Let me tell you, when it comes to packing, I have a PROBLEM. I've always been a 'heavy' packer. In fact, last summer, both suitcases I took to the USA with me were overweight... I don't remember how much by, but the luggage allowance was 23kg per bag, so I was carrying OVER 46kg. As if that wasn't bad enough, on the way home, I checked in three items of luggage. The first two were 23kg each and the third was overweight, once again.
I don't know what's wrong with me, I've just always wanted to take a variety of options abroad with me. Plus, I'm really into cosmetics and toiletries and they are naturally very heavy to carry in a suitcase, so I guess that's why I've always been so bad at travelling light. Imagine my horror when I realized that 'backpacking' isn't just the name for what young people do when they're travelling the world, but it actually means that you carry a backpack as your luggage. Just one.
After my initial shock, I decided to man up and comprise my toiletries into one small capsule collection. Here is what I came up with...
*Wide-Tooth Comb, Dove Spray Antiperspirant Deodorant, 2 Razors, Contact Lenz Holder, Neutrogena SPF15 Moisturiser, Liz Earle Toner, Synergi Contact Lenz Solution, Head&Shoulders 2-in-1 Shampoo and Conditioner, Frizz Ease Hair Mousse, Electric Toothbrush, Boots Cotton Wool Pads, Wet Ones Wet Wipes, Johnson's Moisturising Cleansing Wipes, So Hooked on Carmella Perfume by Benefit, Nivea Sun Lotion SPF 20, Dove Roll-On Antiperspirant Deodorant, Acuvue Contact Lenses, Oral B Floss, Colgate Total Toothpast... PHEW*
Now, I'm sure this still looks like a lot to you, but for me, this was the bare minimum, my absolute necessities. I felt like I couldn't do without any of these products. Like, how could I get by without my toner??? Or what would happen if I didn't have my hair mousse to hand??? I dread to think how my teeth would rot without the use of floss.
In hindsight, having returned from my trip, I have now realized that many of these products are luxuries. Sure it was nice to have them, but they weighed down my case a tonne and took up loads of un-necessary space. Also, it took me ten minutes longer to shower and repack my bag than it did for everyone else which is a real pain if you're wanting to grab the first few toasted marshmallows from the campfire!
So what do I NOW think is totally and completely vital for backpackers? Here's my simple list:
1) Comb or hair brush
2) Roll-on antiperspirant (lasts MUCH longer than spray on!)
4) Sun lotion which can double up as moisturiser (SPF30 AT LEAST... getting sunburnt is agony and NOT fun when you're away from home... I had to learn the hard way in Los Angeles...)
5) 2-in-1 shampoo and conditioner
6) Wet wipes (for just in case the showers look like the kind of place you'd feel dirtier getting out of than you would getting into. Also good for removing make-up if your skin isn't too sensitive.)
7) Contact lenses and solution
8) Toothbrush and toothpaste
See, simples. Some of you would still take even less, but these were the things I felt were genuine vitals rather than just things I like. When you're travelling no-one cares that your curls aren't defined, or you don't smell like vanilla and coconut eau de parfum. Even with over-packing the toiletries, I managed somehow to compact them all into a couple of bags. Obviously, I just packed my wipes and cotton pads directly into my case as they were easy to squish inside shoes and smaller pockets.
*You can even catch a peek of my cosmetics capsule in the top right corner of the picture... I'll be writing about my collection very soon so keep watch.*
So there you have it: How a Beauty Girl Capsulizes Her Toiletry Collection. Have you ever been backpacking before? What would you consider your absolute essentials? What should I have left at home?
Love and snuggles