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Australia, strangely enough, was one of the hardest trips I’ve had to pack for. Morocco, obviously, took number one (read my guide here), but Australia had me puzzled. We weren’t going to be at the beach the entire time, the weather was not hot but not cold and we were even going to be spending some time in the mountains where it got down to 13 degrees! What to pack, what to pack. This is my guide for packing for Australia so, hopefully, you don’t have the same problems I do. Or, maybe it’s just me making it into a problem. Either way.
Reef-safe sunscreen. Protect the environment and your skin with a reef-safe sunscreen. This is an absolute must if you are going in the water as we’re already bleaching the shit out of coral and murdering marine life like nobody’s business. It’s super easy to switch to, and if you’re unsure or forgot to buy some before your trip, you can definitely grab a bottle in Australia. “>This is the kind I use and have switched over, even at home.
Lip balm with spf in it. This isn’t something I thought of when I was packing for Australia and my lips did not like that. But, I bought some lip balm with zinc in it and they’ve forgiven me. Fun fact: the brand I bought is the actual colour of the lip balm tube. So, bright-as-fuck pink. FYI, this isn’t reef-safe, so don’t use in the water!
Hats. All the hats. The sun is strong in Australia, which resulted in me burning while out snorkeling. While there isn’t anything a hat can do to protect my legs in the water, it can protect my head when sitting on the beach or hiking through the rainforest (which actually doesn’t get that much sunlight, but the parking lot to the trails? Oh, boy). Bring a hat, or three, for various activities. I packed an out-and-about hat for chic zoo visits, a baseball cap-style hat for hikes and other strenuous/’strenuous’ activities, and a big ol’ floppy sunhat for the beach.
Sandals. Duh. Pack two pairs, at minimum: one for walking around that you can dress up or down and a pair of flip flops for the beach or walking areound hotels or hostels.
Bathing suit. Extra duh. Depending on your washing machine situation and how often you’ll go to the beach, pack more than one. No one wants to put on a cold and damp bathing suit the next day. I always pack, at least, two bathing suits. This trip? I packed three and bought one in Brisbane.
Sunglasses. More than one pair! Just in case you lose one or break one and don’t feel like buying a new pair.
Book(s). Because that flight is long as fuck and you need something to do for 14+ hours. And, if you book a discounted airline to traipse around Australia, there won’t be any entertainment aboard. That means good old fashioned reading and napping.
Rain Coat. Guys, it rains in Australia. It’s not all sunny skies and surfers. It’ll rain a lot if you’re heading there in the blistering hot summer months, so make your mom proud and pack a rain coat!
Light sweater or jacket. If you’re going in the spring or winter, definitely pack one of these. The nights can get cool, which may not seem cool to you until you get used to the humidity and warmth and wish you brought extra layers.
Runners. So, you’ve got the sandals all packed, but what about your runners? Pack legitimate runners, or hiking boots if you’re going for that kind of vacation (but, if you are going for that kind of vacation, you probably already know what to pack and pack better things than I do). If you’re visiting the rainforest, you’ll want real footwear, not sandals where you can twist an ankle or have a damn spider touch you.
Watch. This should be on everyone’s travel list as phones are so unreliable and think they’re smarter than we are. Sometimes, your phone doesn’t change to the correct time and you have to manually change it every city you’re in. Sometimes, it changes by itself, but gets confused if you’re too close to the timezone borders and changes back and forth. Pack a watch and keep it tuned to the time you’re in, letting your phone do whatever it wants. Or, keep it to the time back home so you can always feel more in touch with everyone (and not send them a text at 1:00am).
Travel towel. Travel towels are genius because they fold up nice and flat and save you from the one towel per hotel room you sometimes come across while traveling. It will also come in handy if you’re going to the beach.
Beach bag. You know what’s annoying? Getting excited to head to the beach and then realizing you don’t have any sort of bag that will act as a beach bag. Just pack one! You can get a simple netted bag that can also double as a shopping bag.
Water bottle and travel mug. It is simply not chic to be seen with a disposable coffee cup or a plastic water bottle anymore. Make things easier on you and the planet and pack both of these things.