What did I pack for Australia?

O que levei na mala para a Austrália?

Now that I am back, it’s time to review how well I packed for Australia. Did I overpacked? Or did I packed a bit way too light? After all, it was two months in Australia, always jumping from hostel to hostel, camping, sailing and a few more adventures. Before boarding to such an aventure, of course I had to think how to pack for Australia, in a way that I wouldn’t carry my house on my back, but also not having to buy clothes while there just because I overlooked some detail. It’s all part of the big plan!


Well, this list is simply massive. Looking at the following list, it gets clear how I prioritize my packing for this trip… And the thing is, from the list above, I used every single thing! The only thing I didn’t use that often and I kinda of regret to pack for Australia, was the chest mount for the GoPro. I only used it once, and I didn’t find it that practical, and oddly the selfie stick was the accessory I used the most (even though, I still think it is a stupid accessory, when used solely for selfies…).

What did I pack for Australia?
What did I pack for Australia?

Regarding memory cards, I ended up using them all, and the external hard drive was as a safety mesure, to have always a backup of all my photos. Thankfully I didn’t get robbed, but I had quite some peace of mind knowing I had three copies of everything, on my mac, on the external hard drive and the memory cards. (I’ll write an article about this later).

The mobile phones…, I bet some will find this odd, why having two phones? Since I went on a longer trip, I decided to take three debit/credit cards with me of two different bank accounts, and I was quite afraid of having one of my cards cloned, hence the two phones, one with my Irish number always on, and the other one with the new Australian number, that I used for local calls.

And the Pebble…, well…, at some point it stopped to work…, but that’s a totally different story…

Clothing and hygiene (and extras)

From this list, there are only two things that I never used. The wool jumper, that I took with me thinking that I could need to use it in case I wanted to go out at night, however, something I didn’t know, the bars and pubs in Australia are quite easy going, as long as one isn’t bare chest, and not using flip flops nor bare foot, it’s all fine. And the scarf, I knew that I would get the Autumn time in Melbourne before I came back to Europe, though the temperatures were never that low (and I’m glad for that!).

A mala que levei para a Austrália
A mala que levei para a Austrália

And the pillow case? Well, it might seem strange, but I gave it in a totally different use that it would be expected. In previous trips I used plastic bags for dirty laundry, the problem with this is that the dirty clothes start to smell a lot, and if mixed with humid clothes, then it’s a disaster! When I thought how to pack for Australia, this was one of things I took into consideration.

The reason for this is that plastic bags don’t let any air out, nor in. However, with the pillow case, the dirty clothes don’t stink, the wet clothes don’t get a rotten moldy smell…, and the best part is that you can wash the pillow case with the rest of your laundry, which means, you’ll reuse your “dirty laundry bag” and have it clean again! In two months traveling around I doubt one plastic bag would suffice, so this option besides being cheaper and more hygienic, it’s also environmentally friendly.

During two months I met and crossed with a lot of people, and obviously, I also saw a lot of luggage bags. I am proud to say that I never encountered with anyone with less luggage than I! I felt really proud for this, I never felt overpacked, and I never had to use the same clothes twice without having them washed first. It seems I did pack properly for Australia! However, of course, I had to wash it every 6 days and I had to plan the “washing” according to my adventures too.

What did I buy along the way

Why did I buy some of these things instead of taking them with me? Nail clipper and hygiene products, since I didn’t dispatch any luggage to Australia, only carry-on luggage, I had to leave a few things behind, like liquids and the nail clipper (which we can’t take in the carry-on luggage). And yes, my luggage was that light that I managed to take everything with me!

Regarding the beach towel, that was simply because someone stole my travel towel (or took it by mistake) and I had to buy another one. The sun glasses, I lost the ones I had, and I had to buy new ones…

And the memory cards, I had a few problems with my GoPro, and the technical support told me that the issue was due compatibility between the card and the GoPro. Nope, that wasn’t the problem. The problem was with the cable, I was using a 3rd party cable…, and well, I ended up spending unnecessary money that could be avoided if they knew how to help me properly…

The travel pillows. Well, this was simply an opportunity I got, I found that modular pillow and since it was on sale I decided to take it. It was a great idea, since the other travel pillow was a bit too uncomfortable, I actually slept worse with it than without any pillow… But to carry it, it had to go outside my bag as it didn’t fit inside. Though, I saw loads of people with boots and other things hanging on their bags, but it was the way I found to pack along the route in Australia.

The bags…, the thermic bag, I guess the reason is obvious, I was jumping from place to place, and trying to save money by cooking meals, so it was handy to have something to keep my food fresh between cities. The other bag? To go on a sailing boat we can’t take any zips! Nothing at all! The reason is that the bed bugs love to hide inside the zips, I have no idea how, and in boats that’s a big problem, so they simply decided to forbid any bags with zips.

So basically I managed to organize myself really well for a long trip, packing really light, and still, I even listed two things that I never used! What can we learn from this? There is always something we can take from our bags, there is always something we won’t need.

For short trips, this isn’t a problem, for a few days if we don’t use everything it also doesn’t hurt to carry the bags. But for 1+ months trip, the weight becomes a problem, and it gets really annoying to pack between cities, and it also gets easier to lose things. The travel luggage is that thing where we have what we need without being a burden, and after a few weeks, trust me, you’ll hate your bag if you have to carry and pack too much…

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By Gil Sousa

Portuguese expat in Cork, traveler and food enthusiastic.


    1. I loved it! Two months weren’t enough, I felt like I was running all the time, and each place I saw is amazing in it’s unique way 🙂

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