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In the planning stage

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1. Posted by sharonbuck (Budding Member 2 posts) 9y Star this if you like it!

Hi Everyone,

Just in the planning stage at the mo, myself and my husband are taking a year out later on this year. We plan to start in NZ (his 16 year old daughter is there) spent 6 weeks with her, then we go to SW Oz for a few weeks. Flying to Bali we then plan to make our own way through Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, Cambodia, Loas & Vietnam before leaving for India roughly October time, from Bangkok.

Just looking for any hot tips and advice anyone has to offer. I'm currently looking a luggage and required space, its a year long trip and not sure what size of wheeled rucksacks to take? (I'm 5'3" hubbies 6' 0") Any ideas?

A mozzie net is a huge thing for me they love me!!!! I'm looking at a duonet from lifesystems double size. Feedback and advice welcome again.

Cheers all
Sharon :)

2. Posted by aharrold45 (Travel Guru 1281 posts) 9y Star this if you like it!

Main tip would be to pack as light as possible because you will have plenty of purchases on the way meaning you run out of space and have to throw some of the other stuff away if you have packed too much. Getting a mosquito net would be pretty pointless unless you plan on camping. If you only plan to stay in hostels/hotels then you should not have many problems with mosquitos.

On all my major overseas trips I have taken a 75 litre backpack and the only time I would have liked anything smaller was when I trekked over 100km in 4 days in Patagonia which was torturous on the body when carrying about 30kg on my back. I am about the same height as your husband so he should be able to cope no problems with that size, you on the other hand would probably want something more like a 55 litre pack. A good idea is to go to a back packing store and try some out. Don't be cheap with your purchase treat it like a proper luggage set purchase which you plan to have for many years. If you are cheap you may find it doesn't even last you the trip before it breaks on you.

Unless you plan on camping do not take a sleeping bag. It takes up a lot of valuable space and you will in all probability not even use it. If you plan to stay in hostels, get a bed sheet and sew it up like a sleeping bag and that is good to have.

With your choice of clothes try and pick stuff that can be used for multiple situations i.e for a going out occasion and a general day to day situation. For your husband he should pack at least one pair of shorts that can double as bathers should you encounter great weather along the way which is very likely with those destinations you have put down. This is a big problem mostly for woman, by only pack a maximum of two pairs of shoes one for dressy occasions and one for normal daily walking situations. Do not feel the urge to pack 4 or 5 pairs of shoes because you will seriously regret it later when you end up having to throw stuff out or ship stuff back home. I travelled for 7 months and only had one pair of shoes which suited for all sorts of activities from walking along the beach, walking over glaciers, climbing up rocky hills, general walking, going out and more.

Don't take travellers cheques they are often hard to cash and attract a hefty commission charge as well.

3. Posted by fussy (Inactive 208 posts) 9y Star this if you like it!

Take as little as possible, especially you as you are petite. You can buy things on the way. If you are taking specialist gear- hiking boots weatherproof items, get them before you go when you have the leisure to shop around to get that bargain.

My best tip would be take an umbrella, we bought 2 super light folding ones and them left them at home. MAny was the day we wished we had them, NZ in particular, they don't call it the land of the long white cloud for nothing.

4. Posted by itchefeet (Budding Member 5 posts) 8y Star this if you like it!

Hey, I'm also in the planning stages. I'm currently looking a luggage too. In fact i'm supposed to be going shopping tomorrow to get it.

The best one I've seen so far is from Blacks and its a Berghaus Women's Jalan 55 litre with a 15 litre day pack for those day to day essentials.
I've not been able to find anything near that seems as good and I even tried it a few wks ago in store.

Other than that my suggestion would be to try ebay, but I'm a little dubious about getting one that I haven't been able to try (although I suppose if its not suitable can just bung it back on there to sell).

I think this one in Blacks was £99.99 which they say is about right for a decent pack.

Hope you have some success.

Happy travels xx

5. Posted by jadeverell (Respected Member 255 posts) 8y Star this if you like it!

Quoting itchefeet

The best one I've seen so far is from Blacks and its a Berghaus Women's Jalan 55 litre with a 15 litre day pack for those day to day essentials.

I think this one in Blacks was £99.99 which they say is about right for a decent pack.

Hi Itchefeet,

I strongly advise you dont buy the above rucksack, correct me if i am wrong but is that the rucksack that has wheels? My girlfriend bought it last summer for our RTW travels, and straight away had problems with it and was the cause of many 'domestics' we had! I will list some of the problems for you....

a) The base where the wheels are located adds alot more weight to the rucksack (I think it is an additional 2.2KG)
b) The handle to pull the bag is too short, and means you are regularly bent over to pull it.
c) If you chose to carry it on your back, it is so 'wide' and bulky especially if you add the extra 15 litre day bag, that it pulls you back and puts alot of strain on your back muscle

We girlfriend is 5'8" so is reasonably tall and it caused her alot of pain and frustration. We also met lots of girls along our travels who had the same problems, and recently we have just sold it on ebay and replaced it with a standard 'top-loader' bag.

In my opinion (and experts from camping/travel shops) these rucksacks shouldn't be aloud to be sold. The appealing wheel-base, does more harm than it does good. And most of the time it is easier to put it on your back rather than pull (especially if you are somewhere like San Fran where the 'gentle hills' make walking to the hostel one of the most stressful trips of your life :O) it along the floor, especially if you are spending large amounts of time on beach terrain.

Obviously this is just my opinion, but thought i would give you a heads-up.


6. Posted by itchefeet (Budding Member 5 posts) 8y Star this if you like it!

Hi Jadeverell,

Thanks for your advice. The one I was talkin about didn't have the wheels on the bottom. There are 2 types and the one I'd seen didn't have them.
It seems you were right, as today I went into Blacks and bought a rucksack and boots.
I spoke in detail to the sales guy, who I cannot fault, he was such a fantastic help.
He gave the pros and cons of the Jalan one that I'd seen. He even suggested an alternative (which I ended up getting).

Its a 'toploader' as you suggested. It still Berghaus. Its a women's C7 1 Series 60+10. It has this cool hipflex thing that means thats the bit that moves when I do, instead of the whole bag moving with it.

I really appreciate your input and hope that a few others see your reply to my suggestion, as yeah, I totally agree that the women's Jalan is NOT the way to go.

My advice to all that read this....go and see someone at an outdoor specialist store and get as much information about the item as you can. They know what they're talking about from my experience today.

Happy travels xx

P.S. Many thanks Jadeverell

7. Posted by jadeverell (Respected Member 255 posts) 8y Star this if you like it!

No Problem! Happy to help.

Have fun! :)


8. Posted by MartianTom (Budding Member 37 posts) 8y Star this if you like it!

Quoting aharrold45

Unless you plan on camping do not take a sleeping bag.

Well, yeah... except the last time I went traveling, I didn't really plan on camping, but took a sleeping bag in case. And I'm glad I did. Several times I was left without the option but to kip on bus station benches and train station floors. The bag was invaluable then. Just something to bear in mind. You can always buy one as you go, of course, if you need it.

[ Edit: Edited on 04-May-2009, at 08:26 by MartianTom ]