Lil Big Sister Travel Co.
I may not be the best person for this as I’m a all or nothing kinda person.
I’m currently carting around random things that most backpackers wouldn’t even entertain the idea of. Red wine vinegar, full length easel, 7 or 8 pairs of shoes, teapot… you get the idea.
I’m so excited for my lil sister Beanie. She decided last year that she’d had enough of the UK & wanted to travel! Her first big trip and she’s coming over to Australia!
She’s super excited and I said I’d help her out with planning so I came up with Lil Big Sister Travel Company!
The previous Lil Big Sister Travel Co. Blog Posts are:
- Intro to Lil Big Sister Travel Co.
- To Do List
- Savings Plan
Immediately after Christmas Beanie started asking me about a packing list. She got her brand new backpack and I imagine she’s eager to fill it!
Well Beanie don’t go spending your Christmas and birthday cash just yet! Let your little big sister butt in! I’m going to try and give you the best advice I can (even if I don’t take my own advice, you should. Don’t buy a teapot.)
First of all! Before you go stuffing things in that bag…
Check flight baggage allowances!
This can catch some people out.
Imagine you’re on your way to Australia, you have two layovers and three flights to catch. The last two’s baggage allowance is 35kg but the first one is 25kg. If you pack over that 25kg you’re going to have to pay charges!
Always check your baggage allowance for every flight! And only pack the minimum amount unless you wanna pay extra.
Label your luggage!
Yes it’s those back to school days where you had to write your name in everything. There are some nice people out there that will happily try to find you if you lose something. I add an email address onto mine so the person can email me and find out where I am instead of thinking about shipping it back to mum’s house in the UK.
Try to predict the future!
Pack light if you know you’re going to be moving around a lot. Or if you know you can cope living the minimalist life. Or if you have a shoulder injury. (Why don’t I take my own advice?!)
You can pack heavier or a little more stuff if you know you’re going to be staying in one place for a while and you can legitimately keep your stuff there without worrying about it.
Know where and when!
A lot of what you pack will depend on where you’re going and when you’re going…why? Because of the weather! Australia is incredibly diverse. Summer can be over 45 degrees and Winter (when the sun goes down) can be minus numbers! When we worked on the herb farm in Mulgowie, during the winter we couldn’t feel our fingers or toes! Apparently in Stanthorpe they had snow!
Remember Australia is the complete opposite to the UK.
UK – Summer June, July, August Winter December, January, February
Straya – Winter June, July, August Summer December, January, February This means their festival season is around Christmas and New Years!
UK- Head South for warmer climates! The further North you go the colder you get, Scotland brrrr.
Straya – Head North for warmer climates! The further South you go the colder you get, Melbourne and Tasmania!
I guess what I’m saying is take at least one coat.
What to Pack!
This is next because without these you won’t be getting on the plane! Get a nice thin little folder to put in the back of your backpack for these.
Take photocopies/photos of these and send them to your email address and someone else responsible. In fact feel free to send a copy to me or mum to look after. This is in case you lose them we still have the details. These documents include:
Travel insurance policy
Any medical documents/info
ID cards (driving)
CV (make sure this is up to date and has a nice photo on it)
Spare passport photos (they’re just handy)
No one I know can survive anything without music. Don’t just rely on your phone to play music. A) incase you lose it, B) you might have to work somewhere they don’t allow mobiles and C) battery life.
Make sure you take earphones too.
If you have one or can afford to get a spare get a small ipod or mp3 player of some sort.
And back up all your music (or at least your favorite) on a computer or cloud storage. The drives are L-O-N-G here.
As I’m typing this I started looking around wildly for my phone! It’s in my hand. Doh. Get insurance or a back up phone. Just in case.
Make sure it’s unlocked too as you need a sim card when you get here.
Also make sure it has enough space in it or get a bigger memory card for it. Most people take ALL their photos on their phone. You don’t wanna come face to face with a koala bear only to find out you have no space left! #travelnightmare
Then again you could always carry another…
This is useful for when your phone battery dies. It’s completely up to you what you want to buy, if you’re just going to put photos on facebook then trust me don’t spend the money on something too fancy or technical. You won’t need it and it might get wrecked on hikes or trips to the beach.
I actually don’t know if you read books. If you don’t, you should! This one is completely up to you. If you read a lot of books then these devices are fantastic. They so much space. Check out the reviews bit don’t feel you have to get the most expensive one. Mine cost £30 and it does what I need. If you’re not too bothered you can pick up cheap/free books anywhere.
If you need any inspiration for a travel reading list I’ll try put one together next month.
This one again is up to you. It depends on how much you spend on the computer and how much you can do in your phone. I can do most things on my phone and im only thinking of buying a computer because I NEED Photoshop in my life. Just remember if it’s not essential, it’s just something else to worry about.
It’s cheaper to buy one of these in the UK.
Can be useful if you’re imitating Rapunzel, otherwise not needed. Same goes for staightners etc.
As I’ve said before this will depend on the weather and what you’re doing.
It’s up to you if you want to wear white or light coloured clothes but I warn you they don’t stay white for long.
I wish I had bought packing cubes sooner! These will save you so much hassle and time!
Have a look for some cheap ones on Amazon.com
A couple of tank tops (baggy & tight)
A t-shirt and a nice top
A long sleeve shirt (for cold/mozzie time)
A pair of shorts (denim to look cool) or skirts whatever you’re into.
A pair of jeans or long trousers (again for the cold and bugs)
A dress or two (mine are the same dress) …
Hat! A big one! Seriously! If you’ve ever get a sun burnt scalp you’ll know why this is so important.
Swim gear (bikini, board shorts/whatever) … FYI they sell really cute/cool stuff here in the surf shops so consider buying swim wear here!
Lightweight jacket or coat (extra points if it’s waterproof)
Jumper/sweater/hoodie type thing.
Underwear (I shouldn’t have to tell you to pack socks. For goodness sake!)
REMEMBER you’ll be going for job interviews at some stage so make sure you have at least one outfit that’s smart casual aka jeans and nice top.
Big huge ones with proper UV protection! Don’t go swimming in the sea with them on unless they are superglued to your head. You will lose then in minutes.
Get a nice one, bpa free, with a clip attachment or something and carry it everywhere!
You can get really cute cheap beach towels from a shop called Cotton On here, so save and get one here.
Travel towels for after showers are pretty good and quite cheap from sports direct. They don’t take up a lot of space and dry quickly.
You have your big backpack but don’t forget a day one, this could be a cute lil backpack for day outs or a large handbag. Just imagine you’re going out for a day at the beach and see which bag fits all your stuff.
Preferably one with a zip so things don’t fall out or are easily pinched.
If you plan on doing a lot of swimming some people invest in dry bags to keep things… well dry. I had one in Thailand when we were on boat trips all the time.
Up to you. Dunno if you wear one…
You need these.
Something you can wear all day comfortably.
Fancy/going out shoes.
If you go out for a nice meal anywhere or even that job interview your not going to wear your flip flops or trainers, right?
I guarantee that you won’t wear as much make up here as you usually would. Two reasons. 1) it’s hard to put on over suncream and 2) sweat.
If you’re by the beach you don’t need it anyway. But yeah this one’s totally up to you. Just don’t go OTT. Except fake tan with shimmer. You go girl *snaps fingers* Er huh!
Lipsticks dangerous see what not to bring below.
Favorite brands. This might not be that import make to you but if you absolutely cannot live without a product make sure that Australia stores stock it.
Your experience may be different to mine but the two things that actually detangle my hair aren’t available here. Or I’ve not found them anywhere. And one of them is Aussie. Ironic huh? The range of hair care in Australia is abysmal. Sorry Straya but it is. Sort it out!!
(I know you like bedhead, don’t worry they have that.)
Extra useful things
If you’re going to stay in Hostels you will need your own padlocks for your lockers. I recommend a combination padlock over a padlock with keys. I’m more likely to lose a key than to forget a few numbers.
Calms. (Natural sleeping remedy)
Sleeping eye mask.
Worth their weight in gold for light sleepers.
First Aid Kit.
At least one of you should carry this. No need for two but seriously get one. You won’t need it until you need NEED it. Things you should have in it:
Savlon, gauze, bandage, plasters, paracetamol, ibuprofen, ….
Scrapbooking/journal/ hobby stuff.
This is optional, I know you’ve got a new book and it’s just nice to write about wear you’ve been, glue ticket stubs in or write down things you wanna do. It’s like Pinterest…before the internet!
I’d go mental if I didn’t have a sketchbook!
Insect repellent & Tiger Balm
Australia isn’t as bad for bugs as SE Asia but they still have mosquitos and sand flies. They like to feast at dusk and dawn so make sure your armed with repellent.
It should have at least 50% deet in it. 100% is too much. Lethal. If it leaks it will dissolve plastic. Don’t put that on your skin. 50% is fine.
Buy it cheap at sports direct.
Tiger balm you can get in Boots. It should be part of your med kit. It soothes insect bites, clears stuffy noses, relaxes muscle pain. It does everything except tapdance.
What NOT to Pack!
Sunblock/screen/cream/whatever it’s called. The UV rays are stronger here so european standards won’t do. It has to be approved by the Australian Cancer Council.
Bring a little bit aka a small travel size bottle to get you by.
Too many valuables. Jewelry or sentimental things that would be really difficult to replace. A couple is ok but you don’t want to be constantly worried about stuff.
Lipstick or other cosmetics that will easily melt. They will melt if you’re living in a car/tent/somewhere workout a fridge or aircon.
Oh candles melt too. Don’t buy candles.
I shouldn’t have to tell you this but they have sniffer dogs at the airport. Be afraid. Be very afraid. Just say NO to drugs!
The kitchen sink.
There’s just no need.
Remember this is just a guide.
If you can’t fit everything in don’t worry too much you can always get stuff here when you need it. And if you want to take more be my guest. I have three effin blankets and a multi coloured unicorn teddy bear.