Sunday, 20 September 2015

Travel Packing Guide

Blue skies, swaying palms, golden sands, warm sunshine...
We like to travel.  Particularly to tropical destinations.  We love Vitamin D - how it feels on the skin as we soak it up, lying on vanilla sands as we gaze across azure waters.  Our next destination: New Caledonia.  A little French-speaking island in the South Pacific.  Never been there before but if the pictures are anything to be believed, a veritable Robinson Crusoe destination.  Multi-coloured blue oceans and lagoons, coconut palm-fringed beaches, mellow yellow sandy coves and desert-like landscapes in the hinterland.  Can't wait to explore!  We are headed to Noumea, to a self-contained BnB for 4 nights in Mont Dore, then 5 nights on the island of Lifou (highly recommended by an Algerian-born Frenchman who makes pizzas in Katikati), and the last 3 nights back in Noumea at a beach-side hotel.   

Fiji time.
 A few tropical holidays over the past few years and we now have packing down to a T!  We used to start 3 weeks ahead of time, but now it begins a week in advance, using our trusty holiday packing list.  This way, we can print a new copy off each time, cross off what we are unlikely to need for that particular trip, add anything new and start to tick off what goes into our suitcase.

 The suitcase is a whole new adventure in itself, we bought a second hand, hard body Zootcase on wheels, from the Bowling Club garage sale across the road from us a couple of weeks ago, for a princely sum of $10.  Anyone out there who has had to purchase a new suitcase will know that these cost anything up to $180 for a new version, so I am feeling particularly chuffed with this.  It has a small ding on the outside (probably why someone gave it up but I have reinforced the inside with duct tape) but inside is like brand new!  It's all zips, secret compartments and pockets!  The inbuilt combination lock is sans-combination, but that's okay, I have a little combination lock which can be used to lock the zips together.  Mike has one side (all fully zip-locked close when done, to separate his from hers).  I'm in love!

I will share our list, simply because it makes travelling so much easier - adapt it as you will, for the occasion.  Note; this is a travel list for tropical destinations!

Travel List
Clothes/ Extra:
Nail brush
Stock cubes
Drink bottles
Insect repellent
Tea bags
Walking shoes
Massage oil
Dental floss
Travel snacks
Foot scraper
Nail clippers
Skim milk
Tooth brush/paste
Swim togs
Empty H2O bottle
Walking shoes
Healing Cream
Coconut oil
Light jersey
Koromiko (remedy)

Rain jacket
Kitchen Sponge
Reef shoes
Waist pouch
Sunlight soap
Mobile phone
Credit cards
Mossie Coils/mats
Ziploc bags
Diary and pens
Travel adaptor
 Mending kit
Shopping Bag
 Swiss army knife
Travel material
Battery Charger
 Solar torch

A footnote on some of the above items:  
Koromiko is a homeopathic remedy for traveller's diarrhoea.  I have had to use it once in Bali, and it was a lifesaver.  The shopping bag is a little fold-up bag which takes very little space, and can be used when shopping in markets or shops instead of using that unsustainable option - the use-once plastic bag!  Ziploc bags are the new airport must-have, to parcel up any cosmetics, personal care items or lotions.  Keeps them from spilling into your luggage, as well as handy for showing or declaring to customs.  Incense is a must-have for me, I like to mask smells in hotel rooms, or accommodation where there is a strong odour of cleaners or mustiness.  And it makes me feel instantly at home!  I like to keep an old fashioned diary of our travels - I use this to log any ideas, thoughts and experiences.  Long after the memories have faded, reading the travel diary evokes strong visual memories and feelings.  We don't always take all the food options, depending on where we are staying and what we will doing - for example, I like to self-cater, so stock cubes can turn any bland meal into something quite delicious and palatable.  Tea, coffee, milk powder and sugar is an essential, along with a small stainless steel (indestructible) plunger.  I have crafted a bungey-cord washing line which can be strung over the bath, and we usually hand wash our day's clothes every evening so that we do not have to take huge amounts of clothing. A bar of pure sunlight soap works wonders, I use it for dish-washing as well as laundry soap.  One item, many uses.  
Fruit blended smoothies, a great tropical location meal.
We have started to take our Nutri Ninja, so we can blend up fruit smoothies even in a hotel.  My Swiss army knife prepares many a meal, I just make sure it goes in the luggage hold or else it'll be confiscated!!  (Been there, done that before!)  I take coconut oil in a small jar, good for skin, lips, hair - all. Sunscreen - well, I make that.

Ingredients to make natural sunscreen.

Melting the wax to make holiday sunscreen fills the kitchen with the smell of honey!
Melted beeswax, olive oil, essential oils and zinc oxide powder whisked together.

Sunscreen on right, in screw-tight, wide-mouthed plastic jar.  For recipe, click here.

Tetrapak (recycled) Travel Sewing Kit
 We will only be taking the one suitcase (23kg) and 2 small day packs (cabin luggage), so every item is scrutinised for necessity.
His and Hers compartments.  Our Pre-Loved New suitcase - perfect for the job!
New Caledonia, here we come!  One week to go........

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