My Medicine Bag and Practical Things every Backpacker Needs

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).

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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.

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  • 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.

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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.

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  • 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.

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  • 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!).

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  • 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.

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  • Pen.
  • Headphones.
  • 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.

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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?

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* 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.

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Q&A – Backpacking Australia

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:

  1. Q&A – Backpacking Australia
  2. Q&A – Work & Travel Australia
  3. Q&A – Solo Travelling
  4. Planning your own Work & Travel Year
  5. About being an AuPair

So I hope I will answer as many questions in all these posts as possible and give you guys the information you may want and need for your own adventures.

If you have more questions or ideas what I should include into the following posts, please comment them down below or message me on Instagram @mind.wanderer

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What have you done/seen so far?

I flew from Germany over Doha to Melbourne and stayed in the city for 2,5 weeks to settle in and also because I met some lovely people and my first friends on my journey that I am still in connection with now.

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Afterwards, I did the Great Ocean Road and met two lovely German girls that I hang out with for a week in Adelaide afterwards.

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Then I did another tour for 6 days that lead me through the Red Centre and Outback of Australia to see the famous Uluru / Ayers Rock.

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.

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We spend 5 days in Sydney, went to the Blue Mountains and then started our journey to Brisbane with stops in Port Macquarie, Byron Bay and Surfers Paradise before we explored Brisbane for a few days and then flew back to Syndey.

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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!

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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.

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Your favourite places?

Not a ranking, because I could never decide:

  • Byron Bay
  • Newcastle
  • Sunshine Coast
  • Fitzroy in Melbourne
  • Bondi Beach in Sydney

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The best memories you made?

Again, I can’t rank them, but here are my favourites:

  • the time with Sabrina and James in Melbourne
  • the Twelve Apostles
  • Sleeping under the stars in the Outback on my Red Centre Tour
  • Living in Bondi Beach for a week
  • Travelling with my family and my cousine
  • Sailingtour on the Whitsundays
  • Snorkeling in the Great Barrier Reef
  • Doing Yoga with @sjanaelise in Newcastle
  • Learning to surf
  • 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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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View from my hostel in Melbourne: The Nunnery.

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.

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Sadly, I do not have the fitness (and body) like I used to have anymore…but at least I have a tan now :D

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.

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I already made a blog post on some healthy, easy, cheap and vegan lunch/dinner meals and showed you my go-to healthy breakfast recipe, as well as a blog post on healthy and cheap food shopping in Australia. In the category ‚What I Eat‚ you also find some What I Eat in a Days from Melbourne or Perth.

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I want to get my post-travelling body back, but on the other hand, I really want to enjoy my travels. So for now, I am eating and enjoying and working out a bit on the side.

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.

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Best running view in Bondi Beach, Sydney.

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.

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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.

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What should I pack when backpacking Australia?

You can find my complete packing list for Australia here as well as a guide on what I have with me in my toiletry bag (that is mostly eco-friendly and very light packed as well).

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.

Anything for Mom!


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!

What’s in my Backpack for One Year of Work & Travel in Australia

For about 10 months I’ve been preparing my work & travel journey. Reading books, blogs and talking to people. I scrolled through hundreds of articles about what to pack as a minimalistic backpacker, female backpacker, Australian backpacker or on a long-term journey…

I tried to filter what I think I will really need and use and gave my best on packing very minimal. My backpack contains 60l and weights 10kg (which is pretty good for my first time backpacking and without any experiences). In addition to that, I have a small 12l daypack that carries some extra stuff.

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Backpack

I bought this backpack because it was cheap in comparison to the brand backpacks and the quality felt good. It also has a back support that I could easily remove so it’s a lot lighter like that. It has many straps to adjust (too many in my opinion, but I could cut them off if I want to).

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For my daypack, I chose a small and unspectacular one because I am not carrying a lot on an everyday basis and I don’t like too many pockets and straps because they annoy me.

The size is good to carry my camera, water bottle, snacks, papers and wallet like I do every day, but for the plane (where I needed my laptop, pillow, kindle, food, water bottle, papers and more) it was too small and I had to take an extra bag with me on the plane. I also always carry one with me for when I go food shopping.

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Clothes

Luckily, I can replace some things in my backpack when my cousin or my parents visit me. For now, I have some more warm clothes like two hoodies, longsleeves and an extra pair of shoes that I’ll get rid of when it’s summer. Right now, it’s only around 16 degrees Celsius in Melbourne so I’ll be good with an extra layer of clothes.

With all my clothes I tried to stay in the dark colour palette (or it’s stuff that I don’t care too much about) so that I only need to wash one machine every week and not separate into light and dark laundry. I’ve heard that white and light clothes get yellow/grey so fast while travelling and they also get dirty so much more easily, that’s why everybody suggests to leave them home.

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The only ‘unpractical’ t-shirt I brought is my self-made tidy t-shirt, that I have to wash with my hands. But I love it so much so it’s worth it and one t-shirt is washed quickly in the sink.

  • 2 long sleeve shirts
  • 3 t-shirts
  • 4 tops

I don’t have specific workout clothes or pyjamas with me because I feel like being okay with my regular clothes. I’ll just wear one of my comfy shorts for sleeping/working out and a t-shirt and that’ll be fine.

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  • 2 comfy shorts
  • 1 jeans shorts
  • 1 pair of long pants/jeans (very stretchy & comfortable)
  • 1 pair of flowy pants (sun protection on hot days)
  • 1 pair of long leggings (I wore them on the flight)

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Through reading all the blog posts I learned that you should never pack something that you are not sure about or that you can only wear on specific occasions. That’s why I tried to pack clothes that are practical and functional for every day (hopefully!)

  • 1 thin blouse (great sun protection)
  • 1 t-shirt dress (that I can always quickly throw over and be good to go)
  • 1 pretty dress (short, comfy and suitable for every day or special occasions)

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It was really hard to decide how much underwear I am going to take. Some people suggest to only take 5 and wash more often, others had 10 pairs with them so they don’t need to wash that often.

I decided to take 8 pairs so that I can wash around once a week and always have one pair as an extra.

  • 8 pairs of underwear
  • 2 bralettes (because I don’t wear bras)
  • 1 sports bra
  • 2 bikinis
  • 6 pairs of socks
  • 1 pair of elastic stockings

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Organizing

I bought some drybags to organize my clothes and keep them together and I highly suggest that if you travel with a backpack otherwise, you won’t find anything.

I also got a belt bag and 2 more bags with me and I would even suggest taking 3 because I use them a lot. I got one for shoes and the other for food shopping and storage (because at the hostel you store your food in the kitchen area / in the fridge and you need to pack it in a bag).

  • 1 drybag 6l (for underwear, socks, bikinis)
  • 2 drybags 12l (one for bottoms & dresses, other for t-shirts & tops)
  • Deuter belt bag
  • 2 eco-bags

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Shoes

I’m probably not going to carry 4 pairs of shoes with me for my whole year. I plan to get rid of my converse when the weather is warmer and I am wearing sandals a lot, but until then 1/3 of my backpack is shoes…

  • Running shoes (that I can wear for hiking and long walks in cities)
  • Converse
  • Sandals (I know, not the sexiest kinds of shoes but they are super comfy and I already got used to them)
  • Flip flops

It’s hard to tell what you will need at the end of the day because you never know where you’ll end up and what you’ll do, but I still only packed clothes that I knew I will wear a lot. If I will miss something I’ll just tell my parents to bring it or buy it here. That’s so much better than taking way too much stuff with you and carrying it around without wearing it and I already got used to wearing the same stuff almost every day.

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Toiletries

I got a toiletry bag that you can hang which is super practical for hostels where it can be wet or gross sometimes. My towels are super thin, quickly drying micro phaser towels and I got a small one ( 30 x 50 cm) and a big one ( 75 x 150 cm ).

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For shampoo, shower gel and face wash I decided to skip big plastic bottles that are heavy and used up quickly and bought solid soap bars instead. I find it super practical on one hand and it’s also so much eco-friendlier and better for skin and hair because it is all natural.

My face wash is by The Body Shop and I use the “Duschbrocken” from a small German start-up brand that is shampoo and body soap in one. I already used it three times and I love it – the smell is amazing (I got “Frieda Früchtchen”), it feels super moisturizing to my skin and hair because it contains a lot of natural oils and I can’t even tell that I used it at all because you only need so little product. My hair feels really great using it and it doesn’t gets greasy more quickly than usually.

I decided to only take a come with me and so far it’s been alright. If I miss it too much, I’ll just buy one.

For shaver, period hygiene products, deodorant and body lotion I also went for the eco-friendly version because it lasts so much longer and is more practical in many ways. I’ll talk about that in another blog post about eco-friendly & minimalistic beauty products for travelling soon!

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  • Duschbrocken (shampoo & body wash) (*PR-Sample)
  • Face soap
  • Shaver (plastic free!)
  • Shea butter as body butter (in the Body Shop container)
  • Toothbrush (plastic free!) (*PR-Sample)
  • Toothpaste
  • Wolkenseifen Deo crème
  • Coconut oil (in a little container)
  • Lavera face moisturizer
  • Come
  • Hair ties
  • Menstrual Cup
  • Nail scissors and nail file
  • Eye Brow Pen (only “makeup” I take with me)
  • Sunscreen
  • Hand cream

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Medicine

I only took a few things with me because you don’t have to be prepared for everything. In case you really get sick you can buy whatever you need. Also, I would suggest to not take a whole package with you – it’s just not necessary.

  • Nurofen painkillers
  • antidiarrhoea medicine
  • Eye drops
  • sore throat tablets
  • plaster

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Food

You aren’t allowed to take most food to Australia, but packed food is alright.

  • Many oat and dried fruit bars
  • Vegan chocolate
  • Instant Oats (I didn’t end up taking it with me bc I was afraid they wouldn’t allow me to bring it because it contains nuts, but they didn’t care a lot so I should have brought it…)
  • Chewing gum
  • Cinnamon
  • Veggie Broth
  • Reusable water bottle (1l)
  • 2 food containers (750ml and 450ml)
  • Camping fork-knife-spoon
  • Vitamin B12 drops
  • Vitamin C tablets

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Important Documents

  • Passport
  • Drivers licence & international drivers licence
  • Visa
  • Flight documents
  • vaccination certificate
  • Some Australian dollar
  • important addresses & phone numbers
  • copies of important documents

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Other Stuff

  • Wash paste
  • Locks for lockers at the dorm room
  • plastic zip bags (to store and organize all the small stuff)
  • travel neck pillow (that you can blow up)
  • Earplugs
  • Sleeping mask
  • Pen & pencil
  • notebook

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Electronics

I tried to minimize my technical gear, but you just need some electronics if you plan to take some pretty pictures and videos.


That’s everything I took with me to Australia! I will for sure make an updated version after a few months to see what I had to buy or what I didn’t need and gave my parents.

What is something you could not travel without?

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