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When I was younger my version of packing was to get everything I liked and put it into a suitcase, and hope it would magically make cute outfits. Now that I am a bit older and lover of blogs, I have found so many great tips and posts that I am convinced I can do Europe with a backpack, and Australia with a small suitcase (I would do a backpack, but I need room for all the food on the way back..).
Some of my favourite packing related reads are:
- Pack less than you think you need. I gather everything (using polyvore) that I 'need' and then I remove one of each thing; tops, bottoms, dresses, shoes. I remove things that won't make at least 3 different looking outfits. Yeah that top could be worn with jeans, shorts and a dress - but will I actually wear it that way?
- Know yourself. I have to think of my style and how I will actually be on vacation. I love my denim jacket but it isn't as comfy as my cardigans or faux leather jacket, and I know I won't reach for it as often.
- Bring all of your underwear. Ok, maybe not all of your underwear. But it's the only thing I don't skimp on. I also bring a spare pair on the plane.
- Don't bring unnecessary stuff (well, d'uh). Going to Aus, I will use my mum's hair tools. Going to Europe, I won't bring a hair dryer, but I will probably get some sort of hot tool - that's great if you can do without, but I would prefer to not look like a rat's nest everyday...
- Less is more with jewellery. I don't take a lot of jewellery because it gets tangled, it gets lost and it's not that important to me. Going to Aus, I will be wearing a lot of scarves so probably won't take necklaces but might take a few earrings - not my faves, because if I lost them - devastating. Going to Europe, I will most likely take a necklace or two.
- Minimal makeup. This one is easy for me because I'm not a makeup diva. I do like my mascara though, and travelling means pictures and I personally think I look better with a bit of makeup. If you think you are a bare faced beauty, rock it. For me, I will bring some mascara, foundation / powder, blush, bronzer & 1 eye shadow palette. Bring whatever works for you. I also love my makeup remover wipes for travel.
- You can always buy things at your destination. Apart from the food I want to bring back from Aus, I also want to buy some clothes. I miss my Aussie stores. In London I forgot to bring a 'going out' bag, could have done without but I bought one for less than $10 USD and I love it. I have random pieces of jewellry and clothes from my travels and they are some of the best souvenirs.
Blogs & Posts
We Took the Road Less Traveled - all of her posts.
Travel Fashion Girl - fabulous website for packing help and also tons of travel tips.
The Cream To My Coffee - How To Plan A Trip to Europe (for the frugal non-backpacker)
I think that planning activities and things to do are dependent on what kind of person you are. I know a lot of people are all like, go with the flow and don't sweat the small stuff, and while I kind of agree, I am a planner by nature and I love love luh-ove having a loose itinerary and list of things I want to do.
If you, by chance, like to plan as much as I do - I suggest lots and lots of reading. I love travel books, especially anything by Rick Steves, travel forums, blogs.. There is so much information out there and everyone is different - it's fantastic to see different points of views and experiences.
Tripadvisor is a great resource to find things to do and places to eat as well.
Open your mind! Try new things and new food and have a fabulous time. But stay safe. If you have common sense you should be fine.
Lastly, I mentioned this in the tips #1 post, but I find it really helpful to keep a little notebook or journal with all your travel notes. I forget things easily, and I also just love writing things down. I write down everything from things to do, places to stay, tips on the culture etc. I can take it with me in my carry on, write notes and use it as a guidebook of sorts, rather than lugging around an actual guidebook.
I am in no way an expert, just someone who has traveled a wee bit and wants to travel a whole lot more. I know I love reading about other peoples tips & resources, so it was fun to share it.
Do you have any travel tips? Read any fabulous blogs that I don't have listed? Amazing experiences with your own travelling? Do share.