Tuesday, 8 July 2014

What you Really Need to Pack for 6 Months Travelling

travel collage

I’m going to take a break from sharing our trip around South America today and look at how successful(or not) my packing skills were.

Before I left here’s what I packed, I have crossed out the things that I got rid of almost immediately. They either didn’t make it to the airport, were thrown away, or were posted back within a month. In bold are some things that I bought along the way that I felt like I needed, or were a bit of a naughty splurge.

Shoes
Hiking Boots
Gladiator Sandals
Toms
Flip Flops

Bags and Accessories
Backpack
Rucksack
Tote Bag
Small, leather night time bag
Belt
Hat
Gloves
Scarf/Sarong

Electronics
Ipad and charger
Ipod and charger
Earphones
Splitter
Camera and charger
Small device to upload photos to Ipad
USB
Travel Hairdryer
Straighteners
Travel Adapters

Toiletries
Lush Shampoo Bar
Lush Conditioner Bar
Deodorant
Dry Shampoo
Tooth Brush
Tooth Paste
Moisturiser
Face Wipes
Hair Brush
Bobbles
Hair Grips
1 Big hair Clip
Head Band
Coral Nail Varnish
Perfume Stick
Tweezers
Nail Clippers
Mentol Chino

Make Up
Foundation
Blusher
Blusher Brush
Lip Balm
Lipstick
Mascara
Eye liner
Eye Liner Pencil Sharpener

Medicine
Painkillers
Inhalers
Savlon
Plasters
Anti Allergy tablets
Mosquito Spray

Underwear
12 pairs of pants
3 bras
1 sports bra
2 thermal socks
3 trainer socks

Clothes
Water Proof Coat
Windproof Under Jacket
Thermal Leggings and Vest
Jeans
Shorts x 2
Skirt
Day Dresses x 3
Night Dress
Smart Dress
Maxi Dress
Bikini
Hoody
Jumper
Cardigan
Long Sleeved Shirt
Long Sleeved T-Shirt
Vest tops x 2
T shirts x 5
Leggings
Tights
Pajamas

Extras
Sewing Kit
Online Banking Gadget
Big Bike Lock for our bags
Small Wire Lock
Folder for Documents
Note Book
Pen
Pencil
Spanish Dictionary
2 x Zip Lock Bags
Small, lightweight laundry bag
2 plastic bags
1 book


Additions
I purposefully tried not to buy too much as I would have to carry it around on my back, and I needed to keep a little room for gifts that I wanted to bring home. I did however buy a couple of things. I replaced my flip flops as they got worn out very quickly from all of the walking. I also bought a jumper from Bolivia, mainly because I liked it so much. I didn’t really need another hoody, but it was good to have a spare one for washing days etc. I also treated myself to a long blue maxi dress in Argentina. This was perfect as the weaher in Buenos Aires was over 40 degrees and I found that a lot of my clothes didn’t really suit this weather. Finally, I bought some Mentol Chino when I was in Ecuador. This is kind of like Tiger Balm, and proved to be great for mozzy bites.

Subtractions
The gladiator sandals were on their last legs and eventually it was time to leave them behind. I had a nice pair of Havaianas that I could use as dressier sandals for the evening. Again, an evening bag wasn’t necessary, I either used my Tote bag, or didn’t take anything out with me. The Ipod and the little gadget for my Ipad gave up the ghost in the first month, so they were sent home along with the charger. Nor did we use the USB. If you read my review of the Lush products here, you can see why these were binned. Face wipes weren’t replaced once I finished them as soap and water sufficed. Because of the sticky weather foundation and lipstick weren’t practical. Tights and my smart dress weren’t ever used. Finally, the extras weren’t really necessary, but if the situation came up they could have come in handy.

What you really need
If I were to go again, I would definitely pack:
- Lightweight clothes which are easy to layer and match with other pieces that I'm taking.
- My lap top as blogging was very difficult without it.
- I really loved my light weight, down, wind proof coat which could roll into a small pocket. I used it when it was cold, and as a blanket or pillow on the bus .
- Scarf was perfect to use as a sarong, cover my shoulders, and as something to sit on.
-Taking plenty of underwear definitely helps if there are long periods between washing days, but also they’re easy enough to wash in a sink if you are desperate.

What you don’t need
-You can buy most toiletries in shops and markets throughout South America. This is the same for make up too.
- Gloves and hats can be bought when you get to chilly places.
- You don’t need any clothes that are too formal or dressy, as most travelers keep casual, and sometimes it’s far too hot and sticky to dress up.

Most of all, just remember to take things that you are really comfortable in. For South America you have to prepare for all types of weather, but most things are available to buy in the shops. You could support local business by leaving a few things at home to pick up later, and if there are things you don't need, you can also donate them to people that need them.

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