Packing 101

Whether you love it or absolutely despise it, packing is one thing we all have to do regardless of what our desires for it are. I, personally, love packing and researching on packing systems and travel gear so this post is going to be one of my precious babies.


Note: I’m in a sort of special situation since I am settling into a place for up to a year.When I moved to Australia, I had a 22″ carry-on, my Osprey Kestrel 48L backpack, and my Zella duffel bag (which is usually my gym bag but is cute enough to act as a purse).

Suitcase or Backpack?

Backpacking backpacks are intended for an entire day of travel where you do not need access to your gear until you hit a base camp, because your sleeping gear is packed in the center of the pack. Unless you’re literally going to be walking around with your stuff on your back, don’t bother with a backpack and just go with a suitcase.

I find that with city traveling, a suitcase is much easier to organize and find your things when you need it quickly.

If you like using backpacks however, there are backpacks specifically for city-style traveling that has the opening system similar to that of a suitcase. I’ve personally used the REI Vagabond and absolutely love it.

Packing accessories

I never thought of paying extra money for bags, until my brother got me the Eagle Creek packing cubes that made a world of a difference when it comes to quickly finding things. Also, as a woman, I found a bra case to be very useful. I made the mistake of buying two, which became bulky. I wish I had only one to save the nicer bras and my regular bras can go into another compartment of the suitcase.

As for money, I use a hidden wallet to keep my passport and extra money with me at all times.

Other tips

Don’t forget to weigh your luggage and don’t let any bag go over 45 lbs (20 kilos).

Technology Gear I love

Other Gear I love

  • Laundry detergent – Doing your laundry is your best friend when traveling.
  • Toiletry kit – I love the toiletry kits from Apple & Bee; they’re cute and made of organic materials.
  • Flashlight – You don’t really need to be a traveler to realize that this is just one of those things handy to have around.
  • Silverware – Far too often, instead of eating at a restaurant I would buy groceries to take to a nearby park and put together something to eat and utensils could’ve been helpful just then. I love these because they’re made of Titanium (made in Japan too!), and thus weigh almost nothing.

What to pack

General tips:

  • Roll your clothes to keep them compact and wrinkle free. You can then us a packing cubes to keep them compressed.
  • Bring clothes that can be layered.
  • Black is a safe color (although in the case of Australia, ANY color is a safe color).
  • I use a small and flat fish bait box to hold my jewelry and seashells that I collect. It keeps them from getting tangled (jewelry) and having sand all over the place (seashells).


  • T-shirt (2)
  • Sweater (1)
  • Long-sleeve (2)
  • Tops that can be dressed up to go out in (3)
  • Shoes: (1) one walking shoe (2) one athletic (3) one decent looking ballet flat for going out (4) one sandal/flip flop
  • Plain black jacket that can be worth in different occasions (make sure it isn’t too heavy or thick)
  • One heavy warm jacket just in case it gets freakishly cold and windy (make sure it’s windproof)
  • Jeans (1)
  • Shorts (2)
  • Jersey knit casual black dress that can be dressed up if needed
  • Undergarment (aim for a week’s worth); Again, laundry = often.
  • For the sake of exercise, dri-fit running pants (1)

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