What I’ve Packed

It’s hard to know what to pack for an 18 month trip around the world, but we’ve given it a shot…



12 x tops, including one long-sleeved. I know, I know. I went a little overboard here, but most of them are super cheap vest tops so it gives me some back ups while taking up next to no space.


3 x dresses. 2 of these are cheap “crap” that I bought from Primark for £1 each, purely for cover-ups at beaches, they’ve both now been thrown out. The other cost £7.99 from ASOS, so nothing valuable!

TIP: The trick here is versatility – that black & white dress is perfect for smart AND casual. 🙂


3 x shorts
2 x trousers. I was only going to pack one, which I’d wear on the flights. As it turns out, I was glad for the back up pair in Hong Kong and Australia!

10 x underwear
5 x socks
3 x bras
(no pics, sorry pervs!)


1 x pyjama “set” (a Harry Potter t shirt and short shorts!)
And SLIPPERS! Who the hell packs slippers? This girl!


1 x work outfit for Australia
2 x leggings (1 plain black, 1 nice & sparkly), 1 pair of tights


1 x lightweight Hollister hoodie
1 x slightly thicker fleeced hoodie, just in case (turned out to be very handy for farm work)
1 x leather jacket (probably a bad choice but it’s my favourite coat!)
1 x lightweight rain jacket


2 x bikinis
1 x swimsuit

Also not pictured: 3 x belts

TIP: pack things you can layer or wear with anything. The more use you can get out of something the better!



Karrimor hiking shoes
Air Walk skate shoes. Might not have bothered with these had they not been fairly new, but they came in very handy in Australia. Have now replaced them with cheap Converse-style canvas shoes which takes up much less space!
Light lace up H&M pumps
Second pair of lace up pumps… because I’ve had them for 8 years, they are on their last legs (no pun intended!). They were chucked after Songkran, RIP star shoes! ❤
Cheap black flats
Sandals for beaches, nights out and hostel showers

TIP: Always wear your bulkiest shoes when travelling – in this case, I always wear my walking shoes.


2 in 1 shampoo/conditioner
Shower gel
Bunch of miniatures of above that we were gifted from friends, now all used up!
Shaving gel now used up, I just use shower gel lol
Pack of disposable razors
Toothbrush and 6 (don’t ask) packs of prescription toothpaste
Roll on deodorant
Sun cream
Insect repellent spray with deet
Malaria tablets (got a cheap generic brand, hopefully not sugar pills!)
First aid kit with plasters, bandages, scissors etc
Hair brush & combs (think all the combs have disappeared!)
Hair ties & clips
Nail clippers, tweezers, cotton buds, flannel

TIP: don’t get hung up over what toiletries to pack, you can always buy them abroad!


HP laptop with a fun case that looks like a padded envelope!
Google Nexus tablet (to share this & the laptop with Ash)
Samsung Galaxy S3 mini phone
Panasonic Lumix DMC-LZ30 camera
External hard drive to regularly back up pictures
Cables/plugs for all of the above
Extra SD cards
Spare batteries
Headphones & splitter
3 way UK plug
Worldwide travel adaptor

(Ash also brought his Kindle)

TIP: Don’t take anything too expensive if you can help it. I actually met loads of people with basic phones.


Travel insurance
Flight confirmations
Vietnam visa letter
Back ups of the above / photos of visas
Marco Polo guide books for Vietnam & Thailand (love these guide books, concise but lots of info and small books!)

TIP: Keep back ups of all your confirmations and visas, even if it’s just taking a photo of your passport! I always forward flight confirmations to my mum.



Beach towel (managed to lose this somewhere)
Thin blanket (AN AVENGERS ONE, NO LESS!)
Thin starry scarf to use as skirts, blankets, etc
Laundry bag – with maps on!
Torch (flashlight)
Travel journal
Pack of Adventure Time playing cards
Puzzle book
Some small notebooks
Two wooden hanging travel quotes (sounds mad but I love hanging them up when we’re living somewhere and even in the camper van!)
Day bag
Fold up tote bag for the beach
Small cross body bag with purse, pens, tissues, vaseline, nurofen, mirror, deodorant
Gulliver bear!

And my main bags:


– a GoExplore holdall that I bought from Argos in 2008 for £15!!! It lasted for the whole trip and yes, it’s NOT a backpack! I love this bag, however, because it has two compartments. This means I can keep my clothes for easy access in the top, and then more bulky items like towels and my day bag in the bottom.

– a small backpack on wheels that I also bought for £15 second hand. My main issue with this bag is actually the fact it’s on wheels – because they add a surprising amount of weight, and I didn’t need them anyway! However, it has two main pockets, one of which is the perfect size for my laptop, and then several little pockets around the front.

(I have now downsized to a normal school bag-sized backpack and it just about fits everything in and weighs SO MUCH less!)

– cross body handbag – already pictured above, this is a brilliant bag with lots of hidden pockets for things like my passport and credit cards.

And now for the part most packing lists miss out:

What have we had to buy that we forgot?

Not actually a lot (excluding replacements for toiletries and clothes):

– baby wipes (under £1 in HK)
– moisturiser to use for sun burn ($2.20 in Cambodia) and later aloe vera gel (£2 in Thailand)
– a padlock for lockers ($1.50 in Cambodia)
– hippie pants!! Ideal for a cover up at temples and also for long bus journeys, I paid around £3 for mine in Vietnam but should have only spent £2.50 at most. Live and learn!
– an umbrella. I meant to pack one but lost ours in the move

And what have I regretted bringing?

Honestly? Out of all the clothes I brought, there are only a couple of tops I haven’t really worn. I even ended up wearing my leather jacket a lot in Australia and it was very useful in New Zealand too! Sadly it’s completely worn out from being tied to my case and I’ve had to chuck it, it was my favourite jacket! 😦 There are quite a few things I’m not coming home with.

I did regret bringing a proper towel. We donated all of our towels to an animal charity except for one each, which we figured we might as well use rather than buying another one. I wish we’d just bought microfibre towels instead. So much less space and weight!

I also strangely regretted bringing my travel journal, which I did not expect. I rarely got around to writing in it because I was so busy all the time, and I used my little notepads to make notes of little things I didn’t want to forget. It’s not light either, so it’s just taking up space.

Oh, and I sort of regretted bringing painkillers because MY GOD, does no one else pack them?!?!? Other travellers used way more of them than WE did! (seriously though, they are very handy to have. PACK THEM, for the love of God!)

What do you think? Is there anything you’d add or take out?

Disclaimer: some of the items on this page link to a website to buy the product. I earn a very small amount of commission from these links at no extra cost to you, but I’ve only linked to products I wholeheartedly recommend and have used myself – after all, this page is what I personally took away with me!

4 thoughts on “What I’ve Packed

  1. Great tips!

    I always back way too much, you’d think I would learn after 30 years of lugging a backpack! Typically, I’m a packhorse for 30kgs between backpack and daypack – but then again, my camera comes in at 3kgs!


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