My 1 year suitcase – a packing guide for a working holiday

A working holiday is a big commitment, even more so is working out how to pack your life into one suitcase. So here is my essential packing list based on what i wish i had brought and what i wish i now didn’t have to lug around.

  1. If you never wore it at home, you wont wear it abroad. The reality is you live in the same clothes week in week out, because they make you feel happy, comfortable and confident. You won’t want to wear that skimpy red skirt that you’ve had in your wardrobe for a year and only worn twice because every time you put it on you feel a bit self-conscious and end up changing. You will not want to experiment.
  2. Bring more shoes. I only brought 3 pairs of shoes with me, a pair of heeled boots, which in the 4 months i have been here have been worn a maximum of 12 hours in total. A pair of trainers, which i lived in while on the actual travel portion of my working holiday so far. And, finally, a pair of brown ballet flats, which since i have stopped travelling have been my go to. I wish i had a pair of waterproof flat boots, or brogues, or had the insight to bring a black pair of shoes when i got myself a little job.
  3. Bring a canvas shopping bag, you know the ones, they are always giving them away free. They will be a god send, they make the perfect day bag for a little walk, a beach day, to transport your book or some snacks rather than lugging your big holdall bag.
  4. Black clothing, seems boring and dreary for the fun-filled adventure of your life, but the reality is at some point you will run low on funds, maybe even completely out and need to get yourself a retail or waitress job to tide you over. They seem to always require you to wear black trousers or a skirt and either a black top or a white one, so save yourself having to buy them out here and then work out how to stuff them in your suitcase to get them home again and pack them before you go.
  5. And, on that note, remember to bring an interview outfit
  6. Warm clothes, now i sound like your mum nagging you about the all important coat and jumpers, but i guess sometimes we forget that hot countries have winters too and that it still gets cold at night.
  7. Cosmetics, stock up on all your beauty essentials as they will have to last you the year, all your ‘cannot live withouts’. They most likely wont stock your favourite brand or if they do it’ll cost a bomb and you’ll end up begging your family to pay extortionate fees to ship them over to you.
  8. Don’t forget your laptop and make sure you stock it up on TV shows to binge, wifi can be sparse and expensive, so having a catalogue of things at your disposal will be a godsend!
  9. More than one towel… i made that mistake and always had nightmare trying to wash my hair with nothing to wrap it in, most hostels at a price will loan you a towel, but to save those precious $$$ just bring an extra
  10. And finally, socks and tights, they always go missing, you always need them and they are the most boring thing to spend your money on!
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