What did I bring with me in my backpack? Quite a few things, I think I may have actually overpacked. Granted these are my only possessions I will have for the next couple of months, most of what I brought are things that are of low worth to me. Clothing that I am okay with throwing out if (and probably when) I buy more; clothing I am okay with getting soiled. I brought small travel sized containers of my toiletries, because I know I will buy or borrow most of what I need overseas. I brought towels that can double as blankets, etc etc. Read below to find my detailed list!

Clothing

  • 6 pairs of underwear

  • 6 pairs of socks

  • 2 bras
  • 2 pairs of jeans (one black, one classic blue)
  • 2 pairs of shorts (one short, one longer)

  • 1 light-ish jacket

  • 2 nice-ish dresses (good enough to go out in)

  • 1 day dress

  • 1 pair of hot pants (for relaxing or wearing under dresses)

  • 1 Button down shirt

  • 1 flannel shirt

  • 1 long sleeve shirt (black, for layering)

  • 1 camisole (black, for layering)

  •  3 lightweight blouses

  • 3 t-shirts (for wearing to bed, relaxing, etc. 2 of them I plan to throw away)

  • 1 pajama bottoms

  • 1 swimsuit
  • 1 floppy bucket hat
  • 1 baseball cap

Toiletries

This was my toiletry bag. I bought a hanging bag with 4 compartments that could be rolled up for easy access to each type of item. The one I ordered came from China and feels rather flimsy, but it was cheap and I think it’ll do.

My first compartment had my toothbrush with steriopod holder, it’s supposed to sanitize your toothbrush. Regardless of whether is actually achieves that or not, it’s a great toothbrush cover clip. Razer. Travel sized lotion. FlossToothpaste. Also my Kyani Nitro Extreme liquid, this stuff delivers Nitric Oxide to your body. More info here, but I like it because it works well on my acne, stretch marks, and helps me before and after a long day of activities.

Second compartment includes some of my makeup and cream that I use pretty often. I love the Covergirl BB cream because it keeps my face moisturized, has an SPF of 21, and protects my face from general outside dirt. I also like the Mary Kay Even Complexion Mask so much that I needed to have it with me. I’ve been using this mask weekly and my skin looks better in photos and overall feels cleaner. It’s something I couldn’t think about going without for so long.  Deodorant.  Bobby PinsHair Ties, VERY important if you’re a lady. FoundationGlitter Eye shadow, which did not fit into my makeup compartment.

Speaking of the makeup compartment….. If you don’t wear or care about makeup, don’t bring it! Personally, I like using basic makeup everyday. Nothing too heavy, just enough to make me look put together.  Mascara.  Lipstick.  Brush.  Highlighting Pen.  Eyebrow Pen.  Eyeliner. EyeshadowMini-perfumeChapstick. If you can I would recommend getting the small sizes of each things. The mini perfume bottles last longer than you think, especially since perfume is typically not an everyday thing.

Last compartment: Cleaners. I brought Hydrocortisone cream because bugs love me and you never know when you may need some anti-itch cream. Shampoo Conditioner. I couldn’t find any travel sized bottles and didn’t have time to go to the store when I was packing, but I found some almost empty samples of mouthwash and cleaned out the bottles. These are the perfect size to put just enough cleaner in. I did have a sample size of face wash, perfect for refilling later. Also I have some acne, so I brought along salicylic acid gel for those days when the pimples seem to get the best of me.

Other things I brought, but didn’t pack (or packed later) into my toiletry bags: Soap (simple castile soap, works the best for me), Charlie’s Laundry PowderNail Clipper (and filer), and mini thing of Vaseline.

Electronics

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Different countries and regions have different plugs. Annoying, right? A universal plug adapter will prevent you from having to buy all new plugs and such. I paired my adapter with a multiple outlet plug from Belkin, so I’ll be able to charge all my items at once! Or if I have to share a plug with many, we’ll all be able to use it. You can buy plug adapters in whatever country you’re going to, but it may be harder to find and more expensive.

IMG_8478GoPro Hero Session. It’s small and simple, just what I want. I have a 32 gb microSD card, and quite a few mounts with me, including:

  • Selfie Stick
  • Chest Mount
  • Headmount
  • Wrist Mount
  • Floatation Handle

I’m excited to get some good footage and pictures on this. I’ve never owned a GoPro, but now is as good of a time as ever!

IMG_8477Various Electronics:

  • Iphone charger
  • Portable battery & charger
  • Headphones

It’s good to have these things. For obvious reasons. I hope.

Other

IMG_8467Travel Silk Sleep Liner.

This is lightweight and a good precaution. I’m relatively skeptical about people’s sheets and beds. This is like a sleeping bag, but without all the warmth. I can’t sleep without at least something covering me, so this will do well when I don’t have sheets.

*Note* Always check for bedbugs when you enter someone’s house, hotel, hostel, etc. You don’t want to bring those along.

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Locks. SUPER IMPORTANT. No one likes getting their stuff stolen. I got several masterlocks that are TSA approved for locking up little things like my bags. The kryptonite lock has a wire that can loop and wrap around things. So I can lock my bag to my bus chair or something, so no one can grab it and run off.

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Cute lil microfiber towel. To use after the shower, or to use as a blanket on the bus. It’s really soft. I got 2. Plus I brought my microfiber hair towel. You know like those Turbie Twists. These are great for drying your hair if you have long hair like mine.

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This is a portable hammock. Much like the popular ENO, but the straps are easier to use and adjust. SOCO is an Austin company and 10% of sales go to charity. Look around my website, you’ll definitely see photos of me with my hammock.

Inflatable pillows!! They may look crooked, but I assure you they are a perfect rectangle and not skewed in any way. I got these for plane, train, and bus rides. I can’t afford to be bringing a pillow with me wherever I go, but I wanted something I could rest my head on. These are small and compact, but easy to blow up and deflate. Can’t wait to use them (I bought 2 by the way).

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Quick note on socks… It’s important to get a good pair! Not just the cheapest ones you can find at Walmart. My personal favorites are Puma socks because they include arch support and squeeze my feet in all the right places. The backs of the socks also don’t fall down and are extra cushioned as to prevent blisters. Plus they are relatively cheap around $13 for 6 pair.

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Journals are a great way to document your journey. Sure that’s what I’m doing with a blog, but I brought this mini journal so I can write down addresses, phone numbers, names, language phrases, etc.

I also brought my fashionary, which is my fashion sketchbook. I’m an avid sewer & won’t have access to a machine (most likely), but I want to express my creativity and fashion in a way. I think that being in Europe will create a lot of inspiration and I want to be able to capture all of it.

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A simple zipper purse. I work for this lady who has her own handbag company out in Austin, TX, called AnneMarie. I wanted to bring a simple purse to wear out on the town, or in case I need it. Europe is known for professional pickpocketers and having a zipper is better protection, but you still have to keep it close to you.

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No this isn’t an ad for Sprint (or for Chicago), it’s this handy phone bag I got at a festival a while back. It’s waterproof, although I wouldn’t chance it by throwing it into a pool or anything. Plus you can put other goodies in it like credit cards, cash, etc. I’ve had it for a while and it’s a handy little pouch.

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This is a fork, knife, and spoon all in one. You never know when you may need utensils and this is small and will come in handy if ever a time. Not sure how I’m going to use the knife if I don’t have another utensil to hold the food down…. maybe I’ll find a chopstick somewhere.

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I opted to bring a small travel umbrella. Just in case. I don’t like getting wet and I don’t like my stuff to get soaked either. It’s small, but it’ll do the job for me.

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Water Bottle holder. I love water, as everyone should, but I carry water with me wherever I go. If I don’t have my water I feel lost. Understand why I need this so badly yet? I really like my water.

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Medicine, Vitamins, and Prescriptions. Chances are you won’t be able to get your prescriptions overseas. I have pretty bad allergies, to trees and molds and pollens, so I packed some mucinex, nasal decongestant, advil, and benadryl. I brought along my vitamins, so I’m getting all my nutrients on this trek.  I also brought melatonin, because who knows how well I’ll be able to sleep in Europe.

This list is specific to me. You may need more or less things depending on whether you are camping more often or going for a shorter amount of time, etc. There are a few other things you may want to consider bringing though.

  •  Ziploc Bags: Should keep you liquids in this so they don’t spill over all your stuff. Also helps to have something to put smelly clothing in (esp socks and underwear)
  • Lovey Bear (or other comfort item): I brought my special stuffed animal “Fluffy” with me. He’s been on every journey I’ve been on and I’m not leaving him now.

About Mary

Studying on Exchange in Milan, Italy. Been to 9 countries and counting. Follow me as I dive deeper into new cultures and venture throughout the world.

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