I've only been back in the country for just over 4 weeks and now I'm off again! Flights have been booked to Bangkok from which the boy and I will venture through Cambodia and up the coast of Vietnam before flying back down to the southern islands of Thailand.
I have mentally (though unfortunately not physically) been packing my bags since we booked the trip last week and I'm having a difficult time working out how to fit everything I want to take into a 35l backpack. As a result I have come up with a few tips for anyone taking a break from Bristol to venture further a field....
- Be decisive. Most backpacker or tourist hot spots will have everything you need, and more, on sale. Stick to some comfortable basics, good shoes/sandals and thin layers - spontaneous purchases of novelty t-shirts can wait until you get to your destination, and will often be a lot cheaper too.
- Think small. Miniature toiletries save space and will fit nice and neatly into most nooks and crannies of your luggage, plus they look really cute too! If you are at all environmentally aware then purchase small clear bottles instead (Boots and Primark both have good kits) and decant your usual toiletries into these little wonders. Not as cute but these bottles will comply with airport regulations and can be used over and over again for everything from holidays to festivals, unlike throw-away miniatures.
- Capsule colours. Using a favourite but simple colour palette when packing will make it much easier to decide on what to wear each morning. Choose colours and shapes that go well together and you can easily mix and match while away, safe in the knowledge that you have a well thought out but simple wardrobe. My current palette is black, cream and navy with accents of blue and coral.
- Finally, don't take anything with you that you can't afford to leave behind. Your brand new Marc Jacobs bag might look fabulous on the streets of Milan but is it worth being mugged for or leaving behind in a taxi? Anything expensive looking can make you a target for theft, particularly if you have a tell-tale guidebook poking out of your bag. Any other sentimental clothing or accessories should be left behind unless you don't mind getting felt up by sticky fingers.