Before you start travelling longterm you think about what you could need. What situations are likely to happen. And what is actually necessary to carry around.
But you are never fully prepared, you never think about ALL the things that are actually handy to have and obviously, everyone’s needs and focus is different as well.
So with this blog post I want to show you a few things I am really glad to have with me and are actually approved by 6 months of travelling (so far). And I’ll also show you the insides of my medicine bag that is very minimalistic but still holds everything I need on hand (because everything special can be bought when you actually need it).
My Medicine Bag
I don’t get sick very often and I don’t think it’s necessary to travel with a lot of medicine on hand. You can always buy something when you actually need it and that’s far better than carrying everything for every situation with you around. You won’t need it all. There is no need to be prepared for everything.
Obviously, it depends on where you are travelling and what you are doing and you need to adjust your medicine bag from country to country (and person to person).
This is just an idea of what I took with me for one year of backpacking through Australia.
Bandages. I’ve got way to many with me! I don’t even remember when the last time was that I needed one…
Nurofen Painkillers for Teens. They still work for me when I have a headache, so I still use them. I try to always use the minimum amount possible (while still taking what is necessary).
Strong Painkillers. Never needed one, but it’s good to have some on hand in an emergency and then I can buy more if necessary.
Eyedrops. For minor infections, itchy eyes or too much salt water in eyes.
Anti-Diarrhoea tablets. In a new country with new food… you never know.
Nose spray. A little cold can always surprise you, especially after flying or strong changes in the weather.
Throathies. Having an itchy throat is so annoying and happens so quickly when you are in cold Aircon air a lot. (Not in the picture bc already used up…)
Homeopathic Globuli. I know, not everyone is a fan of stuff like that, but my family is into that stuff and it doesn’t hurt to take these to help your body and feel better.
My mom helped me decide what to take and she also made a sheet with when to take which Globuli. We always buy all our medicine at an online pharmacy* and until now I only had to buy Nose spray (bc I didn’t take any with me – I don’t know why) and some caught medicine because I had a cold from the cold shopping centres.
Practical Things for Backpackers
Along my travels, there were a few things that ended up being super handy and some other things that I felt like missing and bought. So here are the things that I find really handy as a Backpacker and some of them, you might not think about yourself when packing.
Besides that, I obviously also have a lot of other handy things with me. Here you can see What’s in my Backpack for longterm travelling through Australia.
Reusable Water Bottle. To always have something to drink with you. Never pay any money for water and save the earth from plastic.
Cotton Shopping Bag. As a beach bag, handbag, for plastic-free shopping…
Tupperware Containers. To store leftover food or for cheap & healthy meals on the go.
Spices. To make your food taste like something and because most hostels only have salt. Cinnamon for sweets. Turmeric because it’s healthy. And the All Purpose Seasoning contains mostly salt, paprika, garlic and some other herbs and makes every savoury dish really yummy (and it’s so easy!).
Mueslie Bar. I always carry a safety bar with me when I go out for a whole day. You never know when you need some extra energy and it’s not always worth spending money on takeaway food.
Baby wipes. Or hand sanitiser for disgusting phones, hands or…
Cream. For dry skin and lips especially.
Vitamin B12. For veggies.
Multivitamin. I don’t take them daily, but here and there if I feel like I am not getting all the nutrients I need through my diet.
Ohropax. For hostel rooms or loud aeroplane rides.
Playing cards. It’s always fun to play some cards with friends and it’s a great way to make new friends in hostels.
I hope you found this blog post helpful and you got some ideas for things to not forget on your own travels!
Am I missing anything in your opinion? What do you take with you?
WERBUNG / ADVERTISMENT
* This post is sponsored by shop-apotheke.com. Everything I say and recommend is still 100% honest and true to what I have with me / use.
Every day I get messages from travellers and future travellers asking me about my experiences and tips for backpacking through Australia. So I decided to write a blog post that I can refer to, so I don’t need to answer the same questions again and again.
Because there is a lot of information that I want to share with you, I decided to do a series of informative blog posts in the next weeks:
From Alice Springs I flew to Sydney to spend a week with one of the German girls from the Great Ocean Road in Bondi Beach, Sydney before I had to say goodbye and welcome my Cousine Lisa to Australia that visited me for three weeks.
When Lisa left me I wanted to take a flight to Perth, but it got cancelled and I had to stay in Bondi Beach for a few more days before I finally got to Western Australia.
I experienced one very lonely week in Perth and then went to another 6-day tour to Esperance and see Wave Rock, Margaret River and Albany before I returned to Perth and finally meet a nice girl from Korea that I hang out with for another week in Perth before I flew to Cairns.
In Cairns, I met my parents and brother after 3 months of travelling thousands of miles apart of them. We travelled three weeks with a campervan from Cairns to Sydney over Christmas and arrives for New Year’s Eve in Sydney to watch the world famous fireworks over the Harbour Bridge and Opera House. It was a lovely time together with them and I am very glad that I was lucky to spend some time with them, especially for the Holidays.
Afterwards, I stayed in Sydney for a few days before I started my journey along the East Coast for the third time, but solo travelling for the first time. I also now have a lot more time and can stop wherever I want.
So my first stop was Newcastle where I had two amazing days and wished I could stay longer because I got to meet and do Yoga together with @sjanaelise my favourite Yogi.
Afterwards, I went to Woolwolga aka Mojosurf Spot X where I did a surf camp for 5 days and learned to ride the waves which is so much fun!
Then I continued my journey to Byron Bay and was lucky to meet some amazing people in my hostel room that I hung out with for 6 days. It was an amazing time and I was glad to travel along with two guys to Surfers Paradise where I spend 5 more days with them and then finally met my first friend I met in Australia: Sabrina from Italy that I met in Melbourne again and we spend a wonderful weekend together.
Then I had three last days travelling and exploring Noosa on the Sunshine Coast before I met and moved in with my AuPair family that lives in Mudjimba on the Sunshine Coast and that I am now going to spend 1,5 month with.
Your favourite places?
Not a ranking, because I could never decide:
Fitzroy in Melbourne
Bondi Beach in Sydney
The best memories you made?
Again, I can’t rank them, but here are my favourites:
Lots of fun and a wonderful time with friends I met in Byron Bay
Spending four days with Sam, a Canadian guy, in Surfers Paradise
Weekend in Surfers with Sabrina and Keith
Experiencing having an Aussie family
Are you travelling solo?
Yes, I am mostly travelling alone, but I travelled three weeks together with my Cousine that visited me from Germany and three more weeks with my family that came over for a road trip along the East Coast over Christmas and New Years.
Sometimes, when I meet some nice people I stay together with them for a few days/ a week or two, but I have not found a long term travel buddy as I oftentimes everyone has their own plans and I prefer doing my thing.
Is there anything that you completely dislike about Australia / Backpacking / Work & Travel?
To be honest… there is only one thing that I don’t like and that is being away from my family and friends for so long. Everything else is only so small and gets defeated by all the great things here. And even being away and not seeing friends and family is so worth it for the life that I am living now… at least for a year.
What do you miss about Home/Germany (besides friends & family)?
I miss… German bread, a fridge with a variety of food, a kitchen to myself to cook, bake, test recipes with all the ingredients I need, my own bed and room for some privacy and relaxed & calm times alone, having a routine, cozy cold days for long winter walks, drinking tea and going to the sauna (at least for a weekend), my cat, not having to pack/live out of a backpack, always having washed and fresh clothes/towels if I need them.
What is the cheapest/best way to travel around?
As I am travelling alone the best way for me is taking a Hop-on-Hop-off bus. I can make as many stops as I want along the way and see all the places that I want to. The Greyhound bus is the more known Backpacker bus, but I am taking the Premier Motor Bus because it is a lot cheaper and besides that you don’t get Wifi it is just as good.
When you are travelling with a friend / a group it is for sure cheaper to rent or even buy a car/van because you can also sleep in it and save the costs for a hostel bed. And you are more free with the time and places you go to and can explore some unknown or further away places.
Where are you staying?
I usually stay in Hostels as they are easy to find and book everywhere in Australia.
With my cousin I stayed in AirBnBs which usually is a bit more expensive than a dorm hostel room but also more private and when you are lucky, book early or travel outside the season you may find some super cheap and very nice places.
When I travelled with a campervan with my family, we stayed at campgrounds. They are around 60$ per night but there are also free campgrounds or parking spots where free camping is not prohibited.
I also tried Couch surfing in Surfers Paradise with my friend Sabrina for the first time and had a great experience. She found the offer over Facebook and already stayed with this guy once and he invited us to stay with him again and took us on a little adventure in the rainforest to a waterfall and surfing at the beach on the Gold Coast. I hope to be able to do couch surfing more often as it is super interesting (and cheap) but you need to find good people that you feel safe with.
Where do you book your hostels and what do you look for?
I always book over the Hostelworld App as they have a great overview over all hostels available at a destination for the time and you can choose the best/cheapest one over a rating, read about the hostel and see reviews of past travellers.
A nice central location, Wifi and maybe free breakfast is what I usually look for as well as a good price (between 22-35$ depending on weekend/weekdays, holidays, season and place) and then I read the comments to see if there are many bad reviews on the cleanness, kitchen, facilities and if the hostel is a major party hostel. But I always keep in mind that some travellers are just not used to hostel life and write bad reviews.
How do you try to stay healthy while travelling (and not having access to a full fridge and a variety of foods)?
As you know healthy, fitness and nutritious eating is very important to me. I try to live as healthy as I can while travelling, but that’s not always easy. Especially when you are meeting friends and going out with them or relying on the free breakfast or free food options that hostels have to save money.
When I cook and make food myself, I try to get as many nutrients and vitamins in as possible. Frozen veggies, fresh baby spinach, canned beans or lentils, seasonal fruit and oats are my staples. They are the cheapest and still wholefoods and nutritious.
For working out there has been a lot of up’s and downs on my travel. It’s not always easy to stay on track with it when you are moving places and cities a lot, trying to see and experience, meeting and hanging out with friends and not knowing where to go for a run or workout.
It is definitely easier when you stay at one place for several days and can find a park to run in / workout like I did in Bondi Beach, Perth or Melbourne. As well as when you have an AirBnB hence space to do a home workout without fellow roommates staring weirdly at you.
A lot of parks here in Australia have some outdoor fitness devices which can be handy to use after a run or in addition to your bodyweight exercises. Some backpackers also join Gym chains that exist in whole Australia and that they can use wherever they are, but for me, that’s not worth the money and I rather go to a park.
The good thing is that you are usually very active when you travel, walk a lot or do hikes.
Surf camp was another thing that kept me fit and where I had a daily and very fun workout in the waves.
I also went to different Yoga classes which is another great and fun workout and if you look for good deals, it doesn’t have to be expensive. For example, in the Yoga Loft Newcastle I paid 20$ as a new member for as many classes as I wanted in 10 days. I only stayed there for 2 days and joined 3 classes, but it was still a good deal. In Byron Bay there was the option to join future Yoga teachers in a teaching practice class and I only paid 5$ for 90 minutes of yoga.
Some hostels also offer free Yoga once a week or at least Yoga mats to use for free.
There will be an update of my “What’s in my Backpack” soon when I am leaving my AuPair family as I will probably go shopping a bit now that I am settling down and I will give you some tips and suggestions that I learned travelling with under 15kg for over four months now.
I love to hear how many people are planning to travel through Australia soon and I hope my tips and suggestions can help you a bit, take your insecurities and make you even more excited for your journey! If you are ever in the same area as I am (stay up to date through my Insta stories @mind.wanderer) please message me and maybe we can meet and hang out together!
If you have more questions, feel free to leave them in the comments below!
My backpack currently weights around 12kg and I try to avoid every additional gram, as it is already hard to carry so much with me around, especially when I need to walk for longer.
Sometimes I see girls having even huger backpacks and I am very lucky that I choose to only take a 50l backpack with me. Because if you have more space, you take more with you.
When it comes to my toiletry bag I also wanted to stay as minimalistic as possible. I tried to avoid everything that runs out quickly, has a big container and I realised, that it is so much more convenient to have eco-friendly (and zero waste) cosmetic products.
It’s not just better for the earth to stop using products in plastic containers, it is also cheaper (in long term, because the products last a lot longer) and a lot smaller and lighter which makes it awesome for travelling!
Anzeige/PR-Sample // The toothbrush I use is from hydrophil, a German brand that sells bamboo toothbrushes and some other hygiene products. The toothpaste is just the cheapest one from Coles that I got because I run out of mine from home.
A zero-waste substitute for the toothpaste would be dental-taps you can get at bulk stores. You just chew on one them and use them with water and they are super small, light and plastic free.
I also have a small packaging of tooth floss with me. There are also zero waste options available in bulk stores that I want to try out when I run out of mine.
As a deodorant, I use the deo cream from Wokenseifen that I really like and recommend, and that I filled into a very small container because I don’t need a whole package of it.
For creams and moisturizer, I have a face cream from lavera that is natural, vegan and cruelty-free.
The body moisturizer I use is shea butter that I filled in an old container at the bulk store. It is super handy because you only need a very small amount as it is super rich and you can easily apply it by rubbing it a bit in your hands so that it melts.
Anzeige/PR-Sample // One product that saves me so so much money and weight is my soap bar from Duschbrocken. It is a body wash and shampoo in one and because it is all natural and contains many oils, I don’t need to use conditioner as well. I also use it to wash my face and the best thing: it still has almost the same size as two months ago, even though I used it so much!
I already tried out a few different soap bars and I’ve heard from friends who’ve been experimenting with them and I never had (or have heard) of any better product than this. (And I don’t get paid or anything to say this – I just got the product for free to test, nothing more)
I am super lucky that I don’t have to carry 4 bottles with me and save so much space and weight with this little soap bar in its metal container!
My shaver is probably a little bit heavier than a usual plastic one, but it saves me a lot of money and the planet a lot of plastic waste, so it’s worth it! The first purchase is more expensive, but I don’t have to buy new shaving heads that are much more expensive in the long term.
I paid 18€ for my shaver and 30 razor blades and they will last me for a long time. When you compare a plastic shaver you pay around 10€ for the shaver and maybe 2-3 shaving heads and then need to pay around 5€ for new heads.
I also carry a hairbrush with me. At first, I only had a comb because I thought that would be enough, but with the wind, salt and sand it is definitely necessary to have a proper brush.
Because I don’t want to spend money on going to the hairdresser, but still want my hair to stay healthy and not look frizzy and dead, I have my own hair scissors with me and occasionally cut my ends a bit. This keeps them so much healthier (the sun is drying them out so bad!) and I save money and length (cause I can cut less than a hairdresser would).
In the little red container, I filled some coconut oil and use it as a moisturizer for my ends once or twice a week.
For female hygiene products, I have my menstrual cup with me. This is another great example, how much money you can save with eco-friendly products. It costs around 15-20€ and lasts you for years and years. Tampons and napkins however can be super expensive and in some countries, you will have a hard time to even find them.
Also, they are so much better for your body because they don’t contain bleaching chemicals and other nasty stuff you don’t want to put inside your body.
I still have a few tampons and napkins with me if I don’t have the possibility to clean the cup.
I don’t need and want to wear makeup on a daily basis and if I am going out with friends, I usually find a friend who borrows me her mascara and concealer, so I only took my eyebrow pencil with me. That’s the only thing I really care about if I don’t want to look like I just woke up: eyebrows.
And the last few small items I carry in my beauty bag are hair ties, nail file and scissors and cotton buds.
Something that doesn’t fit into my toiletrie bag, but that I still want to mention is my sunscreen. I use this one in SPF 30 or 50 that I brought from Germany which is from Jean&Len. You can get them in most drugstores and they are vegan, cruelty free and have less chemicals in them.
Sadly sunscreen has really toxic ingredients to make it work, but we still need it to protect our skin. This brand is already a lot better than conventional sunscreen and it still has a very nice texture without being too thick and making you white, which is important as well :D
So this is all I have with me – not zero waste, not completely eco-friendly, but I try my best and hope to inspire you to swap you plastic toothbrush or shaver and made small steps every day to save our earth from downing in plastic!
If you want to read more about plastic, my thoughts and some amazing pictures, have a look at my blog post We Drown in Plastic.
*Disclaimer: This blog post includes two PR-Sample (as marked), but I still only mention them because I think the products are great and worth sharing with you. I only do PR-Samples (or Advertisings) if I truly support the companies!