Before I get into showing you what I packed for my soon to come trip, let me introduce you to the notion of flashpacking.
Flashpacking is a new word used to refer to affluent backpacker. Since backpacking is associated with budget travel, flashpacking is the cousin with a bigger budget.
Which means you will not necessarily go to 5* hotels, but you won’t go to hostels neither. Or perhaps you will alternate a hostel in a city and a 3-4* hotel in a different place. You will have all your necessary goods with you, but limited in quantity and choice perhaps. But let me show you how I planned my flashpacking trip. And then you can decide for yourselves.
We managed to find really good deals on flights for our holiday. The destinations are multiple and will be travelling from city to city quite a lot. Will fly from Geneva to Cancun and will spent two days there. Will travel to Tulum. A week goes by in Mexic and will then move to Miami for a few more days. After Miami will fly to Cuba for the last 10 days of holidays.
Because of so much moving back and forth we decided to travel light and carry only what we really need. Gone are the days when we carried million bags and carry ons. We go for hand luggage and that’s it. Let’s see how this happens. Long live flashpacking!
First we need a bag. We decided to use what we had at home and not invest more, since if you remember I am not allowed for a month to buy any extra things. I am fortunate to have enough and I should abuse what I have. So, the backpack on wheels we are using is from our travelling set, not a very old acquisition, it’s true, but was not purchased for this trip. And since I am not allowed to shop, Dan’s dare was to travel extra light fir three weeks. So we are both being challenged in a very positive way, I think.
The backpack has one big compartment, similar to any hand carry on, and a smaller one for the laptop and other electronics. Apart from the two main ones, there are tons of pockets that proved very useful for all the items I wanted to take with me. And we had to have different colours because we always mix them. Mine is grey and his is black. To match our luggage, we have travel pillows in the same colour.
This is quite easy. We will have a pair of sneakers/trainers on the way there, flip-flops and a pair of more elegant shoes, but not to extreme, just to have another option for Christmas or New Year’s Eve. No need for more.
As our luggage is small we also have a limited choice of items we can take with us. It will be warm there so we went for summerish-springish items, but took a thicker jacket (the one will have on the way there) just in case.
- Rain jacket
- 3 Merino wool T-shirt (We can easily wash or when needed wear a few more times without washing. They were made to be cool and not smell. Let’s see)
- 3 regular T-shirt
- 1 pair of jeans – the one will have on
- 1 pair of shorts
- 1 pair of long trousers, for summer so it keeps me cool
- 8 pairs of underwear
- 8 pairs of socks
- 2 bathing suits
- An LBD
- 1 pjs with two different tops that dry very fast
To make them all fit, we rolled them. We will not wear the same clothes every day and we will not skip showers as it could seem. We have decided that we can also quickly hand wash the T-shirts or even better help the country’s economy and have them cleaned somewhere. Will let you know after how it all went.
We decided to go for two small ones each (the ones we have come with our set of bags). We went for bottles of under 100 ml so we can take these in our hand luggage. Because we go to Cuba as well, we had to be extra careful with what we take and had to make sure we have the minimum to survive. Given the queues and the scarcity of products there, this is what I packed (all under 100ml):
- A small bottle of shampoo
- A tube of conditioner
- A refillable bottle of shower gel
- A refillable bottle of after shower cream
- A small face cream
- A bar of soap (For this I was thinking we might need to wash some clothes as well or we run out of shower gel)
- A toothpaste and toothbrush ( I normally use an electric one but went for a regular one for this trip)
- A small bottle of perfume
- A small deodorant
- A small solar cream with 30 SPF
- Mouth wash
- Makeup removal wipes from Nivea with one side that exfoliates the skin. I love these for travelling so I don’t need to add any additional cleansing gels
- Wet wipes
- Intimate wipes
- Small packs of dry tissues
I have also added a few items that I was told I should take as these are difficult to find: tampons, a small mascara when I need it, lots of plasters, eye drops, chop sticks, anti blemish cream, hair clips. I have also added a comb, nail files (not metallic ones) and small bits and bobs that I felt I might need. When we go to Cuba, will make sure to also have toilet paper on us.
Since we are so much on the road, we had to take more pills than we usually do.
- Medicines for the flu
- Medicines for pain (any kind)
- Disinfectant for hands or wounds
- Plasters of any kind
- Vitamin C
- Some pills the lady at the pharmacy told us to take daily to prevent an upset stomach. I don’t usually have stomach issues, but you never know how I react.
- Pills in case we upset the stomach (different than the ones before)
- Allergy pills
- And a few others the lady at the pharmacy advised us, for extreme cases
We will take one laptop, the GoPro, two external charges, our smartphones and the Kindle. We still need to be online from time to time so the laptop is a must but we take a 12inch one, superlight and with a very small charger.
I also took a small backpack to replace bags. It fits a bottle of water and all the electronics we need on a daily basis.
We are packed and already in Mexico, so guys, I will let you know if the plan worked as it was decided!
I am happy to hear your tips and tricks of what to visit as we have not planned much!
Photos by Dan Gheorghe.