I also mentioned in Packing Nightmare! that I was heading to the shops to buy everything I realised I’d forgotten. I did, then my packing hit a brick wall when I realised I’d need an actual toiletries bag- I didn’t have one really, in the past I’ve just scattered my toiletries around my suitcase, because they’re pretty easy to find in a suitcase, whereas with a backpack, everything goes everywhere, so its better to keep them all together. I opted for a large toiletry bag with 3 compartments and a hook (ideal for hostel showering). It also has a brilliant and perfectly themed backpacker design on it.
I’ve crammed as much as possible in it- shampoo and conditioner, dry shampoo, shower gel (I use two different sorts of shower gels, one moisturises my skin, and helps prevent my eczema flaring up, so I’m taking them both), suncream, eczema cream, razors, tampons and hand sanitiser (I also have one for my hand luggage too). Also insect repellent. I have 2- a tropical one (I got it for Australia and never used it) and also Life Systems, with 50% deet, which is recommend if you’re going to places with mosquitos.
I also needed to buy some stuff for my first aid kit. I already had a few things, like plasters of various sizes (I even have a few giant plasters from when I injured myself in Australia), banagage, tubigrip, anti-diahorrea tablets, rehdryation tablets, ibuprofen, paracetamol, anti-histamines, blister plasters, throat sweets, water purification tablets and germolene. Germolene is very important. I actually have so much, I’ve had to do a first aid kit and then a second first aid kit. But when you’re trekking the Inca Trail, you never know!
Toiletry bag, first aid kit and secondary first aid kit.
Clothes were easy to pack, once I’d decided what to pack. I should say now that the majority of my clothes are black, and there is a very good reason for this. I was brought up to separate darks and lights when washing, but when backpacking, you don’t do this because its too costly and too much effort, therefore taking mainly dark clothes is much better. I have a pile of reject clothes (and my straighteners) that didn’t fit in my backpack.
It was quite upsetting having to leave my straighteners. My sleeping bag is taking up most of the space I my backpack, and if I weren’t doing the Inca Trail, I don’t think I would take it.
I have also successfully managed to pack my handluggage, which consists of magazines, as opposed to books (too heavy) or a kindle (too valuable, as much as I’d love to take it with me, I do not want it to get stolen), one of my first aid kits, the waterproof cover for my day bag, my handluggage toiletries, and my documents and money.
And the all-important south America guide book, accompanied by a Brazilian Portuguese phrasebook, as I don’t speak Portuguese, but I do speak Spanish. Any backpackers who have been to Australia are probably familiar with the Peterpan document holder I have, its super useful, though I do believe you can buy plain ones from most places that sell luggage and luggage related items.
So, fully packed (I think) and I do feel I should mention as well that a lot of space taken up in my luggage has been dedicated space to feminine hygiene products. After coming across a blog when I was in the early planning stages of my trip, when doing research, I feel its necessary to pass on such information. http://lipglossandabackpack.com/feminine-hygiene-around-the-world/ This blog post is a one worth checking out for the ladies, so you know what to expect in whatever country you go to. If you are visiting a third world country, it shouldn’t mean you have to compromise on the feminine hygiene products you’ve become accustomed to using, it just means you will have to sacrifice something else.
This is it, I have 12 hours until take off. My packing process has been long (I started writing this post four days ago). I feel I should also mention that throughout my packing process, I have been lucky enough to have the space to pack in a different room to where I sleep, this is very useful if you’re packing over a period of several days, as you have the space to spread out. And let’s not forget, despite the tedious packing process, the end result, the trip, will be worth it. Even if I can’t take my straighteners with me.