Packing list – 4 days in Melbourne

On travel day, I’ll be wearing…

– dark grey skinny jeans, a t-shirt, navy blue Uniqlo cashmere jersey, a scarf/wrap, denim jacket, and dark brown Frye boots.

The bag I’m taking is my Lipault 18-inch weekender satchel. In honesty, it’s a little roomy for this trip, but there’s a likelihood I’ll do some shopping in H&M and Uniqlo. I also like the look of Lipault’s 15-inch weekender, which would most likely suit my needs better for short getaways where I don’t need to do a lot of walking with my bag.


In a medium-sized Kathmandu packing cube, I’ll be carrying all of my clothes.


– light grey skinny jeans, a dark grey merino top, a black waterfall-front merino cardigan, a pair of sleep shorts, a pair of black leggings to layer under jeans if it gets REALLY chilly, a Uniqlo Heattech tank-top, and three changes each of knickers, socks and t-shirts.

In an extra-small sized Kathmandu packing cube, I’ve grouped my miscellaneous items.


– diary (black Moleskine notebook), Kobo ereader, USB converter plug, glasses in case, and a small zip-up purse to hold cables and a pair of earbuds.

I have three bags for my toiletries and make-up. The first is a clear plastic bag for liquids.


In here I have a small bottle of contact lens solution, deodorant, a bottle of jojoba oil (that I use as a face cleanser, moisturiser, and hair de-frizz serum), some travel-sized bottles of shampoo and conditioner, a travel tube of toothpaste, and some individual plastic vials of eye drops.

The second is a small bag of non-liquid toiletries.


This contains a razor, contact lens case, a strip of aspirin, birth control pills, nail clippers, a small toothbrush, blister tape, a couple of hair ties, ear-plugs, and a small tub of aromatic ‘de-stress’ balm.

Then there’s my make-up bag.


In here I have some Clinique City Block sunscreen, mineral foundation and applicator brush, a small tube of roll-on cheek tint, mascara, eyeliner pencil, red lipstick with matching lipliner and a retractable lip brush, and a Bobbi Brown eyeshadow pencil. I have a small make-up purse in my handbag that contains a solid wax perfume (a gift from the Unhusband, which you can purchase here), a tube of lipbalm, and a Burt’s Bees liptint.

I’ll also be carrying a small cross-body handbag, which will contain my wallet, the aforementioned small make-up purse, phone, pen and passport.

This packing list isn’t perfect, by a long-shot. I’d like to get rid of that heavy bottle of liquid roll-on deodorant, and replace it with a stick deodorant instead. Also, my make-up bag is way too big for what is not a huge amount of product, and the mineral foundation is bulky and tends to spill when it gets shaken around during travel. When I use it up I’ll try to replace it with a stick foundation like this one from Benefit. I also usually like to travel with a small bottle of Dr Bronner’s liquid castile soap too, but left it out this time… It comes in handy for a LOT, that stuff (face wash, body wash, bath aroma, shampoo in a pinch, and to wash out clothes in a hotel sink). If need be I can used soap provided by the hotel for all the same purposes, just without the lavendery goodness I get from my Dr Bronner’s. All the same, for an urban trip where I’ll be staying in a decent hotel, and the weather will be cool and I won’t be doing huge amounts of walking or sight-seeing, this seems about right.


All packed! Yes, I am only taking the pair of shoes I’ll be wearing to travel in.

No, I haven’t taken anything especially ‘dressy’ for a dinner or special event, but I feel that the clothes I’m taking with me will be appropriate in a ‘smart casual’ way for any eventuality. There’s nowhere in Melbourne that is so fancy that I’ll be refused entry for being in jeans, and I’m not planning on doing any clubbing.


Everything fits easily, and is nicely organised if I should need to reach something while in transit. The bag fits easily under a seat on the plane.


A new travel bag…

Almost every travel blog includes a good in-depth discussion of their chosen travel gear, and right at the top is THE BACKPACK. Obviously choosing the right bag can be key to a delightful travel experience or a miserable one.

For years, I travelled with a little, no-name brand purple wheelie suitcase given to me by a friend. It’s about the size of a standard carry-on, has a mesh insert in the top, a couple of outside pockets, and an expander zip.

Little Purple Suitcase (LPS, I shall call her), accompanied me on my first serious overseas trip – three and a half weeks in the USA. I didn’t pay a hell of a lot of attention or do much packing research before I went on this holiday, but basically LPS was my main bag, and I took a large tote-style handbag as my carryon item. For a beginner, I think I did alright…

Fully packed for three and a half weeks in the USA

Fully packed for three and a half weeks in the USA

I used the upper mesh pocket to store a cross-body day bag, a couple of belts, charger cables (in the little toile zip purse) and charger plugs. In the suitcase I was able to fit two dresses (one casual cotton, and one for church), two pairs of jeans (one denim and a lightweight cotton drill pair), one pair of shorts, about eight tops (t-shirts, tank tops, and one dressier evening top), a pair of printed leggings, two bras, two pairs of shoes, associated socks and knickers, a denim jacket, and various toiletries, make-up items and the accursed bottles of hypoallergenic contact lens fluid.

Anyway, LPS was fine for the type of trip I was taking. I only visited three locations, and was staying in private homes or a nice hotel for my entire journey. Checking my bag didn’t especially bother me (I don’t love having to look after a bag when I’m moving through an airport and want to browse duty-free and do the ‘last chance poop’ before getting on a long-haul flight), although I would probably have been able to get away with it for carry-on in a size sense. Weight was another matter… Those wheeled suitcases can weigh a LOT (at least LPS does, not being an expensive high-end ultra-lightweight bag), and I made no effort to pack light – just small. Picking the bag up was unwieldy, it was a pain the arse when I arrived in New York and had to cart it up stairs in the subway, and the pull-out handle on it took up valuable packing room inside the bag.

I’ve been on the look-out for a new travel bag for a few months now – one of those sleek convertible packs with a zip-away harness that you can carry on your back and that looks smart enough for a good hotel.

MY DREAM BAG is pretty much made flesh by this beauty from Minaal

The Minaal - photo taken from their website. I love this bag. But it's $US300. LOLsob.

The Minaal – photo taken from their website. I love this bag. But it’s $US300. LOLsob.

I love it’s minimal look, it’s full-opening front-loading panel, the zip-away harness, the glorious slate-grey colour of it, the discreet branding. Oh, the places I would go with a bag like this!

But I can’t justify the price. It’s $300, and I can pay for two nights in a private houseboat on the River Seine with that money. And I always, always put experiences over things when it comes to spending money.

I had ALMOST decided on the popular but fairly bog-standard Osprey Porter 46L when I happened to pass a Kathmandu store during sale time. I ducked in, and pretty much impulse-bought the Litehaul 38L.

The Kathmandu Litehaul V2 38L. Yes, it's purple. Again.

The Kathmandu Litehaul V2 38L. Yes, it’s purple. Again.

It’s not as sleek and pretty as the Minaal, but it fits the general specs I had in mind. It’s carry-on size, has a zip-away backpack harness with a good, padded hipbelt, a padded laptop compartment with external access, sturdy handles, a front-loading panel and side compression straps that don’t get in the way of any of the outer compartments. On sale it was also less than half the price of the Minaal, at $125. It comes in a black option, but I went for the purple, again. One of the things I love about LPS is how well it stands out on a baggage carousel amongst all the tasteful and discreet little BLACK suitcases. Yay! Score!

Anyway, I’ll be keen to give this bag its first road-test when we head to Europe next year. In the meantime, it’s a little tangible promise of future adventures sitting in my cupboard.

Stuff I like and use – Boody underwear

The unhusband recently bought me a gift from the local health food store… a bamboo fibre g-string from Aussie company Boody.

I do like a good comfy g-banger, and these are set to supersede my previous favourites – the also excellent but much pricier Lululemon microfibre g-strings.

I like that my Boody scanties are locally made from a sustainable material, and they’re also quick-drying and low-odour. Added to the fact they take up minimal room in my travel bag and they are definitely my travel underwear of choice.

Boody have a range of products including camis, tank tops, leggings and soft-cup bras. I can certainly see myself investing in a bra and a pair of leggings for further afield travels (nothing like a wire-free bra for a long-haul flight, and leggings often come in handy for wearing with a dress or layering under jeans in colder climates). Boody products can be purchased from their website –

Image borrowed from the Boody website. That is not my arse.

Image borrowed from the Boody website. That is not my arse.