Packing Tips for Overseas Travel – Part 1

Travelling around at the opposite end of the planet, means fewer blog posts, as I am wholly dependent on wi fi quantity and quality. A topic that is particularly pertinent is packing the suitcase!

How many of us have been forced to sit on a suitcase to close the zip or stress over potential excess luggage charges because we have packed too much stuff? PHOTO_20140302_130734

Unless you are going to a extremely warm/cold place, here are some tips I have found useful:

Travel light- How often does one hear this? Nevertheless,  I repeat: travel light and this way you can fill up your suitcase with all the things that you wish to bring home, such as mementos of one’s trip and gifts for family or friends. My suitcase is filled with gifts when I go overseas to visit family and comes back filled with gifts for family at home. But what should we pack?


Always the eternal question: How many do I take/not take? We all take more than we need, always!!

So, only take 3 warmer or 3 cooler outfits depending on the climate of where you are going, and 1 set of PJ’s or nightwear. This way you can wash one out and have it drying whilst wearing the second, and the third is your backup. Seriously, you don’t really need any more clothes than this – seriously.

Wash and rinse your clothes under your feet whilst you are bathing in the shower, unless, of course, you have been digging in fertiliser on a farm in which case you need to wash off first.

Roll your clothes, rather than laying them flat in suitcases.

Socks and underwear can be stuffed around delicate items and inside shoes.

A raincoat can double as another layer in colder weather.

Wear black… it doesn’t show the dirt of the spots of coffee or soup that invariably find their way onto light coloured or white clothing.

Scarfs : They don’t take up much room and are a great way to keep warm in cool climates (lots of warmth can be retained in the core area of the chest by wearing a scarf). It also serves as a way to jazz up an outfit to provide a bit of variety in one’s travel wardrobe.


Take 2 pairs of shoes maximum: one comfortable and one walking shoes. Alternatively, you can take one comfy walking/hiking shoes and a pair of thongs for public showers/swimming pools/wearing at the beach.  I promise you unless you are a fashion queen, you won’t need any others and you will just be carrying dead weight around needlessly.

Zip Lock Bags

Zip lock bags can replace the need for toiletry bags and prevent spillage

Carry extra zip lock bags (for soiled clothes or laying between ckothes to eliminate wrinkles


A refillable water bottle is environmentally friendly and can be topped up along the way, beware of filling disposable plastic bottles.


Take enough vitamins to last you the entire journey if you can. Otherwise buy on route but be aware different countries may restrict dosages on certain vitamins. eg: in Sweden I had to swallow five tablets a day to get the same amount of vitamins I would have at home.

Carry a small plastic spoon, knife and fork in your backpack. (You could save them after your finish your airline meal.) This way you can purchase a yoghurt or smaller item of food at a local supermarket, (a less expensive option than cafes/restaurants), and get to eat it without spillage or making an animal of yourself. Have you ever tried to yoghurt/corn kernels without a spoon? Not easy!

and finally:

Pack your suitcase up the night before you plan to leave the next day, leaving out your toothbrush and fresh set of clothes. You will thank yourself for doing that in the morning.

Even the best organized suitcase will swallow things from time to time, and these things will invariably re-appear when you least expect and need them. Why this is, I will often ponder about.


I would love for anyone with further contributions to add them to this post in the comments box. Feel free to do so… I don’t bite!





6 thoughts on “Packing Tips for Overseas Travel – Part 1”

  1. What a sensible person you are Amanda! If only I could follow your advice!! One thing I found handy when travelling overseas was an elastic twisted cord clothes hanger, to dry undies in the bathroom. It stretches between two hooks. Don’t even know if they are still obtainable. Safe travelling to you!


    1. Wonderful suggestion! I have used these or similar to this before, but now carry two plastic coat hangers, but one would do, with hooks to hold underwear, as well as heavier items of clothing like jeans and shirts. The heaters in the bthrooms in Europe work well to dry one’s clothes


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