How to travel with a backpack

This post is written from the perspective of me traveling to a festival with a ginormous travelling backpack… about 4 hours on the train there and for some reason, 7 HOURS AND 5 FRICKIN CHANGES on the way back!!!!!!!! (that reason being a bank holiday Monday…) These journeys also included going through London and getting on the TUBE… thrilling stuff.

Let’s just remember this was also during rush hour, meaning that I was the only person on these trains into London not wearing a pencil skirt or carrying a laptop bag. Instead I was wearing a coat that kind of yelled “I sell pills”, and carrying a bag 9x the size of me. I therefore knew straight away that this was gonna be bloody horrendous.

And although the experience was mildly scarring, it did remind me of my backpacking last year, and so I thought some tips for travelling like a bag lady could be useful for anyone planning on backpacking in the future, whether it’s lugging a tent and a sparkly playsuit half way across the UK or travelling the globe with a couple of pairs of spare pants and a saucepan.

So here are my top tips for travelling with lots of stuff:

Tip number one: if you’re going on a train in the UK there will probably be a luggage rack… so try and locate this beforehand- ask someone who works at the station maybe rather then leaning by the bin like I did on my first train… it was smelly and people kept having to push past me to get to the bin. Also it was very annoying being by the doors when the train got to east Croydon… like not good at all… just pls find a seat. This tip is especially handy if you’re getting a train to the airport. Again, especially useful when going through London at 9am.

Tip number two: pack light. It may be the most obvious tip in the world but packing light is the key to travelling. I’m speaking from the perspective of someone who is not a minimalist at all and needs to follow this tip in future. In said trip up north, my bag was way too heavy to pick up by myself and put on luggage racks etc. which caused much aggro e.g. abandoning my bag half sticking out of a luggage rack on an overcrowded train. There was a lot of muttering about “who left their bag here?!” Soz Graham, walk the long way round off the train xxxx

Tip number three: pack even lighter. Like seriously. When I was travelling last year I brought so much shit I did not need. Clothes that I didn’t even like in the first place, around 7 bottles of suncream- despite the face it was the rainy season. It should be noted that, depending on where you’re travelling to, there will be shops there so you do not need to overpack on toiletries! Like I’m pretty sure Australians use sun cream too. Well I assume so… They are suspiciously tanned…

Tip number four: DO NOT buy unnecessary shit when you’re travelling. I’m one of those basic bitch gap yah hoes who bought 13 million pairs of elephant trousers and never ever wore them after leaving Asia. And it wasn’t just elephant trousers, but shorts, a really really ugly shirt (thanks to my so called friends for not telling me it was ugly), and many many many items of Thai/Cambodian/Vietnamese tat. Post-travelling Amber would go back in time and say to travelling-Amber, “all that shit will break, the colours will fade, and the stuff you do manage to get home without being binned will clog up your wardrobe and eventually be sent to Oxfam a year later when you realise, it’s really ugly” Ok that sounds harsh, we all love a bit of tat now and again, but don’t go crazy, ok? Ok.

Tip number five: don’t pack important, expensive or meaningful stuff. Or at least be careful with it when you ignore my advice and do it anyway. So I brought my ipad; for blogging purposes, my camera; for taking pics; and my phone… because like… instagram and stuff. Ans somehow I didn’t lost any of it. ME- THE PERSON THAT LOSES/DAMAGES EVERYTHING! So it can be done, and tbh I needed all of those things. But like get your stuff insured or something AT LEAST. I’m dumb as fuck and left my phone on a sleeper train in Vietnam but luckily i realised after getting off and before the train had fucked off so all good in the hood really. So if you’re like me, i.e. a little dippy and unorganised now and then, it might be an idea to not bring your latest iphone X with no case on it… a slightly cracked iphone 6 will probs do just fine.

So here is my list, I hope it will be at least a tiny bit useful for someone, or at least something interesting to read while you’re skiving off at work, picturing yourself back in Cambodia lying on a beach. Oh- just me? yeah fair enough.

Thanks for reading, follow me for updates on my life ly xxxxxxxxx

Another  handy point that I decided to delete from this post was that when getting on a 4/5 hour train journey, go for a wee first, it’s not very easy to take a bag the size of a mountain with you to the loo. And London’s not very big on leaving bags lying around, as the hundreds of announcements will remind you.

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