I thought whittling down what clothes to pack for a three month trip was hard enough, but then I turned my attention to cosmetics. I wanted to be prepared for all eventualities because there is nothing worse than being sick abroad. I had a whole other bag for make-up, but these bits addressed cosmetics and medications that I felt were totally essential and well worth lugging about in my backpack
|R-L: Avene Cleansing Gel, Garnier Micellar Water, Simple Moisture Cream SPF 30, Murad Exfoliating Cleanser|
When starting to pack I thought about the absolute basics that I use every single day without fail. Face wash was a given and this Avene Cleansing Gel is in a flat bottle so it slotted perfectly into my bag. I also prefer to take my make-up off at night with a cleanser, so this travel sized Garnier Micellar Water was ideal. It’s also an eye make-up remover and for travelling I’m all about multipurpose products, which is why I also love my Simple moisturiser with added SPF 30. A tiny exfoliator to use once a week was great when I hit colder weather and my skin became dry.
|R-L: Mitchum deodorant, Korres Guava shower gel, Godiva shampoo and conditioner bar|
|R-L: Veet hair removal cream, Venus disposal razors|
In terms of hair and body, I took my deodorant and a small shower gel as I knew that would be easy to top up once it was finished. I went multipurpose again with Godiva shampoo and conditioner bar from Lush. It’s solid so it was easy to transport and lasted my entire trip (and beyond!). When it came to hair removal I wasn’t all that fussy. Being winter in New Zealand meant there was minimal need to be in a bikini, so one tube of Veet and a pack of disposable razors was plenty, and were simple to replace.
|R-L: Soltan sun cream with insect repellent, Jungle Formula insect repellent, After Bite bite relief|
Insects bloody love me. I am a walking all-you-can-eat buffet for most mozzies so I stock up in this department. I actually took some prescription steroid cream as I react really badly to bites anyway, but in a desperate attempt to fend off the bloodsucking bastards I also took a bottle of the strongest Jungle Formula I could find. I also found sun cream with built in insect repellant which is an ingenious invention. I’m so glad I took some After Bite as well. When a hideous clan of sandflies made me their lunch, it saved me from tearing my skin off!
Medication and Being Over Prepared
|Top R-L: Migraleve migraine remedy, Elastoplast plasters, Antihistamines
Bottom R-L: Deep Heat heat patch, cystitis medication, Panadol paracetamol, diarrhoea medications, Kalms
Travelling alone is daunting enough, but thought of being sick was a bit too much to bear. I covered every single possibility: knowing I have a slipped disc in my back, I took deep heat patches and prescription painkillers. I’m prone to headaches and migraines (and hangovers too!), so a variety of tablets, taken out of their cardboard packaging fitted in nicely. For rubbing shoes, I had plasters; for overindulging I had cystitis medication; for dodgy street food, I had diarrhoea remedy.
|R-L: Sudocrem, hydrocortisone cream, Savlon, nail scissors, safety pins|
It may sound silly, but because I didn’t know how I would feel travelling alone, I also took Nytol and Kalms, just so I could self medicate if I couldn’t sleep or couldn’t settle. For other preventative measures, I took a few tubes of stuff that can basically fix anything. Burns, scratches, rashes, cuts and bruises; these three tubes can collectively cure it all. Add in safety pins and scissors for broken bags, trailing threads and stubborn packaging and I was set.
It may look like a lot, and admittedly I didn’t use it all, but it all gave me peace of mind and, most importantly, fit in my bag! Thankfully I didn’t have any major issues on my trip, but pretty much everything either came in handy or gave me peace of mind at the very least. Consider this my must have check list for any big trip from now on.