Last year I embarked on my first overseas trip and really had no idea what to expect, or what I really needed to take with me. In the end I over prepared myself and ended up having to throw things out that I wasn’t using to make more room in my suitcase. I spent a lot of extra money on things I really didn’t need, and next time around I won’t be making the same mistake again. Below is a list of 5 items I use the most when travelling and will definitely be taking with me again when I jet off at the end of December:
- Kathmandu Suitcase – Anyone who knows me knows that I am obsessed with Kathmandu. I love their products. Usually I steer clear of any stores that are expensive and try to find cheaper options, and most of the time this works out just fine. However, when it comes to Kathmandu, it’s worth spending extra money for a fantastic product, and what’s better, you don’t always have to spend too much. There have been very few times that I have paid full price for a Kathmandu item, simply signing up as a member gives you instant savings on almost all items. Joining the Summit Club costs you a once off $10, but it is well worth it! Summit Member Prices are always far cheaper than normal prices, and every time you spend you receive points and you get a $20 voucher for every $500 you spend (I am ashamed to admit how many times I have received a voucher). If you have access to a DFO, there is also a Kathmandu outlet there which means even more savings.Last year, before I went to Europe I had the tough decision on what suitcase to buy. The family ones I had at home were too big and too heavy. I needed something smaller, compact and lightweight to meet luggage restrictions on my tour. Although they are a little expensive, I decided to buy a Hybrid Backpack Luggage Trolley (fancy suitcase) from Kathmandu. They only weigh 3.05kg and can be converted in to a backpack. Although it may look small, I managed to fit a lot of things inside, packing cubes also fit perfectly in the shape of the bag. My one regret is getting the 50L instead of the 70L. The 50L was fine for my tour, however, thinking of moving overseas with a smaller suitcase is a bit of a worry.
- Kathmandu Jacket – Kathmandu again! One of my favourite items in general is my super cozy and warm Kathmandu jacket. The duck down puffer jacket is well insulated and keeps all the warmth inside. They come with or without hoods; I chose the hooded option. Inside the jacket is a pocket, inside you will find a small mesh bag (see photo). The jacket easily fits into the bag, which is great for storage. Absolutely fantastic for cold climates, and blocks wind too, I wear mine constantly throughout the Winter season. Again, being a Kathmandu product, they can be rather pricey. Wait for a sale and buy a jacket like this when it is discounted. When I bought mine it was marked down from $400AUD to $200AUD, a worthy investment, I have had no issues since buying it a year ago.
- Travel Pillow – Invest in a good one. Cheap ones are okay, and do the job, but when you’re sitting on a plane cramped up for 14 hours straight you need all the comfort you can get. I started out with a cheap $9 travel pillow, and it was only by accident I ended up buying a better one. During our stay in Rome, the pillows were very thin, and I find it hard to sleep without two pillows. I thought I was being a genius by placing my travel pillow underneath the thin one, that was until I forgot about it and left it behind. I spent the rest of the trip without one, and bus rides became more uncomfortable. At the airport on the way home, I found a Cabeau Evolution Pillow in one of the stores. Although it was a little more expensive, costing around $40AUD, it was one of the greatest purchases I have ever made. The pillows are made of memory foam, and come with a little bag for storage (see photo below). When I wasn’t using my neck pillow, I attached it to my backpack so I had more room.
- Portable phone charger – A friend suggested I buy a portable phone charger as I was going to be spending great amounts of time exploring and on buses, and I relied on my phone to contact people, find my way around and for entertainment on those long bus trips. It was something I had never even thought of before, and I wasn’t sure if I would use it all that often, but it is easily one of the best things I ever bought for my travels. Every night I would charge my phone and my portable charger. All you need to remember to pack in your backpack along with the portable charger is your charger cable. There are many different portable chargers on the market, some charge for longer, and some for less. I went with a Sony charger, and spent just under $50AUD on it. When it was fully charged I was able to charge my phone 2 times before I had to charge it again.
- Packing cubes – I absolutely swear by packing cubes, they have changed my life forever. They are the greatest thing I have come across to help you pack your luggage with ease. They’re also great for being able to find items quickly. Don’t go spending lots of money on packing cubes, a simple purchase from Kmart gives you 3 different sized packing cubes for $9AUD. Packing cubes are fantastic for keeping everything organised and keeping things in one spot. I sorted my items in to different packing cubes: clothes in one, socks and underwear, makeup and toiletries, shoes, and medicine.You can decide what categories you want to sort your items in to. They also fit easily into your suitcase and can be placed on top of each other or next to each other, without leaving gaps.
Stay tuned for more Top Travel Items coming soon!