Backpacking is the art of knowing what not to take – Sheridan Anderson.
Between trips to Australia and Bali, I headed home to surprise family and friends. This gave me the perfect opportunity to unload a lot of stuff that had managed to make its way into every nook, cranny and crevice inside my backpack. I admit that I didn’t take this to my full advantage, convincing myself that I would need five kaftans (at least one per week!); four playsuits (practically wear them all the time) and many, many tops (too many too count). I really, really didn’t need to take the amount of clothes that I did, and even though I did take less to Bali, I could have made my backpack a lot lighter, or even managed with a smaller bag!
When you’re travelling somewhere like Bali, comfort definitely takes over – unless you’re a fashion blogger that needs to take beautiful outfit photos everywhere. I wore the same two or three day dresses over and over again, even during the evening because it was just too hot to change into anything a little more glamorous, apart from the three special occasions that we did dress up slightly for. Plus, you will definitely end up buying something from the market stalls, or even pricier stores, in a country like Bali. The clothes, while they may not be the best quality, are beautiful with tye-dye patterns, bright colours, and are pretty comfy. Everyone buys the elephant pants: you know the ones I’m talking about; fashion takes on a brand new concept when in Bali.
There are just five essentials which you need on a backpacking trip to Indonesia and Asia, which you can then build a mini wardrobe around to suit your personal style and the season you are travelling.
Or multiple. I took four bikinis with me to Bali and I could have done with another, or an additional swimsuit, to be honest. I lived in my bikinis. Every single day was bikini day, even when we didn’t go to the beach or sunbathe. It’s easier to throw a bikini on because they go under all your summer dresses and nobody is going to judge you in the sweltering heat of Bali.
THE DAY DRESS
As you can see, day dresses became my thing during my travels, especially in Bali. These three were the same three I wore daily, sometimes three or four days in a row. No judgement here. They are just so easy to throw on over a bikini. You’ll notice I say “throw on” a lot in this post, because that is what I did every day with my clothes; there wasn’t any other way to do it really, especially if and when we were in a rush for breakfast/brunch, or we just had to walk a few paces to the pool/beach. Dresses instantly look pulled together and are quite lovely for holidays too, making the ease of wearing them so much better for those cheeky Instagram snaps with me in them!
Ideally, I would take two hats again: a floppy hat as I like to call them, and a standard cap. It can get extremely hot, especially when you’re out in the sun all day long, and so a hat can help keep your face in the shade, and you a little bit cooler in general. A hat like the one above can also make you feel a little more sophisticated, or even A-Lister, especially combined with huge sunnies which is always fun when travelling. The above hat was from Primark, and the cap from GAP so complete bargains too!
THE FLIP FLOPS
My most worn shoes over the past year has to be my flip flops. It is the obvious footwear that everyone reaches for when we’re heading to a place of sun, sands and sea. Feet tend to swell in the heat also, meaning that it can get very uncomfortable to even walk. Another thing is feet dry quicker when in flip flops as the sun heats them up instantly. It is an obvious thing, and I would even go far to say that I wore my flip flops nine times out of ten during the evenings too. It saves a lot of room in your backpack when your most-worn shoes are already on your feet in the departure lounge.
THE PRETTY DRESS
Despite wearing day dresses for the majority of my evenings too, I did have one slightly prettier dress that I would save for some evenings. I wore it three or four times over the five weeks I spent in Bali and Singapore, so not a lot really. However, it was nice to have something in my backpack that I could whip out if we were going for a slightly dressier evening meal, or cocktails, or an early birthday Balinese style! I only paired it with sandals or even my flip flops as Bali is very relaxed with clothes and fashion in general.
Remember these handy tips when packing:
- Rolling is your best friend, especially for thin garments such as dresses and kaftans.
- You don’t need as much as you think you do: ask yourself with each piece, do I need this?
- If you will be living in your bikini, how many pairs of knickers do you need?
- If you have small boobs like me, will you wear a bra? (I didn’t).
- You will most likely find brand new clothes whilst you’re away!
- Do take a hoody, or even a thin rain jacket as it can pour down in Bali.
- Most important question: can I be bothered carrying all of this at least a dozen times?
I now know what I would and wouldn’t take if and when (pray to the travel gods!) I return to Bali! I definitely wouldn’t take my huge backpack again because I could easily pack everything into a carry-on, I think!
What will you be taking with you? Are you a serial packer? Or do you pack lightly?
Love, Faye xo