This is its own section because I figure a lot of people have very little interest in reading what a person takes on their holidays with them! However, for the curious, the bored and those who may seek to learn from such a post, here is a list (from memory) of what I have brought with me. It may be edited as I forget/remember various items.
- Farpoint 55 Backpack. This consists of a modestly sized backpack that opens like a suitcase. It has waist supports etc like a hiking pack. The unfortunate truth is that when you attach the daypack with anything in it at all to the backpack, it becomes comedically large and untenable, so I take the daypack on the shoulder while the backpack is on properly. Jury is out on this one, but its’ small size is what you should be taking from this. DON’T go buying a massive pack as you will just fill it with things you’ll never use and it will get in the way.
- Laptop – Acer Aspire 1. Tiny 12 inch netbook. Runs quite slow, but it has already been a God send. Takes no room at all and was cheap. Don’t be that person with the Macbook. Just don’t. If you feel you can survive without entirely, then err on your gut. There are internet enabled PCs at almost every hostel in the world. There is also free WiFi at most of them, so make of that what you will.
- Camera – Fujitsu s100 FS. I was torn as to whether bring this or not, as it is bulky and ostentatious. In the end though, I figure that I bought it for a reason, and this is the reason. I also have a small Samsung point and shoot. It’s not very good, but it was cheap and its useful. You should buy and bring one compact camera that is decent.
- Packing cases. Small zip up compartments that divide your bag in to sections. If you only get one thing on this list that you haven’t considered, make it this. You will save so much time and effort.
- Neck cushion. I bought this as it was recommended for long bus journeys. So far I have used it once on a plane and it sucked. I will keep it until my first long bus journey, and if it sucks, it gets donated. Not recommended as it takes up too much room, despite being able to fold in half.
- One pair of trousers. Trekking trousers from Rohan. They do good clothing but their cuts are terrible. While comfy, I sometimes feel I am wearing MC Hammer pants. Don’t bring more than one pair of whatever you bring as you can get what the locals are wearing for a pittance.
NO JEANS! NO FUCKING JEANS! Seriously, it doesn’t matter that loads of local people wear them, they take an absolute age to dry and take too much room in your bag.This has been proven wrong. You need one pair of jeans. For sure. I hang my head for getting this so wrong…
- Swimwear. Obvs.
- Shorts, purchased in Rio.
- T-Shirts – you’ll get through loads of these so don’t bring anything you’ll miss. Try to include at least one polo shirt for “smarts”.
- Posh boxers. Go high tech. I got three pairs of moisture-wicking Under Armors, although when I am wearing shorts, I tend to go commando. Tell no one.
- Socks. Some socks. Three pairs? You judge.
- Walking shoes; not boots. I chose a pair that had a leather upper (and took ages to find!) so I could wear them to a bar without feeling self-conscious.
- Sandals. A decent pair for trekking. You might also buy some flip flops to wear on the beach and in the shower. Small is key here for the latter.
- To be continued…