In the past week, we’ve condensed a house into a large suitcase and two backpacks and trailed these across London in preparation for travelling. It’s not the best sign when the wheels crack and fall off the suitcase mid journey though, is it?
We’ve since had a couple of practice runs at filling our backpacks so we can do sensible things such as testing the weight, and less sensible things like snapchats of us pretending to be snails.
During our pre-pack, we used travel blogs for tips on what to pack, as well as taking on board (mostly) invaluable advice from family and friends. But I promise there is nothing scarier than when someone utters the words “disposable underwear” in a conversation about travel essentials. Sure I’m going to have to ditch my winged eyeliner and my foundation won’t be applied so liberally but I’m sure there’s a small amount of room in our backpacks for some dignity and self-respect.
How do you pack for 6 months away?
So far Dem’s packed like 4 pairs of shorts, 3 vests, a couple of T-Shirts, a smart shirt and a pair of jeans. Easy. Me on the other hand? Reading through travel blogs it suggests packing pedal pushers, spaghetti strap tops and cargo shorts – I’m sorry is it the 90’s? Next they’ll be suggesting I sling in some butterfly hair clips and a Baby G! I know no-one will care what I’m wearing and by worrying I’m proof of what a self-obsessed Westerner I am, but I’d never forgive myself for having a photo taken in the most beautiful setting whilst wearing pedal pushers!
To satisfy my very slight OCD we purchased packing cubes. As we discovered if you simply shove everything into the backpacks it makes it IMPOSSIBLE to find anything and no-one wants to be flinging underwear around a hostel if it can be helped. Also if you roll everything up inside the cubes you can fit even more in – packing win!
Swimwear is underwear for the sea
As I’ve said many times, swimwear is basically underwear for the sea and underwear is a fundamental human need so naturally, I’ve packed all of the swimwear I can lay my hands on. Sorry sensible travel blogs “one bathing suit” is just not going to cut it. If my vice is swimwear, Dems is socks. I’ve never met someone who is so obsessed with socks. We moved out of our house and he spends a solid half an hour sorting out his socks (of which he has two drawers full). We went to pick up some last minute travel essentials, what does he buy? Socks. How many pairs has he packed? Don’t even ask.
Another blogger tip was to buy suncream at home to take with you as it’s rumoured that they put bleach in the cheaper stuff as that’s what the locals use. The suncream sans bleach tends to be pricier as it’s purely for Westerners and coming back whiter than when I left? Aint nobody got time for that! Enter P20.
P20 is a total dream
I’m not going to lie I burn like a sausage on an English BBQ. I don’t mean to get burnt, one minute I’m sat there all nice and warm and glowing and then bang, I’m charcoal. So a good suncream is a huge deal, P20 allows for one application for all day coverage – happy days.
A key learning for me so far is that I’ve discovered that if I put the word “travel” in front of regular items, then I’ve been permitted to pack them. For example, travel straighteners, travel lipstick, travel makeup bag. So for all intensive purposes, this should apply to my (regular sized) TRAVEL hairdryer right? Still working on that one.
So now we’re pretty much packed all there is to do now is get to the airport and internally panic that someone has sneaked 4 kilos of cocaine and a dead body into our luggage!