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What you wish you brought??

Travel Forums General Talk What you wish you brought??

Last Post This thread is marked as being about Australia
1. Posted by jodub79 (Full Member 22 posts) 13y Star this if you like it!

Hi all,

I'm heading off to oz in Jan, and am dreading the packing! For anyone who has backpacked, can you name things that you didn't bring, but wished you did..........


2. Posted by GregW (Travel Guru 2635 posts) 13y Star this if you like it!

Hmm, there isn't too much I wish I had brought. There's a lot more I wish I hadn't brought.

What did I buy on the road?
- pair of gloves (it gets colder out there than you would think)
- waterproof jacket (I bought it, but never used it, actually)
- film
- books to read

The film and books to read you might not want to bring in the first place, because the film can degrade and the books are heavy. However, sometimes it is hard to find books in English, and if you can find them they are expensive. Your choice.

Other than that, if you have your clothes, a pair of comfortable shoes, your camera, your passport and your ATM card, what more do you need?

3. Posted by Gelli (Travel Guru 2457 posts) 13y Star this if you like it!

I must admit i've never even thought of taking a waterproof jacket (or other waterproof stuff) when travelling, but i'm also somebody that doesn't mind getting wet in the slightest. Books in English language shouldn't be a problem in Australia either...

Agree with Greg though - that there's lots of stuff i had taken that i wish i hadn't (at least until i worked out how little i needed and how to travel light)

I've been lucky so far and never gone away without something i really need or then had to buy afterwards. The only thing i can think of that i wish i'd taken on some trips is a few small bits of home - A few postcards or photos of where your from, maybe some of your family/friends plus a small map (try explaining the concept of Wales to a Kazakhstan using only 3 words of Russian, without a map...) to show travellers/locals etc., although in Australia it's possibly less relevant

Things you may not think of, but a pack of playing cards is always useful for long jnys, and i normally also carry a pack of cigarettes (i have never smoked in my life), as just giving a fag to a local/traveller in real need can make you an extremely greatful friend for life!!

One other great thing to have if you go to non touristy areas (again, not so relevant for Oz) is a polaroid camera &/or a digital camera with a good LCD display - kids, especially in less developed places love having/Seeing pictures of themselves etc, and a few pics of kids (and maybe some indivdual wrapped sweets) can make the parents/villagers very welcoming to you.

4. Posted by mugen (Inactive 50 posts) 13y Star this if you like it!


I'm in the same situation as you Jo, going to Brazil in 4 weeks time and now trying to figure out what to bring. Everyone i have spoken to has said take as little as possible, and if you forget anything you can just buy it when you are there.... i like the idea of taking some pictures of home and friends and family etc, thanks for that tip Gelli.

I'm sure in australia and brazil they have amazing beach clothes, way better than you can get in the UK so best wait till your there to buy it. And get tiny bottles of toiletries for the beginning of your trip and get more on route.... Which means less to carry and not so sore shoulders!!

So, twisting the question round a little, is there anything you did bring that bugged you so much and you wish you didnt?? I am planning on taking my walking boots - they are pretty heavy, i'm thinking they might do my head in but then what if i do go out trekking.... ah, the decisions!!

cheers guys, Meg

5. Posted by GregW (Travel Guru 2635 posts) 13y Star this if you like it!

I take two pairs of shoes when I travel - a pair of day hikers and a pair of sandals. (Ocassional if I am going somewhere chic, I'll take a pair of dress shoes as well). The day hikers are relatively light, so no problems with carrying them if I have to. On days when I am actually travelling from place to place, I will wear the day hikers and carry the sandals in the pack. That helps keep down the weight of the pack, and makes it easy to hike from the bus station to your hotel if cabs are too expensive and/or not plentiful.

I always bring too many "nice" shirts. Not just tees but things I can wear out to a restaurant or club. Frankly, I think two nice shirts is more than enough. You only ever really wear them for a couple of hours, so they don't get that dirty and smelly. You can wear them multiple times without issue.

I have discovered and now swear by quick-dry clothing. Most of my travel T-shirts, underwear, socks and towel are quick dry. This has a lot of benefits. Because I sweat a lot it keeps my dry and unchaffed. And it doesn't smell, so it can be worn two days in a row. And you don't have to worry about packing wet crap in your bag.


6. Posted by Gelli (Travel Guru 2457 posts) 13y Star this if you like it!

Agree with Greg - quick drying is the way to go. Darker stuff or pattern clothing great as well as it hides stains better. Also, if you plan to do a bit of adhoc washing every night or two (in the handbasin, do underwear etc and let it dry overnight), you really don't need alot of clothes.

I tend to take 2 pairs of footwear, although it varies about when/where i go. I either wear walking shoe/trainer type things or proper boots (as a rule, boots only if i'm leaving here in mid winter - need the boots just to walk outside if there's much snow - will be doing allot of trekking or going somewhere with lots of mud etc), plus either a pair of canvas type trainers or sandals. I tend to go with the canvas shoes over sandals, but that's because i hate feet (and mine tend to smell) rather than anything else. For shorter trips, or ones where i'll be based in one place for a bit, sandals or flip flops instead of canvas. When travelling/to from stations etc, i almoost always wear my main pair and just take them off on coaches/trains/ferries etc.

As for nice/dress shirts etc, at most i only ever take one and that's only if i'm going to be working somewhere/in a meeting that i really have to, or sometimes, going to a wedding. Most of the time when i'm working or going out, i'll just wear a T-Shirt etc - but then again, i hate dressing up anyway.

Meg - proper boots in Brazil is probably a good idea if your going to be going out into the jungle/sticks at all, but use Greg's advice and wear them for travelling etc as well (even if you take them off) as then you cut down on weight/bulk in your pack.

I never take a waterproof, as i don't like them, they tend to be bulky, long time to dry, mark you down as a tourist and also i don't mind getting wet.

Something else is books/guidebooks. More than just 1 or 2 can start adding considerably to the weight. Whilst i don't like doing it, defacing books by cutting out bits you don't need, &/or photocopying the pages down so they are smaller and trimming away the excess white space can save a surprising amount of weight/Space. Sleeping bags are often a waste of space/weight as well, depending upon what your doing/where you going