When we travel around the Middle East it’s easy to take one big suitcase with a different outfit daily for each of us, but when we travel out of the region, we move around a lot more (and usually for a longer period) so it’s important that we take as little as possible. We tend to only want to take a small carry on suitcase, which isn’t a lot of room for three people staying somewhere for a few weeks. We travel lightly for several reasons. A. Because we don’t want to wait around in a foreign airport for our bags, or risk them getting lost. B. It’s difficult to move around with a lot of luggage (and we love staying in different areas). C. We can buy things wherever we’re at too.
I’ve always been an over packer, and my husband is just the opposite, so it took a lot of arguments and annoyance for me to get this point, but after traveling trust me the less you have to worry about, the better. So here are my tips on how you (and your family) can travel for a few weeks away from home with as minimal as possible.
Every place we’ve ever stayed already has the necessities, but I’ve found they dry my hair and skin out, so I pack my absolute (and every other travelers) favorite is Dr. Bronners Tea Tree Oil Soap. This acts as a face wash, shampoo and body wash for my entire family. They have a few different smells, but I stick with the tea tree oil since it helps in warding off bugs, and Asia (and most countries) in the Summer has a major mosquito issue.
Of course you will need toothbrushes and toothpaste, try to get covers for your toothbrushes so they don’t get dirty.
Sunscreen is a must for me (since I’m so white) and T too, since I don’t want him to get a sunburn. I like this one by Neutrogena since I have sensitive skin and most others tend to break my face out. Lotions important too, so your skin doesn’t get too dry after the sun.
Speaking of mosquitoes, it’s not something you should ignore or play around with. Make sure you’re prepared ahead of time. We love these bands. They are easy to wear, last for 2 weeks and you can even swim in them.
Extras would be any makeup (minimal since we’re going to be adventuring, but still going to some nices places at night), deodorant of course, rubber bands and a hairbrush.
* I always make sure everything is wrapped up in case of leaks so my other items are not destroyed. You can get away with carrying a lot of this in your purse, unless it’s liquid.
No more than 2 pair of shoes per person. Flip flops are always a must since we’ll be on the beach a lot of time, or a pool. Since we’re going to be hiking and stuff on this trip a comfortable pair of shoes will be needed. So for me personally I will need to make sure one of those pairs looks good so I can mix it with my night outfits when we go to nice places. My Adidas shoes look great with all of these and can be worn when we walk a lot, we also have the Adidas flip flops.
Stick to one color palette so that you can easily mix and match everything you have. Since we’re not packing too much, this is essential. I’m sticking to all neutral colors. If it doesn’t mix well with everything else I’m taking, it doesn’t go. We’ll be in Bali for 2 weeks, so I will take half of that amount of stuff (or less) so I will need to make sure each thing is worn twice or more.
Skip over patterns or loud items that can’t be mixed, it’s just wasting your space. Also, you will still need room for your under clothing, 1 night shirt, socks and swimsuit. My aesthetic is already minimal and simple, so most of my stuff works in this way pretty easily. Items like 1 long skirt (dark gray), jeans, 2 pants (1 white and tan) will work great with 1 striped shirt (black and white), 1 vest (charcoal), and shirts (neutrals).
* I hand wash all of our underclothing at the end of every night so in case we need the later on again they’re all clean, the soap I take is perfect for this too. Also, ask your hotel if they have a washing machine on site, in case of emergencies. Most places offer one free wash.
I prefer to leave most gadgets at homes since living in the moment is very important for me on trips. However, I usually do take my DSLR. I always make sure my battery is charged, I take the charger and an extra usb card. My husband always takes his phone since having a phone is important, so make sure to get the charger (and a back up) for that too.
This trip we’re taking our snorkeling set. It will be easier (and cheaper) since we plan to do this, and I already own it. If you’re planning to do anything like this and can save money and time, do it.
I always go down my body starting from head to toe to think of everything I will need, I make a list beforehand and cross it off as I go. Also remember to have something to carry your money, identification and passport in, DON’T trust your hotel or room safe, I’ve read multiple reports on people getting money and passports stolen even in the nice places. So any sort of bag you can wear under your clothes works (or get really creative with hiding in your room).
Most importantly, remember that you’re going on a trip to enjoy your life and have an adventure, what you pack or how you dress is the least of concerns.
*Later I’ll write a post about traveling to Bali and things you need plus loads of tips I wish I knew the first time around.