The Girl Scouts have a motto, it’s pretty long and no where near as snappy as their male counterparts. Today, we are going to borrow the boys saying “Be Prepared!” How many times have you arrived at your destination and had the realisation that you are missing something that you need? There are millions of “what to pack” lists out there but they cater for everyone. Here are the things that, as females, I think we need to remember.
Oh, and you can click any of the product pictures in this post and they will take you straight to the pages for purchase. I have an affiliate link with Amazon, but nobody else.
1 – Pack Jellies
Stick with me on this…
Imagine that you own a pair of shoes that can withstand heat, wet, long walks and night’s out? Let me introduce you to my JuJu Jellies. I have owned a pair of these Christabel jellies in multi-glitter since they were launched a few years ago. They are my most versatile pair of shoes and as such, they go everywhere with me!
- The colour is, well it’s clear, so it goes with everything! There are loads of other colours, but these really float my boat.
- The glitter is both cute, and means they can go from day to night.
- The gel softens with wear and so they become as comfortable as socks, without losing any structure.
- There is a slight wedge (about 1.5 cm) which is good for your posture and feet. I can walk for a whole day in them because they are surprisingly supportive.
- They dry quickly so if you are caught in a monsoon shower, you aren’t squishing around in wet shoes all day, or flicking water up your back like you do with flipflops. They also do well in hostel showers.
- You can slip them on and off easily at temple doors, people’s houses and backpacker cafes.
- They never get smelly. Your feet can breathe.
- If they get dirty, you can just rinse them off and they are clean again.
JuJu also have a wide selection of more traditional jellie shoes, plus many other sandal designs. You can get slip on, heel and flat jellies that take you back to your days at the beach as a child.
2 – Pack a Liquids Bag
It is time to invest, but don’t worry it won’t cost you a lot. No longer will you be on the queue at the airport trying to cram your liquids into a poor quality plastic bag handed out by unsmiling security staff, or a freezer bag from home. Not only will a proper bag be less likely to rip, the proper zip will not burst any way near as easily as the zip lock variety. I can get so much more into mine than I ever would in the ones they give out.
This two pack costs just £0.98!
I have a most expensive one, from Muji, because I use it every day at work to pass through airport security.
3 – Pack Smart Liquids
This doesn’t meant shampoo that links to your phone. ..
This is mainly for those of us that travel hand luggage only. How much foundation do you really need for a two week trip? Exactly! Decant some into a tiny bottle and save room. I have purchased sample sizes of my favourite stick deodorant on eBay and I have even found a little life saver in the pound shop!! You can buy a sheet of 25 sachets for just a pound.
They are great because there’s never a leak, they can slip down the side of your liquids bag and you pop in just two for a weekend. Space saving genius!
4 – Pack Hair Stuff
Maybe you are one of those lucky girls who suits a messy top knot, or even better maybe your hair hangs straight and smooth, or in wonderful curls. If so, ignore this section…
However if, like me, you have hair that is kind of frizzy but nothing exciting, you’ll know where I am coming from. We need hair stuff. I have spent a long time working out what hair stuff I need when I go away and it starts with tools.
4.1 – Hair Dryer
I cannot cope without a hair dryer. My hair does NOT look nice when it drys naturally. Therefore, I have tried folding ones, really tiny ones with the strength of a light summer’s breeze and a full size monster. All of them had their downsides, and then I discovered this little beauty,
It is small, light and packs quite a good punch. You can switch it between voltages so it can cope with our 220v plugs and the 110v ones in the USA. It even has a handy little hanger so you can have it in the bathroom. I have had mine for about 5 years now and it is still going strong (despite me forgetting to switch it back to 220v once and it almost burning out).
4.2 – Straighteners
The other love of my hair life. After experimenting with straightener-less trips, I decided that I was much happier when they were there. Again, I have been through the mini ones that are just about good enough for a fringe, and my full sized ones. These travelled with me for a while but I came across these midi straighteners one day and I was hooked.
The plates are the same size as normal ones, but the casing is smaller. The heat mat wraps nicely around the plates so you don’t melt your bag and the whole thing is nice and compact. A straightening (and curling) dream!!
4.3 – And Finally, The Donut
This is a controversial choice as it does take up room in your washbag…
If you are feeling hot and disgusting, your hair is a bit greasy from the suntan cream and you need to smarten up? Whack in a donut. This is the air hostesses best friend. Ever wondered how they get their bun so perfectly big and round, its the squishy bagel underneath. You can also squish it, roll your pony tail down it and pop in some hair grips to create this look.
It is a quick and easy way to sophisticated hair…well, without the Christmas Day additions.
5 – Pack a Sports Bra
Do you get a sudden urge to do adventurous things when you are away? I hike more, I bike more and I find myself doing Thai Boxing classes. It is important to be supported! Sports bras pack small and make a big difference. It also means you can pack a couple of racer back tops.
You can even just take the seam free kind, they are really comfortable for long journeys. No hooks, no rubbing straps and no wires to poke out. Pop that over a regular bra and you’ve got a supportive sports bra. Done and done!
6 – Pack Some Swimwear
You may be going to the Arctic, you may be going to the desert, you may be going to Barcelona for a weekend in November, wherever you go, take some swimwear. There might be a spa that catches your eye. Someone might invite you to share their hot tub. You might take a crazy dip into some freezing water. Who knows!? Swimwear is even handy when there is no water, you might want to do an hour or two of sunbathing on the roof of your hostel, and we can’t be in nude now can we?
7 – Pack Clear Nail Varnish
Clear nail varnish isn’t just for your nails, although it does make them pleasingly shiny and if you use a good one, it’ll keep them slightly stronger.
- Nail varnish stops ladders in tights and other fabrics from getting worse.
- Pop a drop on a loose screw i.e in your glasses, and it’ll tighten right up.
- Put it on your costume jewellery to stop it tarnishing. Great if you don’t want to take your fanciest bits away with you.
- Repair your laces when they start to fray. Coat the ends in varnish and squeeze them into a nice point again.
- Temporarily fix small holes in mosquito nets.
8 – Pack a Pashmina/Scarf/Sarong
- A scarf for chilly evenings.
- A blanket for cold buses/trains/planes
- A towel that dries quickly
- A cover up for the beach
- A cover up for your legs in temples/churches
- A head covering for mosques
- Something to cover up you horrendous sunburn.
I never go away without one. I think the fact I get cold very easily may help remind me to take one.
9 – Pack Face wipes
Face wipes are so good! Obviously they can clean your face on an every day basis but they clean other things too! Whether that is your shoes that are covered in grime, your bottom when you are suffering Delhi belly or your hands when you need to tuck into some food with no sink in sight. They are great on a plane, taking off your make up at the start of a long flight lets your skin breath. They can also help you feel fresh when you don’t get a chance to change clothes (stuck on a bus that was meant to take ten hours but has taken fifteen).For multipurpose use, I’d recommend something like Simple, they aren’t full of perfume, just cleansing goodness. If you are using them just for your face, Nivea are a little better at removing make up quickly.
10 – Pack Panty Liners
This is about to get indelicate…
We sweat, it’s not a secret, and it’s not just from our armpits. If you are planning to get laundry done on the road, and you are as paranoid as I am, use a teeny tiny pantyliner. These help keep yourself, and your knickers, a touch fresher. Even if you aren’t getting your washing done, it just keeps your laundry bag a bit nicer. Plus, they are a god send for long haul flights or bus journeys, anything where you are forced to wear the same clothes for a while longer than normal.
These are the ones I use:
11 – Pack a Shaver
How do we stay maintained for long term travel? You may get your bikini wax before you leave, but six weeks later…! This is the Quattro razor by Wilkinson Sword. It has a razor on one end and a trimmer on the other. This should keep all your slightly more hairy bits under control. Just remember to take the battery out when you are passing through airports, the trimmer sounds suspiciously like a vibrating “implement”.
12 – Pack Condoms
“Be Prepared”. You might not be travelling to find a date, a hook up or a husband, but it may happen. Don’t leave it to the boys. Just have a packet of these miraculous rubber sausage cases, just in case. I’ll leave it up to you to find your favourite brand, some of those websites may not be safe for work!
And don’t forget to buy a pretty case to pop it all in!
You don’t need all of these items all of the time (apart from swimwear, always pack swimwear). Hopefully this post has thrown up an idea or two that you like and next time you go adventuring, it’ll be in your bag. Why not share it and spread the knowledge. You can pin, flip, tweet or Facebook it by clicking any of the sharing buttons.