Packing Essentials

There’s a lot of pressure when you’re packing your bags for long term travel. You don’t want to leave anything essential at home and you don’t want to have to buy things while your away. These items on this list may seen like common sense, but sometimes we just don’t realise until it’s too late. You might need these things to avoid any hiccups whilst you travel. Here are my packing essentials that I need to make sure I can rest easy.

Packing essentials | Nicole Lauren Blake

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1. Packing cubes

This was the first trip that I have used packing cubes, and I will never go back! Not only do they keep you bag compact and tidy, but they also hold up their purpose outside of your luggage. Whenever we’re going to be staying somewhere for more than a few days, all I have to do is unpack my packing cubes and then store them away. No need to unpack all your clothes individually. Just make sure you pack them in terms of categories – it’s much easier to find your favourite t-shirt when you can just look in your packing cube full of tops!

I have the Mountain Warehouse set of 3 packing cubes. Honestly, these are so well built and I can just tell they’re going to last me a long time. The material is nice and thick and the zips are sturdy, but they are not at all heavy, and won’t add any significant weight. They are also huge, they just fit so much inside and help to compress all of your stuff.

Personally, I would stay away from the vacuum bags. I find they don’t retain their vacuum well enough, and if you really need to take that much with you, buy a bigger bag!


2. Document holder

Whether it’s a plastic wallet or a specially designed holder, you absolutely need one of these – especially if you are going for the long-haul. My Mum got mine for me when she went on holiday, and as much as I have tried to find one that is even remotely similar to mine on Amazon, I just can’t find one with all the features of mine. It has pockets to fit up to two passports, a small zipped pocket, a pen holder, card slots, an ID slot, and separated document compartments so you can quickly know exactly where your boarding pass or booking conformation is.

The closest I have found to the one that I own are these two here and here. If you are after a slightly more simple design, try this one here.


3. Waterproof toiletry bag

This might seem like common sense but there’s been so many times that I went for the prettier patterned toiletry bags and I have ended up regretting it. I always find the plastic ones work the best, as nothing can leak through and they are easy to wipe clean. They will help you to avoid any accidents and make sure all your belonging stay safe from spilled shampoo.  Plus, they will hold up longer and you will have to replace them less – great for when you’re constantly on the go and your backpack is getting a battering.

I got mine from Primark last year, so unfortunately I can’t link my exact one. It’s very large and fits even full sized products in there. Amazon have some similar here, here and here.

I also use smaller pouches to organise other items such as hair ties, tweezers, tampons, skincare etc. similar to these here.


4. Day Pack

I am in love with my carry-on day pack. Honestly, I think it may just have been the best purchase I made before we came to Australia. I have the HotStyle Convertible Daypack Backpack. It’s basically a Fjallraven Kanken knock off. I needed something that would fit my laptop in and keep it safe at the same time and this does the job so well. It has a pocket inside, that fits up to a 15″ MacBook Pro and has a cushioned panel, ensuring your laptop stays safe in transit. There a number of compartments inside, including one zipped pocket.

On the outside, it has two open side pockets (great for keeping your water bottle in) and a large zipped front pocket that just seems to fit everything you could ever want inside of it. And then, one of the best features about this bag, on the back it has a hidden zipped compartment that you can use to stash your cash or passport.

For the price, I just don’t think you could beat it. I have mine it a dark grey, charcoal colour, but it comes in so many different colours and patterns that you’ll find it hard to choose. If you can’t find one you like in the link above, just have a search on Amazon for the HotSyle backpack and you will be stunned!


5. Backpack

I got my backpack for an absolute bargain price for £24.50! I got it from a Tresspass outlet, and it has all the same features as the one I used to have for festivals. It doesn’t have any metal poles on the inside, but it does come with a rain cover – great for the price.

I was happy with the price, as I knew it wouldn’t be taking much of a battering, so the risk of it breaking was minimal. But if you know it’s going to be on and off your back everyday, or it’s going to be rough and tumbled more often than not, I’d probably go for one a little bit more expensive and from a slightly more high-end brand.

The one I have is here – not as cheap as I got it for, but still a great price!


6. Microfiber towel

When we bought our microfibre towels, we were unsure whether we’d actually use them or not. Obviously, when the opportunity arises, we would much rather use a regular towel. But these have come in super handy when we have gone to beaches and swimming holes. Plus, because they dry super quick, they are great for when we’re in the van and don’t have time for them to hang out to dry all day.

The ones we have are these here. They are XL size and wrap around your whole body which is nice. They also come in a range of colours and are some of the cheapest ones out there for the size.


Hopefully these have been helpful for any first time travellers. I’ll be sure to keep this post updated with any new essentials I find along the way. Are there any of your essentials that I’ve left off the list? Let me know in the comments!


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  • Reply
    May 23, 2018 at 8:32 am

    This post has saved my life!! With me coming to oz in August this is just what I needed!! Thank you so much!!!

    • Reply
      Nicole Lauren Blake
      May 23, 2018 at 3:31 pm

      So happy this has helped you! Definitely pack a jumper. You might think you’ll spend all your time in the sun, but you quickly aclimatise! We’ve ended up in Melbourne right now and a jumper is a god send! It feels so cold after being in Queensland for so long.

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