Even though I may have to sit on my bag to zip it shut each time I re-pack it I do feel like I’ve got everything I need and am not too weighed down.
Firstly what bag do I have?
I have an Osprey Farpoint 70. Even though this is definitely not a cheap backpack it is great. It looks a lot smaller than it is which is a bit daunting when you first start packing but there’s always enough room in the end. One of the main things I wanted from my backpack was for it to open as a suitcase; having been to festivals before I know how annoying it is to just have to shove your whole arm down the bag to get to the thing you actually want. This bag is one of just a few I found to actually have this type of opening so I was instantly interested. As well as this it comes with a day rucksack which zips on to the back of the main bag if needed (I found that my backpack was always so full that with the day pack attached I looked like a fat turtle). Not only is this conveinient but it’s also very safe as there are two straps clipped around it as well as a clip on the zip so it can’t be removed without you realising. The final selling point for me was the fact that you can attach the daypack easily to the front straps of the backpack, keeping all of the essentials conveniently in front of you for peace of mind and ease of access.
I’m not claiming to be any type of expert in this department having only actually travelled around Australia so far but I do feel I could be of help if you too are travelling to Aus for the first time.
So here we go…
- Clothes; depending on what time of year you’re going and where you’re starting this will vary. My first mistake was not packing warm enough clothes (we arrived in Sydney in June so it wasn’t particularly warm) however what a lot of people seem to forget is that Australia does sell clothes and you can get them cheap if you know where to go (Cotton On is pretty good for basics). But my general rule is pack all of your clothes and then half what you’ve packed because you really won’t need as much as you think!
- Shoes; definitely pack less than you think!! I came out here with 2 pairs of flip flops /thongs and have barely worn one pair. As well as this I took a pair of sandals which were pretty good for the occassions you want to look relatively presentable, a pair of trainers which I have worn heaps of times for hiking and more energetic stuff. As well as all of that I also took a pair of Timberlands and my advice would be don’t bother! If you want to take a sturdy pair of shoes opt for a cheaper, smaller pair of walking boots and don’t even bother unless you fully intend on farm work or something similar (I’ve worn my Timberlands no more than 4 times since we’ve been here)
- First Aid Kit; me and my boyfriend took one between us and have barely used it. However it is something I would consider essential because it would most likely be the time you didn’t have it you would need it! We opted for a pretty basic one as Australia’s health care and hygiene isn’t far from the UK, however if you intend to go on to Asia or somewhere after you should look at a first aid kit with sterile needles included.
- A camera; this is one of those things that we didn’t consider essential so neither of us got one, relying solely on our phone camera to capture our travels. I have recently got a good Canon camera and it has improved my pictures so much and actually does this beautiful country justice! Also the problem with just having your phone camera means that storage gets used up extremely fast!
- Eye Mask and Ear Plugs; if you’re staying in hostels this is something I would highly recommend. Although I didn’t use them I wish I had! They will take up next to no space in your bag and can make the difference between a good sleep and a terrible sleep.
- Entertainment; Australia is a big place and at some point you will be on a long coach journey/on a plane/in a car or whatever and you are going to get bored! Whether you’re on your own or with a group of people you will want time to yourself to relax. I took my Kindle with me which pretty much forced me to get through all of the Game of Thrones books! After a while I just downloaded the Kindle app on my phone and tend to read it off that instead now as I alsways have my phone on me. As well as Reading I’ve downloaded duolingo (an app that helps you learn languages) I’m attempting to learn Spanish! But even if you just download a few games on your phone or write a blog just do something to fill the empty spaces. After all you can’t spend every waking moment being adventurous.
- Torch/headtorch; this is one of those things that I read everywhere that you needed. It’s been 6 months and it hasn’t left the bottom of my bag. I can understand you may need it if you’re living in the outback/camping etc. But again, if you don’t intend on going to these sorts of places you shouldn’t bother, if you change you’re mind then they’re easy to get hold of when you’re other here!
- Toiletries; if you’ve got some spare room in your bag chuck in some deodorant because it’s significantly more expensive here! Also razors are a lot more. Other than that just buy it all over here; I took loads of travel sized toiletries and they were so overpriced and ran out really quickly. Especially if you’re staying in the same place for a while or are driving yourself around the country just buy the big toiletries when you’re out here.
- Microfibre Towels; probably one of the best buys for travelling! They are so much smaller than standard towels and dry unbelievable quickly. They may not be as homely or warm but they are convenient and save you heaps of space.
- Hair Accessories and Makeup; bring loads of hairbands and hair grips because they disappear! Hair brush obviously and anything else you deem essential. Also take moisturiser because currently my skin is so dry. For me makeup was easy. A tinted moisturiser with spf, waterproof mascara, normal mascara, powder foundation (I get a shiny face as soon as the sun comes out), bronzer, concealer and eyebrow pencil. Saying all of that in the past 2 months I have worn makeup a grand total of 1 time!
- Sunglasses; I took a couple of pairs because I either lose them or break them like it’s my job.