Packing for a trip is always exciting! The anticipation and excitement can be drawn out and fueled by planning and the act of packing. Here is what I am packing for my trip to Germany, Prague, and Iceland:
What’s in My Bag?
- First Aid Kit: bandaids, Polysporin, tweezers.
- Stainless steel water bottle; bamboo eating utencils
- Compact umbrella; poncho; rain cover for backpack
- Sun hat
- Greens Powder & snack bars
- Combination lock
- Sewing kit
- Laundry soap; hand soap
- Travel towel
- Vinegar packets (for cleaning my water bottle)
- Underwear & socks (plus one extra just in case)
- Long sleeve shirt
- T-shirts (x2)
- Extra pair of jeans & a pair of shorts
- Evening top (x2)
- Bating suit; flip flops
- Hiking shoes; shoes for the wedding
- Cards, maple syrup, maple sugar (hostess gifts)
- Foundation, mascara, eye shadow, lipstick, sunscreen
- Gorilla tripod
- Sleeping bag sheet
Carry-on Tote Bag:
- Camera, second lens, extra battery, charger, iPad adapter for SD card.
- Noise cancelling headphones, extra battery
- Tablet, Bluetooth keyboard, charging cables
- Universal outlet adapter (CEE)
- Travel pillow (neck and head); pillow case; sleeping mask
- Toiletries & ear plugs
- Medication with pharmacy labels
- Maid-of-honour dress (can’t risk that getting lost!)
- Paperback books (x2); maps
- Kleenix; wet naps
- Passport, tickets, directions
- Cell phone; wallet
- Camera; extra SD card, battery, and charger; cleaning pen, wireless remote.
My Thoughts on What to Pack:
I acknowledge it makes me look a little crazy to have all my clothes in ziplock bags, but there is reason to my madness. Usually, I put essentials in plastic grocery bags to save me searching around my luggage for socks or underwear; or my special outfits to protect them and for organization.
When I visited my cousin Kate in Ottawa recently, she raved about vacuum compression bags that help you save space when packing. Then when I was hanging out with Dunter during my last trip to Montreal, he gave me a giant ziplock bag for my laundry saying that is how they packed dirty clothes when he was in the army.
Putting these two thoughts together, I went to the dollar store and bought a box of large ziplock freezer bags (thicker plastic). They work much better than grocery bags! I can get all the air out to ‘vacuum pack’ my clothes. The labels maybe a bit of a nuisance, but it may help make sure I have everything when I pack-up (have been known to loose things). I think they’ll work great!
Comfortable, noise-cancelling headphones are vital to an enjoyable voyage. I find that ear-buds hurt after wearing them for awhile, so bought over-the-ear headphones with a cushioned headband (headbands can also be uncomfortable) with an airline adapter. The Bose QuietComfort headphones I bought for the trip also come in a hard case to protect them during travel.
Budget tip: There are cheaper options out there for sure. However, if you’re set on Bose’s quality like I was, you can buy them second-hand on eBay or Kijiji, or if you have access to a broken pair, you can upgrade to the newest model at 50% off the retail price.
I found it a challenge to blog on my iPhone when in China, and the limited access to computers meant that I had no idea what my photographs really looked like most of the trip. For this trip, I purchased a second-hand iPad with retina screen, an SD card adapter to transfer photos, and a bluetooth keyboard to ease writing on-the-go.
Budget tip: I bought my iPad and accessories on eBay for a song. At least in Canada, eBay tends to be cheaper for Mac products than Kijiji or buying in-store. Another tip is to go for more memory if you can afford to spend an extra $50-$100 on a tablet (I went for 64 GB). As far as I can tell, there is no way to simply view photos off an SD card on an iPad – you have to download them onto your iPad first, which can take up a lot of memory (if you have found a better way, please message me).
Greens Powder & Snack Bars:
Food and beverages in Europe are extremely expensive – especially anything healthy. Iceland is particularly bad for this. So, I packed green supplements to help make sure I had a portion of my necessary greens and vitamins while on vacation. I also am considering purchasing some snack bars to satisfy my hunger when out-and-about to avoid making desperate purchases at over-priced corner shops.
Budget tip for a future trip: I was considering bringing some Greens powder in a ziplock bag to see how it goes over at Customs, but I’ve decided not to try this trip. However, it would be a cheaper alternative to buying individual powder packs, which run around $3 each at the health food store. I’ll try that another time…