellery, diva cup, and a few other items

In a separate nylon drawstring bag I have the laptop and our electrical goods.

In another blog I will list the items Steve carries (clothing and other shared items like binoculars), in fact we do on occasions share clothing such as T-shirts and shorts – makes you feel like you have more stuff to wear!


fsg ken said...

Good read - Look forward to reading and comparing
"In another blog I will list the items that Steve carries in his pack"

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