{Travelling Tips} What to Pack

Good morning everyone, it's Kim on the blog today, coming to you straight from the bustling metropolis that is Hong Kong. I'll be sharing with you a few things that I've learnt so far in my two months of travelling. I wish someone had given me a few tips before I ventured off into the big wide world... but some things you just have to experience and learn for yourself. When I was on my journey in India (more on that to come soon), I learnt so much - about travelling and about myself. So these are my {Travelling Tips} so far about what to pack when you go. Keep in mind that I'm in Asia, so these tips are mainly covering those areas and not first world countries.

1. Universal adaptor
Everything in life that we use needs to be charged: our cellphones, cameras, laptops, hair dryers, hair straighteners. And yes, I took all of those items overseas without a proper universal adaptor - and it was a really rookie error! My tour guide in India said he would provide us with adaptors as we arrived, but those he gave us could only fit certain plugs and not all of my various types. Needless to say, I battled through, begging for the correct plugs at every hotel/stop in India! 

2. Scarf or pashmina
Obviously, the Indian culture calls to be covered up all of the time, not showing skin above the knees or shoulders. Luckily, when I was in India, the weather was at the end of its Winter season so we managed to wear long pants and t-shirts every day without being excruciatingly hot (like the country is known to be). I don't wear a lot of t-shirts in everyday life, so the way I got around that was packing a bunch of scarves and taking one each day on tour with me; that way, I could it around myself whenever in public, or when it was cold. Choose a neutral colour or pattern like this beautiful lightweight scarf from Woolies for only R120 - that way, you can wear it often and it matches almost everything.

3. Decent camera
I love my Nikon Coolpix P7000, remember we did this post on our new cameras after Filipa and I bought our very own last year? Well it was a dream to have with me in India and Hong Kong. Its compact enough to carry in a day bag, but its also such a great quality that my photographs really came out splendidly (more on that to come soon, I promise!). So my advice is to take as decent a camera as possible - and remember to take a large enough memory card so you can take as many pictures as you like. 

4. Pen and notebook
With all the visas and immigration nonsense processes that you have to go through when travelling overseas, especially to countries in Asia, you will be filling out lots of forms and waiting in lines. Taking a pen with me was so extremely helpful in these circumstances, as I was never held up by waiting for pens. Notebooks are great too when needing to write down addresses, transport instructions, etc; believe me, I used this a lot while in Hong Kong! Typo has tons of quirky notebooks to choose from - you can literally go wild! We love this Typo spinout notebook with the quote on the front - it's always great to be reminded of things like this daily.

5. Book or magazine
So much waiting goes on when travelling. Whether its waiting for your plane/bus/train to arrive or driving in cars to destinations, you will always need something to keep you busy (unless you like to sit and stare - that's okay too). I took a book and a magazine with, and depending on what I felt like each day, I read either one.

6. Passport and ticket wallet
A good friend bought me my first passport and ticket wallet from a Typo shop in Australia, and I finally was able to use it when departing on this adventure of mine overseas! Believe me, they really come in handy. They can fit your passport, ID document, flight tickets, and keep everything together so you never have to worry. And the best thing is that they actually look quite trendy, just like this laser-cut travel wallet from Typo in emerald green.
7. Comfy walking shoes
If you don't already have a great pair of Converse, some comfy walking shoes are essential to get before your trip! You don't need to wear your Nike or Reebok takkies though, so buy some cheapish shoes before you go like these plimsoles from Cotton On in princess blue.

8. Tea / coffee
To say I love coffee is a huge understatement. You should know this about me by now. I don't drink too many cups a day, but I love my one delicious cuppa every morning. So this is a warning to you: the coffee (and tea, as we soon realised) is NOT great in India. We struggled every day with drinking tea and coffee that tasted so little like what we are used to back home, and believe me, even finding a good cappuccino out somewhere was so difficult. If I'd known this, I would have packed a small tub of coffee to take with me. Just saying. 

9. Deodorant
This goes without saying; travelling all day by leaving your hotel in the early hours of the morning and arriving back quite late can leave you feeling sticky and in want of a shower. Deodorant always helps that little bit to freshen you up.

10. Roll of toilet paper
In India, you will pretty much never find a public toilet that has toilet paper. So take my advice and keep a small roll in your day bag - it will save your life, seriously.

11. Filtered water bottle
This is more of a general tip, than specifically for travel in India. There you cannot drink any water out of the tap, so using a filter for that water wouldn't do any good anyway. Note: you can only drink bottled water in India. But while there are countries where it is fine to drink the water out the taps, using a filtered bottle might keep your mind (and tummy) at ease. I like this one from Yuppiechef for R120.

12. Snacks
Western snacks are harder to find in places like India than you think. There were often times when we just craved some Lays chips, Oreos or a good old Cadbury's slab. Don't over pack your suitcase, but maybe take a few of your favourite snacks just to get you through.

13. Tinted moisturiser
While travelling in a third world country, make up is really not a must for every day. So what I used instead was just a daily tinted moisturiser, to even out skin tone. My favourite is Garnier BB cream (Beauty Balm), as it is inexpensive, and is a 5-in-1 skin perfecter, with the very important SPF 15 when travelling.

14. Hand sanitiser
When travelling anywhere, hand sanitiser should be first on your list. To avoid getting sick, you should use it often! Any brand will work, but we like this hand sanitiser from Woolworths.

15. Neck pillow
Take it from us - a neck pillow is an absolute MUST when travelling! It saved me when travelling on planes and in long road trips between towns in India. Again, Typo has some great (and really fun) options to choose from like this one.

16. Nail clippers
I take nail clippers everywhere I travel, as I find that they always come in handy. It seems like a silly thing to take, but really, they are small enough not to take up vital packing space, so why not? 

17. Sunglasses
An obvious, but important reminder: sunglasses are always necessary, especially when out in the sun all day visiting temples/parks/etc.

18. Viral Guard (or other immune system protection)
Before I left for India, I had to get five vaccinations because it is well known that the water and food there is disease-ridden. This just goes to show that travelling to third world countries can not only be very upsetting to your body, but it can also be fatal in some cases. I got so sick after two days of being in India, with a really bad chest infection and cough, and I assume it was from general travelling and the pollution. It will do no harm to you to take an immune booster like Viral Guard, so rather just do it!

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