Packing Part 2 – the details

pennybenjaminPB-Log, TravelLeave a Comment

On Sunday 28th August, I went live on Facebook to answer questions regarding packing, travelling, time management for study while travelling and staying healthy while travelling. The recording is below if you’d like to view.

Following the video is a summary of what I share in the video with regards to packing, time management, health and travel hacks. Bear in mind that these experiences are related to extended overseas travel, however, much of the advice will apply to all travel, even short weekends-away.


It goes without saying that you are going to need travel documents when you travel. I didn’t forget anything here but have some great tips:

  • have your documents easily on hand when passing through terminals etc.
  • print or save a copy of your travel insurance policy onto your laptop/smartphone/device to have on reference should you need it.
  • scan a copy of your passport and driver’s licence and save it on your laptop/smartphone/device. (This has been really useful when booking car hires in advance, it’s also handy should your passport get stolen/lost)
  • memorise your passport number and expiry date (helps when completing landing cards etc.)

Clothing & Shoes

I packed too much clothing and underwear. I packed the clothes I wanted to take with me, rather than considering the practicality of what I needed and accounting for being able to wash (even if it is in the hand basin of my bathroom). Basic things like: I don’t need 10 pairs of underwear and 6 different bras or 4 pairs of shorts and 3 pairs of jeans (keep in mind I was packing for 30deg Summer days in Italy, as well as 13 deg Spring days in The Netherlands).

The key, I learnt is to be creative with layers!

I now have:

  • hat/visor
  • 3-4 pair undies, just wash them in the shower each night or every second night
  • 2 bras (2 different colours for clothing)
  • 2 long-sleeved cotton tops (different colours, great for layering)
  • 1 knit top (great by itself or over the top of a long-sleeved cotton top for extra warmth)
  • 1 blouse (great for over the top of short-sleeved tops)
  • 2-3 short-sleeved tops/singlets (more layers)
  • 1 Down vest (hard to go past Kathmandu)
  • 1 Jacket
  • 1 scarf and pair of gloves
  • 1 dress (fabric that folds small)
  • 2 pair shorts
  • 1 pair jeans
  • 2 pairs of black tights (pack small and are great for runs/workouts as well as touring)
  • 1 sporty top and crop top
  • 2 pair socks (wash as needed)
  • Togs
  • 1 pair trail running shoes (I use these from Salomon because they’re great for hiking as well as gym/running)
  • 1 pair day shoes suitable for walking (I absolutely love these FRANKiE4 “Ellie” shoes in silver. They’re so comfy plus stylish so I can wear them to a nice dinner too!)
  • 1 pair sandals


I did forget a few things when it came to toiletries, namely sunscreen and insect repellent! As such I ended up with a whole bunch of insect bites and ended up buying a soothing itch-relief cream as well while overseas. Second-skins (for blisters) was another thing I forgot. With all the walking while travelling, I ended up with a few blisters and need them!

I now travel with:

  • coconut oil (multipurpose as face&body moisturiser, makeup remover, lip balm, even a snack if you need it).
  • 2-in-1 shampoo
  • face wash/gel
  • body wash/gel
  • toothpaste and toothbrush
  • deodorant
  • comb
  • travel-sized sunscreen and insect repellant
  • second-skin blister patches
  • a handful of band-aids
  • some paracetamol for emergencies, I hate taking them
  • cotton tips
  • a small amount of make-up (BB cream, blush, mascara)
  • nail kit (make sure you put this in your checked-in luggage)
  • hair ties
  • mini-sunscrean and insect repellant


Travelling is really toxic for the body. From breathing stale air in airplanes to consuming local delights that may not be the healthiest. Maintaining my health while travelling is super important because the last thing I want is to be SICK while wanting to get out and enjoy new countries. Plus I need to be able to retain information while studying on the road.

So far (4 months), I’ve only been sick once. This was from some bad capers I bought at a market in Spain. I recovered within 24 hours with the help of probiotics and electrolytes. Apart from that, I haven’t been sick!

I’ve found the following to be really useful in staying on top of my game:

  • water bottle (travelling, especially flying is really dehydrating! Make sure you have a water bottle and are always sipping)
  • probiotics (a really good probiotic is amazing, it helps keep you regular when your systems are haywire from timezone changes. And should you eat anything dodgy, an extra serve per day will help get you back on track – this happened to me in Spain).
  • superfood greens (simply a super easy way to get a whole lot of vitamins and minerals into your body when you’re unsure of the quality of food you’ll be eating)
  • Daily multivitamin
  • activated charcoal (excellent for absorbing toxins in a meal
  • glutathione (boosts methylation and detoxification)
  • activated nuts (handy snack)
  • Fire Tonic (amazing for gut health, first thing in the morning)
  • Pu-erh tea leaves (similarly, helps digestion)
  • A tupperware container and plastic utensils (to pack your own lunches for day trips and on long flights/trips)

When I wake up with a sore throat or what seems like the onset of a cold I have a simple protocol:

  • take 2 serves of Superfood Greens and
  • Cook up a tonic of pu-erh tea with fresh lemon, ginger, turmeric, black pepper and garlic (yes fresh garlic) and sip on it throughout the day, often making a second batch.

There are several reasons for each ingredient (turmeric and ginger are anti-inflammatory, black pepper amplifies the effect of the turmeric and garlic is an antimicrobial agent).

This has never failed me – waking up the next day feeling 100%.

Electronics and other

Depending where you’re going, how long you’re going for and your purpose of travel, you may want to consider:

  • adaptors for country(s) you’ll be visiting or an all-in one adaptor
  • phone, tablet, laptop (& HD back up) and relevant chargers
  • All-in-one allan-key/screwdriver gadget (proved very useful for bike issues when in the Netherlands)
  • camera & battery charger
  • notepad & pens (essential for my study)
  • practical wallet for travel
  • day bag (backpack or preferred). I use Pacsafe bags.
  • neck pillows are great for long flights
  • Meditation App on a smart device (sleeping in many different beds around the world can be disconcerting, I make sure I have  consistent bed-time routine including a camomile tea and mediation to help me sleep). I like Calm, but I know others who love Headspace and Quiet Mind. Search for them on your smart device app store.
  • Sunglasses
  • mobility massage ball and resistance band (excellent for stretching out after long flights, hard hikes and
  • small umbrella (again, The Netherlands, enough said)


I hope that’s been helpful for you and any up-coming travel you may be doing soon. Whether it’s a weekend-away or an extended stay somewhere, I’m sure there are some helpful hints there that you can use!

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