Wednesday 4 November 2015

Asian island hopping adventures #2 - What to pack..?

How much is too much? Usually, travelling by air in economy/coach, the amount of stuff you can pack is determined by your airline luggage allowance rather than your length of trip. 

Some airlines offer a generous 30kg plus hand luggage in economy while with others it’s a measly 20kg. When you are backpacking however, it’s a different story – it’s how much you are prepared to carry that is the deciding factor – and 20kg is too *blinking* heavy!

So what do we pack for our four-month back-packing trip to S.E. Asia?

For Trav it is easy: He packs - all his dive gear excluding lead weights and air-tank. 3 pair shorts. 3 short-sleeved shirts. 3 vests/t-shirts. 1 x long trousers and a long sleeved shirt. Undies. Swim shorts. A lightweight rain jacket. Toothbrush. Aftershave (Armani, of course). A torch.

Weight of backpack = 15kg.

For me: Well, I gave up high maintenance a while ago, but I do need stuff!

I pack: My full face snorkel mask. Two dresses – 1 knee length cotton day dress and 1 longer length shift dress for evening wear. 3 pair shorts. 2 shorts-style playsuits. 2 cropped linen trousers and 2 ‘nice’ tops. 3 x vest/t-shirts. 4 bikinis. 1 sarong. 2 yoga shorts. Undies - to include 6 bandeau style bra tops in assorted colours (Primark sports section £1 each) A lightweight rain jacket. An umbrella.

That is probably all I need for Asia – but we are travelling back through the USA and to Scotland, where we will stay for 48hrs and plan to do stuff including meeting up with our sons for a meal - and it is the end of October – and it will be cold!

I add: 1 pair of jeans. A fleecy hoodie top. 2 x fleecy patterned leggings. My very favourite 100% cashmere v-neck sweater (an Edinburgh charity shop find). A scarf/shawl/pashmina.

Then….. of course there are the products I simply cannot live without:

My Kindle. Walkman. Noise reducing earphones. Small boombox/speaker. Notebook computer. Camera. GHD hair straighteners (yes, really, I have to have these in case I go somewhere and don’t want to look like a frizzy head!) All the cables for the above. Power battery back-up pack. Power-Surge adapter. Plug adapter. Actual paper notebook. Pen. Hair conditioners. Shampoo. Soap. Face cream. Body cream. Nail polish and remover. Scissors/nail-clippers/tweezers/nail-files. Hair removal cream. Sunlotion. Aftersun. Cottonwool. Makeup bag. Makeup remover (yes, sometimes – although hardly ever – I wear a bit of eyeliner and mascara and then I’ll certainly need something to remove it!) Coconut oil (works when everything else fails/runs out). Deodorant. Perfume (Chanel, of course). Anti-frizz hair products. Toothbrush. Toothpaste. Tooth polish. Tooth floss. Hairbrushes. Hair ties. Hair clips and accessories. Bug spray. Bug bite treatments. First-aid kit including painkillers and every kind of discomfort tablets, band-aid plasters, and anti-biotics (you never know!)

Weight of backpack: too heavy.

I need to downscale, I know, but I neeeeeed all that stuff! Wail!!!!

Trav’s response. ‘That’s fine. But you have to carry it…’

And that is from the man who cleverly bought me my first Kindle ereader as a direct response to my luggage being overweight on an Emirates flight. My allowance on that trip was a generous 30kg but my case weighed in at 36kg. I refused to dump anything, saying I needed everything I had packed for our two week holiday. As it was our wedding anniversary, Trav took pity on me and agreed to pay out the $240 in overweight charges. He wasn’t so impressed however, when we reached our destination, and I opened my case to reveal a dozen or so hardback books in among my stuff. Hence the gift of a Kindle – on which I now have stored over a thousand books! Yay!!

So come on lovely peeps, tell me, what do you pack for your trips away? Are you a lightweight or do you, like me, need your stuff?

All comments gratefully received and I promise to reply as soon as I have an internet connection.

Love, Janice xx