“What would you pack for a weekend away?”

Over the last few months, I’ve become a little slack in the blogging department. But what better way to get back into writing, than to answer a competition question from TrekAmerica?

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Ok, so, in 2013, I spent the majority of the year living out of a suitcase/backpack for countless, weeks, weekends and months during my training, working and travelling. When it comes to packing light, I have definitely learnt the difference between essentials and excess.

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Before packing for a weekend, its important to consider various factors. Your destination, the climate and what your planned activities are, then you can base your entire wardrobe around these.

For me, I like to travel in my ‘heavy’ clothing. So say, a thick knitted jumper, skinny jeans and a nice pair of boots. This in the end saves SO much room in your bag! And not forgetting, they can be pretty heavy when weighed. (I haven’t got time for a heavy bag!)

But what do you put in your case?

  • No matter where you go, you will need a raincoat. It rains EVERYWHERE. Investing in what I like to call, a mum jacket, will save some really sad moments when you’re completely wet through. It’s honestly a lifesaver! Or pack a poncho, just as cheap, and easily accessible on eBay.
  • A dress. Always. Dress it up for an evening out, dress it down when you’re sightseeing. I’m sure you don’t need fashion tips!
  • A couple of good tshirts/tops. Once again, something you’re comfortable in, but something you can also dress up in the evenings.
  • Skirt/Shorts. Depending on your destination, you might want to trade these for leggings/jeans.
  • Flip Flops. Pure essentials. Even if you’re on a winter break, think about that lovely hostel bathroom you might be sharing…

I like to take a bag in addition to my case/backpack. Something that is big enough for daytime to fit the majority of your essentials in, but something you can also use on a nightout. Cover all your grounds! Remember, most accommodation these days will always provide a towel. Why waste precious space?!

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And not forgetting the all important ‘essential’ checklist!

  • Underwear & Socks. Take more than you think you even need. Loads of it. Can’t go wrong with it!
  • Toiletries. There are these genius little mini travel toiletries these days. Why weigh yourself down with full size bottles? Don’t forget that all important bottle of travel wash. Stay fresh.
  • Makeup. Keep it basic! Unless you can’t live without your entire makeup bag, take the whole thing. We’re not judging ladies!
  • Camera. You don’t need an explanation! But don’t spend your entire time staring down a lense. Talk to the locals! Learn more about their culture and where you are.
  • Ipod/Iphone! Communication and music. Chill central. Don’t spend you’re entire time on Facebook though.
  • Pen & Paper. For me, I love to bullet point my entire day in the evening. You can’t forget anything in years to come that way.
  • Chargers/Spare Batteries. Cameras/Iphones/Ipods. All needed.
  • Medication/Glasses/Contact Lenses/Sunglasses. Self explanitory.
  • Passport/Travel Documents. You aren’t going anywhere without these bad boys!

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There are obviously hundreds of different items you could take away with you, that you could adapt for any situation. But most importantly, take a sense of adventure, be open minded, and get completely stuck in with the new culture, and way of living. The best way to see a place, is to discover places off the unbeaten track and speak to locals, and you’ll have the trip of a lifetime.

Enter the TrekAmerica competition yourself here.

What can you not travel without? Let me know!

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