So you’ve made the plunge, you read 7 Reasons to leave the Isle of Man, and without hesitation, you have booked a one way ticket to the other side of the world, sorry Mum! But what happens next? Packing your bags can quickly become an exercise in stress management, how many pairs of pants do I even need to last me forever?!
Drawing from some of my experiences after an 18 month stint on the road with my partner in travel Hattie, I have drafted together some of the finest examples of packing efficiency and travel hackery available to man & woman alike.
So today we jumped in the freezing cold Lake Rotoiti as we were bored of waiting for the sunshine to come out… but guess what happened after? 🌨🌨 #lakerotoiti #nelsonlakes #nelsonlakesnationalpark #tasman #southisland #newzealand #travelnz #travelnewzealand #travel #travels #travelling #travelgram #backpacking #campervan #adventure #exploring #photography #photograph #olympus #olympusomdem10 #stiffnips
#1 A bag for life
Starting right with your backpack is essential for any successful venture into the big badass world. Your backpack is your first travel companion, your tortoiseshell and at times your Wilson. You will laugh together, cry together but at the end of it all, you will have a friend for life…a bag?! But in all seriousness, 50 litres should see you right, avoid top openers and look for lots of hook up points to tie stuff on to, the more pockets the merrier and a detachable day bag you say? Bazinga!
#2 Don’t overpack
As we now know, you and your backpack will travel far and wide but always together. Don’t be fooled in by over packing! You don’t need that extra hoodie and you will be seriously considering your life choices when you are sweating at an alarming rate between hostel and bus station in Bangkok at midday.
The classic backpacker mantra is that you can always get what you need once you are there. If you are going through different seasons then pack for the first few months and start accumulating and swapping with other travellers as you go.
#3 Roller, folder or stuffer?
Are you a roller, a folder or just a classic stuffer? Personally, I love the space saving benefits of rolling but whoever said it doesn’t crease your clothes is a big fat fibber! Folding is time & space consuming, it also sucks whereas stuffing is super time efficient but can get out of hand real quick, so I reckon I’m a roller for life! Keep reading for the ultimate space saving travel hack…
#4 Don’t hide inside
Sunscreen. Having a great tan is awesome, having skin cancer is not. Don’t skimp and always reapply.
#5 Spray away
Mosquitoes loved Hattie which normally meant that I often escaped the bites but not the swarms. Bug sprays do an excellent job of keeping the blighters at bay but if you want to avoid glow in dark skin and odours akin to a nuclear waste plant then keep it natural with products like citronella or peppermint sprays.
#6 First aid
In case you were drunk again and forgot to apply your awesome, natural insect repellent, having the right kit to deal with those bites is essential to a good night’s itch-free sleep.
Pack up a mini first aid kit with some soothing bite cream and anti-histamines. Insects aside, Imodium, rehydration sachets and antiseptic wipes will all prove priceless at some point along the way and don’t forget those baby wipes, there aren’t many situations that a baby wipe can’t solve.
#7 Don’t be silly, wrap your….
Use a Condom. Like wearing a helmet on your bike, you might not always need it but when the time comes it could save your life…or at least save you a trip to a formidable looking foreign G.U.M clinic.
#8 Cash cards
Fortunately, things have moved on from the days of monster cash withdrawals and traveller’s cheques with the banking world finally catching up to the needs of our generation.
Top cash cards from Easy FX, Monzo and Revolut don’t skim off your exchange rate, allow you to make free transfers and offer free cash withdrawals whilst abroad, your bank probably won’t…easy win!
#9 Portable charger
Talking of the 21st Century it’s obvious that our tech is never really going to be left behind, and dipping under that perilous 20% induces the same levels of severe anxiety wherever you are in the world. Don’t get caught short when you finally reach the picture perfect moment and pack a portable charger. F*ck it, go crazy and go solar, you will never run out of juice again.
#10 Snap, snap, snap
With all of that juice, why not crank your photos up a notch and grab yourself a half decent camera? Just don’t forget to soak up the moment with the naked eye yeah? With #instatravel #forthegram it’s easy to forget that there is more to travel than sick pictures, taking great pictures is cool but making epic memories is better!
If you want to keep up with a travelling Manxie with a keen eye for incredible photography who is doing just that, then check in with the talented @matt_kneen over on Instagram.
Air seal bags! Just one of these beauties should fit perfectly into the main compartment of your backpack, it will not only save you heaps of space and keep your clothes funky fresh but it will also become a great source of enjoyment every day as you play with new techniques to wrestle the air out of the blasted thing!
So, that’s it. Your flight is booked and your bag is efficiently packed but where are you going to stay? Well…we got you!