Packing Light for Overseas Travel Female Perspective

What to wear has always been an issue for me, especially when traveling. I typically google “what to wear in………..” before a trip, however after traveling to several countries I have found that if you wear what you are comfortable in, then that outfit is always appropriate. Some countries are more conservative than others and it would be more appropriate to ensure you are covered up to avoid offending anyone. I am not a “girly girl” so I typically wear shorts or cargo pants paired with a simple shirt. I always take long sleeve cotton shirts and wear in more conservative areas, but they also come in handy to avoid the sun. We typically backpack so the less clothes the better. Typically, where ever we backpack is warm and I pack:
3 long sleeve thin cotton shirts
2 bras
3 cargo pants northface.com
3 shirts
1 pair p’js
Keen sandals (wear these everywhere and you don’t have to pack socks) zappos.com
1 pair flip flops
1 north face waterproof jacket northface.com

Blake and I enjoy dining with the locals so packing simple clothes are appropriate and displays that we are simple backpackers and not carrying a lot to steal. We are aware that wherever we go, we will stand out from the norm, but we want to be safe and not portray ourselves as “wealthy americans”. We take our clothes on the 3rd or 4th day of a trip to a local laundry facility or do it ourselves in the sink. We have a portable clothes line that can be used to dry clothes in the room. This assists with packing less clothes. As you can see from the list below, I do not take makeup with me with the exception of mascara. Often hotels have hair dryers. Most hostels or guest houses do not. Typically I just let my hair dry naturally. I have been known not to take a hairbrush and let my hair do what it wants. That’s part of the experience – enjoying the environment instead of worrying how I look.

I also pack these items:
Small LED Flashlight
Foldable water bottles
My Surface w/charger
Camera w/ extra batteries and chargers
Travel journal
sunglasses
Inflatable head pillow for plane
Dramamine, medication
Bacteria soap
Face wipes
Sun screen
Quest bars (questbars.com)
Travel toothbrush/paste

Recently, we started purchasing books (amazon.com) on the specific area that we are visiting, and this is what I read. We are so busy walking and exploring, we don’t read much, but I do enjoy reading about the people and the area we are visiting.

For countries where fashion is more important, like London and Lisbon Portugal, we did not backpack. Checking luggage replaces backpacking and therefore, taking more formal clothing. We enjoy backpacking and visiting less fashion formal areas now and will visit the more fashion formal areas in time, when backpacking has run its course for us.

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