Auckland is the hub of New Zealand, and at this time of year it’s crawling with explorers keen to enjoy the unrivaled beauties that this country has to offer.
1. A good book
Reading is a great way to help pass the time on a long flight and a great indulgence you probably don’t have time for in your busy day to day life. If you don’t have one to take go and check out the shelves at the airport, you are bound to find something to tickle your fancy…even if it is a puzzle book!
Planes are always cooler when cruising at 72,000 feet in the air, just check your in-flight screen for the ridiculously cold temperatures showing outside, so packing a pair of nice woolly socks will help keep your little toes cozy.
3. Pack a change of clothes
We always run the risk of our luggage getting lost or not making a connecting flight which means we can be left without clothes for a couple of days. Packing 1-2 outfits in your carry-on will ensure you have some clean clothes to get you through a few days if you find yourself in this predicament.
To help keep yourself feeling refreshed, taking your plane size toiletries such as toothbrush, toothpaste and deodorant can make all the difference (and the poor person you have been drooling on next to you will thank you).
5. Wet wipes
In the last few hours of what seems like the longest flight you have ever been on, we are all longing for a long hot shower and can sometimes start to feel a little self conscious. A little hack is taking wet wipes with you. Take them to the bathroom and give yourself a little wipe over to feel a little more human.
6. Hand sanitiser
For those times there is no soap left in the bathrooms or you want to have clean hands before eating your meal and you can't get to the bathroom before the trolley comes around.
7. A pen
Remember all those times you went searching through your bag looking for that pen you swore you had in there from the last trip? Always keep it at the top of your list to pack because you will always need one, from filling out landing cards to writing in your travel diary. TIP: Keep the pen with your passport, you will never lose it!
8. Portable charger
Not all planes have the option for you to be able to plug your phone in for charge and if you like using your phone on the flight for games or listening to music/podcasts you don’t want your battery running out mid-flight. Having your favourite song stopped half way through is not cool!
Keeping track of your travels each day, noting down all the things you have seen, want to see, all the feels, the people you met, is such a great way to look back on how much fun you had or even to pass on tips to your friends that are heading to all the places you have now been.
Having a diary with you on the plane can help you get started on your lists of things you want to do or even to write down some goals you want to accomplish from your travels.
Now where is that pen we packed.... oh yes, with our passport!
Hate it when your ears pop on landing? Throw in a piece of gum when the plane is descending as the chewing keeps your jaw moving and helps to keep your ears unblocked. Lifesaver!
Taking your own headphones is a must, either for listening to music on your phone or even plugging into your seat to watch movies. Your headphones may not fit into all seats but they do for a few.
12. Chap stick
The cabin pressure along with the cool air blowing either on you or your row buddy can really affect your lips and make them sore and chapped. Carry a chap stick with you to keep your lips hydrated and healthy.
---> Courtesy of Hannah Pigram @thetravellingaus <---
Don’t stress too much about packing. You will forget something, but you can always make do and buy things as you go if need be. However, just in case you’re horribly unorganised and/or stressing out, here are some of our tips for what to, and what not to, pack for your overseas adventure.
When you travel, you’re going to have a lot of crap. Accordingly, you will need to decide how you will slug said crap around for weeks/months at a time.
Suitcase or backpack? Well, if it holds your shit, it holds your shit. It more depends on where you’re going and personal preference. Personally, I normally like to chill out and wheel my stuff rather than slogging it around on my back. For most parts of the world a suitcase works fine (I don’t know why these ‘suitcase haters’ worry about cobblestone streets? Yeah, my bag rattles around a bit… What a nightmare!). That being said, if you’re going to be trekking though the African desert, a backpack is probably better suited.
Still can’t make up your mind? Por qué no los dos! Just buy yourself one of the suitcases that turns into a backpack if need be; best of both worlds!
Along with a main bag, you should also bring a smaller daypack, purse, or money belt to carry things around on a day-to-day basis.
You can probably get away with forgetting a lot of the stuff on this list, but try quite hard not to forget these:
Debit or credit card
Another form of ID (e.g. a driver’s license) so you don’t have to carry your passport around after too many tequilas
Student ID or similar if applicable (discounts!)
Scanned copies of all important documents
The type and quantity of clothing much depends on a certain number of factors: where you’re travelling, how long for and how dirty you're comfortable looking. If you’re going somewhere more conservative, ladies and gents, go easy on the crop tops and booty shorts. Sure, they take up less space in your bag/pack but it’s probably better to avoid angering the locals.
A rough guide:
1 pair of pants/jeans
2 pair of shorts/shirts
1 pair of nicer paints/dress (if you plan on going out or gettin’ fancy)
2 jumpers/jacket (depending on how cold it will be)
Comfortable walking shoes/runners
Flip-flops or sandals
Dressier shoes (again if planning on going out)
Underwear/socks - Bring everything you own! Clean socks/jocks are worth their weight in gold.
Sun dresses - they’re like tops and bottoms for half the space!
Scarf - girls may need one from time to time if checking out temples/churches etc.
Gloves - if going somewhere particularly chilly
Bonus tip: if you’re going on a long trip, avoid taking white clothing; that shit ain’t gonna last.
Despite your best efforts, you’re probably going to be in a constant state of dirty during your trip. Accordingly, there are some items you should bring to avoid being outcast by society:
Toothbrush and toothpaste (if your dentist asks, you definitely flossed, too)
Body wash, shampoo and conditioner
A towel - even if its only a little one
If you're blind - contacts (bring spares), contact lens solution, lens case, glasses
Make-up and make-up remover
Tweezers, nail clippers
Hair ties, clips, etc.
‘Time of the month’ supplies
Only bring what you really need. While you don’t want to walk around looking like a pickpocket’s wet dream, you can bring the gadgets as long as you stay cautious of where you leave them.
Phone (with the TRAFARI app downloaded on it obviously!)
Laptop or tablet
Adapters: Be sure to read up on what kind of travel adapter your country needs. If you’re Eurotripping, note that northern and southern Europe use different adapters.
If you travel long enough you will get sick. So bring medicine. It doesn’t take up much space, and you’re not going to want to go to a pharmacy when you’re curled up in the fetal position in your hostel bathroom. Be sure to take out an advance on any prescription medicine that you need to take and be sure to bring a copy of your prescription as well. For everything else, make sure to pick these up before you go:
Condoms - come prepared (no pun intended) and avoid getting an unexpected travel souvenir nine months later.
Things that are optional, but that you may really want at some point during your trip, include:
Clothes washing stuff - if you go to an outdoors store, they sell little paper things that dissolve in water and make your clothes smell nice - get them!
Final bits of advice:
Less is more!!!! Leave room for things; you will no doubt buy things over there.
If your bag it too heavy for you to lift above your waist, take shit out.
Before I went travelling, most of my friends who had done similar trips told me “you won’t have the time or desire to exercise”, “you’ll have plenty of time to get fit again when you get back” and/or “just enjoy yourself”. However as someone who is passionate about health and fitness, I knew I didn't have a choice; if I was truly going to enjoy my trip I would have to continue to exercise regularly.
The trip in question was a five month long backpacking trip around Europe with my girlfriend and a few friends. While all of us were relatively health conscious, it was my girlfriend and I who were really motivated to stay fit over the five months. At times it was far from easy, but in the end we were able to have the time of our lives and still come back in decent shape. I truly believe that regardless of where you travel to in the world there is always a way to exercise - as long as you have the will power to get it done!
1. Walk everywhere
You will end up walking a lot out of necessity anyway, but when you have the choice stick to the pavement. Walking is 9 times out of 10 the best way to explore a new city and enables you to stay active each day. During our trip we went on heaps of ‘free’ guided walking tours, they're a great way to orientate yourself when you arrive somewhere new and for getting the inside scoop on what’s worth doing while you’re in town.
2. Set a plan and stick to it
Besides walking, we set a goal on our trip of exercising every second day - alternating between cardio and strength workouts. The cardio workouts would normally consist of a 40min+ run, while for the strength workouts we would use a mix of resistance bands that I brought with me on the trip (I would highly recommend this to travellers as they are light weight and easy to stuff into your bag). For these strength workouts we had created three different circuits that we would alternate between, incorporating all muscle groups. This helped us be efficient with our workouts as it prevented us from wasting time worrying about which exercises we would do, and kept us accountable to a certain duration and intensity of workout. As you’ll read below some of our workouts were better than others, but over the five months we managed to miss only two sessions (shit happens!). Before you go away, think about your fitness goals or fitness level you would like to maintain and set out a clear plan of your own to achieve it.
3. Make hay while the sun shines
If you are travelling to multiple places on your trip, when you come across somewhere that is great for exercise make the most of it. It might be a great running/hiking trail, a gym at your accommodation, the opportunity to rent a stand up paddle board, or even just some sunny weather. Whatever it is, enjoy it now because you might not be so lucky at your next stop.
4. Roll with the punches (be flexible and creative)
While some workouts will go according to plan, a lot will not. When these situations arise think on your feet, be resourceful and resist the urge to give up (you’ll feel good when it’s done!).
E.g. 1: We had a big day planned in Dublin so we decided to wake up early and go for a run. We knew it would be cold but from growing up in Melbourne (which can get reasonably cold in winter) we thought we could handle it. We were wrong! We did a few laps around the block before we had to retreat to our hostel; no matter how hard we ran we just couldn’t warm up. Frustrated by our failed run and lack of warmer exercise clothing, we managed to find a mostly unused flight of stairs in our hostel. We used them to do stair run variations and also used the stairwell to do burpies, push ups etc.
E.g. 2: Similarly while in Marrakesh, Morocco, we woke early to do a workout before a boat cruise we had planned. As there wasn’t any suitable public spaces for us to workout, we had decided to make use of our hotel’s rooftop. However, when we woke it was still pitch black outside and to our frustration we found the rooftop to be locked (with a sign informing us it wouldn’t be open until sunrise). We didn’t have time to wait until it was opened, so we were forced to complete our routine in the dark and in silence, on a dusty tiled floor outside rooms filled with guests trying to sleep. At the time it was far from fun, but we felt good once it was done.
5. Be aware of different customs
In some parts of the world it isn’t appropriate or common place to exercise or wear exercise clothing in public, particularly if you are female. For some places this was easy for us to pick up on (e.g. in Morocco) while in others it was not so obvious.
E.g. 3: In Prague, my girlfriend, another female friend and I decided to do a resistance band circuit at a park near where we were staying. From the beginning we felt out of place. We were getting weird looks and a fair bit of unwanted male attention. This of course made us all uncomfortable, forcing us to move to different areas of the park several times. While we did complete our workout in the end, we were very glad to get out of there.
If unsure ask staff at your accommodation what is appropriate or scout a location yourself to see if other people are exercising before you get to work.
6. Enjoy the process
Exercise does not have to detract from you experiencing a destination, in fact it is one of the best ways to do just that. For instance, going for a run or bike ride is an awesome way to explore a city, you cover more ground than walking and because of the distraction your foreign surroundings provides, you end up running/riding further than you normally would. Furthermore, outdoor workouts (where possible) are a great way to get outside, explore the parks and gardens a city has to offer, and blend in with the locals.
Get out there!
From personal experience, maintaining a regular exercise routine will help avoid illness, keep morale high, de-stress and boost self confidence while travelling, all of which being necessary ingredients to an amazing travel experience. Not to mention it allows you to party night after night (relatively) guilt free! Good luck and have fun travellers!