1: Stick to solid colours/ colour scheme
2. Respect the culture of the country you are visiting, (sarongs and maxi/ midi dresses and skirts keep you covered up)
3. Would you wear it at home? If not leave it behind
Hanoi is not as warm as other places in SE Asia, and consequently I could cover up in the leggings and cardigan I had packed. I had also hidden all cards/ money in the secret pockets in my bra. My passport was in my boyfriends secret pocket in his shorts. This meant I had no bag and was consequently far less likely to be the victim of theft :)
(created for 3 months or travel in SE asia, and 9 months of living and working in NZ)
Great for keeping shoulders covered up in the heat, and for temple visits.
3 dresses/ playsuits
(ready made outfits are great)
throw on a dress or playsuit and some shoes and you are ready to go
An LBD can look smart and be easily dressed up.
2 pairs of shoes
Sandals and Plimsoles
I will purchase some flip flops whilst away, and have some converse to do light trekking/ bike riding in.
A Sarong/ Large scarf
I personally have a large pashmina which will double up as a skirt for temple visits and a sheet when hostel beds are dubious
A light fleece
I have purchased a light zip up hoodie from topshop. From previous travelling experience I learnt that bringing clothes you are familiar with is better than bringing clothes that make you feel frumpy.
Great for air conditioned buses, and will be useful in NZ.
Previous travels taught me that the best undies are lace! They take up no room, dry quickly and look nice!
Kag in the bags are great.
Shampoo and conditioner 2in1- I would never usually use 2in1 and love my conditioner. However, i'm sure my hair will survive. (A step further for serious backpackers is all purpose soap for you hair, your body, your fruit and veg and your clothes)
Sanitary products- I have travelled with enough for the whole trip following the advice of other travel blogs. But I was able to pick them up easy enough whilst out there. Just make sure you plan ahead.
Make up remover- (cleansing lotion lasts longer than face wipes)
Dry Shampoo (A slight luxery, but weighs very little if you have room)
Toothbrush/ Paste and Floss
Insect repellent/ Deet
Insect bite relief
The things you forget
A book (Just one or two- you can swap books at hostel libraries/ with fellow travellers)
Duck tape (if you are bringing a mosquito net)
Travel Towel (Small and compact- but not the best material or smell)
Sleeping bag liner- expensive, but some peace of mind whilst in dodgy hostels. I travelled with my boyfriend, and we often booked a private room. I therefore found this wasn't really an essential item for me.
A day bag- over the shoulder bags are great/ or a canvas backpack. Keep colours neutral to match all outfits. (go for something waterproof if travelling in the rainy season.
Playing cards or some sort of entertainment for planes/ drinking games.
Camera-Unless you are passionate about photography bring a cheap camera! They are delicate items are easily break. You also do not want to spend your trip worrying about what you have with you. Keep things of value to a minimum and keep your peace of mind.
Mobile phone- Do not bring an expensive phone, you rarely hear of people coming back with their iPhones!
Mp3 player (I am personally storing my music on my old and pretty worthless blackberry)
Copies of your passport/ drivers licence
Emergency numbers for lost credit/debit cards
Emergency number for travel insurance!
(Send a copy of each of these documents to sky-drive).
For your safety
Cable ties (secure main bags with these when going across borders on buses, it will deter people from messing with your bag/ you can tell if someone has been in it. Do not forget to pack scissors in your main bag!)
A money belt (I personally will use this when wearing dresses. However I dislike wearing these and have instead made secret pockets in my shorts to store items such as passports, and secret compartments in bras to hide credit cards! The secret pockets I made in my bra are the best advice I can give anyone. I could completely hide my cards and money in my bras when getting on buses/ in big cities, and put my passport in my secret pocket in my shorts. This meant my day bag only contained water and food, and consequently allowed for peace of mind in busy cities.
When I get to New Zealand I plan on wearing my leggings/ waterproof jacket and my hoodie! Layering up my summer clothes, whilst having these 3 other items (which are also useful in SE asia) means I do not need to bring a winter wardrobe.