I may not be a rocket scientist, but as a checkout chick I can pack, and I can pack well. As the weight restrictions for our trip currently sit at 20kg, our travel packs are 70 litres, so this list may vary from person to person. I also suggest investing in some ‘packing cubes’ as it really keeps your pack more organised and makes things more easily accessible, reducing time spent rummaging through your pack! I only compressed a few items, mainly my one bulky jacket, as this tends to wrinkle your clothes.
As ‘flash packers’ who would prefer to look somewhat fashionable rather than donning traditional ‘travel wear’ which highlight us as tourists, after all how many locals wander the streets in waterproof pants and weird hiking sandals?
For all the female readers we also have not skimped on the essential toiletries, and cannot bear to leave the country without at least one GHD hair straightener between us to fight the possible frizzy hair that comes with humidity.
When packing, I find the best method is to pick out all the clothes you want to take and lay them out on your bed, and half it. Culling clothes can be difficult, but think of it as leaving room for some great souvenirs or new clothes you will buy in exotic European capitals!
Most importantly, if you forget something, chances are they will have it in Europe. Trust me, it is really not the end of the world if you forget your moisturiser, any decent drug store or pharmacy will be sure to have some!
1x pair of thongs/flipflops (which can also double as shoes to wear in the shower to avoid fungal infections)
1x warm socks
1x walking shoes (for me these are vans or converses)
1x black jeans
3x basics (for me this was one black t-shirt, one white singlet, and one white long sleeved top)
1x warm jacket
1x good quality fleece (I chose merino wool as it is super lightweight and super warm!)
8x undies (only 2 of these should be fancy undies ladies!)
1x high heels (I prefer wedges as they are easier to navigate the cobblestone streets of Europe)
1x black skirt (goes with everything, really handy to dress up an outfit)
1x bra buddy (converts bra straps, very handy)
2x going out dresses
2x day dress (these can be dressed up and double as night wear)
1x pair of boots
1x comfy jumper for travelling
1x weather resistant jacket (this could be a water proof parka or something similar)
1x black tights
1x light jacket (I brought a cardigan)
Keep in mind that many items may be unnecessary as they can be purchased on arrival!
Travel sized shampoo and conditioner (you can purchase larger ones when you arrive)
Sanitary pads (just a few for emergencies as they are readily available in Europe)
Deodorant (travel sized)
Toothpaste (travel sized)
A microfibre towel, these are extremely light and are often referred to as travel towels.
Hair straightener (can also be used to curl hair)
Sunblock (SPF 30+)
Cutlery (I prefer just a spork)
Toilet seat covers
Sleeping sack (invest in a good quality YHA silk sac that has room for a pillow to also be covered)
Salt & Pepper
Mini Playing Cards
Chargers (iPhone, iPad, camera etc)
Eye Mask (the ‘Hibermate’ is my personal favourite as it includes earplugs and reduces noise)
Travel neck pillow (mine is inflatable to save space)
Small locks for backpack
Water purifying tablets
First Aid Kit
Any specific medications (ie migraine relief tablets)
Band aids or plasters
Blistex (for treatment of blisters)
Anti dioreahha tablets
Basic course of antibiotics
‘No jet lag’ tablets (homeopathic)
Ginger tablets for travel sickness
Stingose (relief from itchy insect bites)
The Important Stuff
My Ipad Mini (perfect for Skype!)
Wallet with both cash and credit/debit card
International student card
Any chargers for electronics
Make sure to scan or make two sets of copies of all of the above, as well as your brith certificate, with one left at home with a trusted friend or family member and one carried with you.
This list is available under my ‘Gap Year Packing List’ page.