If anyone knows how to travel like real backpackers and still look totally glam while doing it, it’s these two girls. Lois and Chichi did us the honour of putting together 10 tips and their absolute must-have items for backpacking. It turns out that a little goes a long way!
1. Use scarves wisely
Colourful scarves can turn a humble plain t-shirt and shorts combo into a fashion ensemble! We brought a few scarved with us on trip. Some cheap, old ones we bought from the department store. And on the way to India, Cambodia and Indonesia, we managed to add a few more classy pieces to the collection. They’re pretty, comfy and versatile.
2. Solids not stripes
Listen well, sole sisters: Pack clothes in basic, solid colors. You’re probably going: how boring would it be if everything I wear is in monochrome? Make sure to bring a few items with a pop of color to spice things up. Think of how a fun flowery skirt can be paired with any solid-colored tops.
3. A cute dress to save the world
Okay, maybe it won’t save the whole of mankind exactly. But after weeks of trekking, camping and running around in our hiking clothes, we felt the urge to prettify. A cute, versatile dress can make you feel good after getting off those dusty and cramped bus rides.
4. Keep your head happy!
You need to leave that hair dryer and straightening iron at home. But that’s not an excuse to have a perpetual bedhead. Solution: bring some deep conditioning product and some headbands, scarves and hats to keep frizzy hair at bay. We also swear by Headware, one product that turns into a bandanna, balaclava and face mask!
5. When a girl can’t wear heels…
We have met some travelers carrying around a pair of heels in their backpacks. But seriously now, how many times are you going to be able to wear them on the trip? Instead of heels, we opted for practicality and brought a pair of ballet flats and sandals. They’re perfect for walks and if you’re going for a trek, you really need one of those hiking sandals.
6. Accessorize it
No need to bring jewelry boxes filled with trinkets and baubles, you can get by with just a few pieces. The less valuable, the better. We brought accessories along the way to remind us of the trip. A couple of bracelets from Thailand, some earrings from Indonesia, a long chain necklace from India. We loved that every time we wore a piece, it took us back to the place we got from. Accessories can add that oomph to any outfit- even if you already wore it thrice that week!
7. What’s inside your beauty kit?
We have a confession to make: We’re closet beauty junkies. If there’s a new product in the market, we have to rush and buy it. (Can you see it was was extra hard for us to save up for our escape fund?) For this trip, we had to be accidental minimalists and fit all our beauty products in one tiny pouch. Stick with the basics: tinted moisturizer, cream blush, petroleum jelly and you’re all set.
8. The power of leggings/tights
Tights, when paired with a bright top and matching accessories, can make a simple outfit into something else entirely. It also won’t much space in your backpack. Just roll them and go! The best part is you can pull them up in warm weather and wear them long when it starts to get chilly.
9. Of Denim Shorts and White Tees
They’re the most basic things that a sole sister can have inside her backpack. They are and will always be in vogue. There’s no way you can go wrong with them.
10. It’s a Wrap
We regret having bought our sarongs in our last country destination: Indonesia. It’s the best place to get them from but we could have used a sarong for our entire trip. Let me count the ways: tie ends together to create a beach dress, wear it as a skirt, use it as a cover up, a shawl to keep you warm in those airport lounges.. The possibilities are limitless.
What’s your chic travel must-haves?