5 Things Fashionista’s Should Leave at Home While Backpacking

Tuesday, March 30, 2010
Despite the rainy weather Vancouver’s been having lately, you can’t deny that April is days away. And that means finals are just around the corner. But better yet, summer vacation is upon us. If you haven’t started planning your impending backpacking trip to Europe (or Southeast Asia, for that matter), you should. Europe is a hot spot in the summer, for tourists, and literally, as temperatures can reach 35+ degrees Celsius.

But before you go, I’m here to offer you some tips for things you shouldn't bring with you on your impending trip. Don’t get me wrong, I love fashion, beauty, and general fabulousity, but some things are better left at home, or for your weekend trip to Vegas.

1) Rolling Bags

If you’re backpacking through Europe and you bring a roller suitcase, that’s not backpacking is it? But seriously, roll-y bags weigh a lot. With airline weight restrictions what they are, you want to maximize what you can bring and save money doing it. Backpacks are lightweight, and trust me; you CAN fit everything you need. Plus, roads and buildings aren’t what they are in North America. Imagine rolling your 50lb suitcase down cobblestone streets, carrying it up and down 3 flights of stairs, and lifting it in and out of trains. Backpacks may be less glamourous, but they will save you a lot of hassle – I trekked through Europe and my backpack never weighed more than 25lbs. MEC, REI, SportChek and other outdoorsy/travel stores can find you what you need AND make sure that it fits correctly.

2) Blow-dryer

Now that you’re taking a backpack instead of a rolling suitcase, you don’t really have room for that blow-dryer. If you’re still not convinced, think about it, are you really going to want to blow-dry your hair in 35+ degree weather? Europe is an old continent, not everywhere has air conditioning. During summers in Vancouver when it’s only (!) 25 degrees, I certainly hate having to blow-dry my hair. It comes down to evaluating how often you’re going to use it. If you know that you will 100% use it daily, then bring it. If you think you’ll use it once or twice, leave it at home

3) Accessories

They may not take up very much space, but they can sure add up. Because accessories are easy to pack and often beautiful souvenirs; they are my favourite thing to purchase while traveling. Bring your basics, things you wear all the time and feel naked without, but leave everything else. Leave the Tiffany’s and other expensive pieces at home though; they make you a target for thieves.

4) Your Entire Make-up Bag

It’s hot. You’re outside walking around or lying on the beach. The last thing you need is caked on make-up clogging your pores and melting off your face. Bring only what you need: tinted moisturizer, eyelash curler, mascara, eyeliner, concealer, bronzer, and lip gloss.

5) Stilettos

I know. Sacrilege right? But again, how often are you actually going to be wearing them? They take up unnecessary space – space for potentially NEW shoes! While they may look chic, other travelers will think you’re loony and pretentious and find you unapproachable. You don’t want to be the only one at the dive bar in Greece in heels!


lisa said...

Great advice. I actually do use my hairdryer during the summer (gasp!) but I'll usually just dry my roots and bangs and rub Fekkai silkening cream into the ends. Folding hairdryers made for travel are surprisingly portable.

ko0ty said...

Great post! I've never been backpacking but always wondered how people can fit everything they need in ONE backpack. I'm too vain. =(

Jenn said...

This post is perfect for my upcoming Eurotrip! I definitely agree about rolling bags. They're just too bulky and overall not suitable for backpacking. A lot of hotels provide their own blow dryer, and I'd rather use that extra space in my bag for clothes! I'm definitely not bringing high heels; if it ever comes down to it I'd rather just buy a pair there. And when it comes to makeup, I'm grateful my routine is easy because I don't need concealer or foundation (blech in hot weather).

Teresa said...

Good list! Also people should remember that they'll probably buy clothes too anyways so don't need to pack your whole closet.
And also no need to bring huge bottles of shampoo and lotions because of the liquid restrictions and you can always swipe some from hotels you'd be staying at.
Another one is bring tights/leggings and yoga pants instead of jeans (maybe 1 or 2). Jeans take up lots of room in your luggage and it's heavy too.

MizzJ said...

Haha I actually found a backpack too restrictive when I went SE Asia backpacking as I bought so many clothes and shoes! Plus, won't you need a nice pair of shoes if you go out? These are some good tips though. People should also remember to bring an outlet adapter as the plugs are different elsewhere than here.

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