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The general rule for when you go backpacking (unless you’re called Marina) is to try to not bring your entire house. It’s important to make wise choices when packing your backpack. Below, I share my essentials that I bring with me on every trip!
Let’s start with the most important item: my backpack. I use the Osprey Fairpoint 55L (ok, I’ll admit that with this size, I could probably fit my entire house inside, but I’d like to point out that Marina has the 70L version!). I love the fact that it comes with a small backpack that you can take off from the front of the bag, so when I bring it as a carry-on on the plane, I put the big bag in the overhead bin and the small bag containing all my essentials to survive the flight under the seat in front of me.
If we’re talking about a day bag (aka my best friend every day of my trip), my most recent discovery is the Patagonia Lightweight Travel Tote Pack. It’s simply perfect. It closes in on itself in a small pocket, so I put it in my backpack and once arrived at my destination, I open it and it’s ready to be used. Super lightweight, super compact –exactly what I need!
In terms of shoes, I’m very basic. I always have three pairs with me, and they’re always the same classics. My pair of airplane shoes are black TOMS that match any outfit and are super comfortable. In my backpack, I always carry flip-flops – a pair of Reefs that I’ve had for years and that Marina must be eager to burn, but as long as they‘re still in one piece, I’ll continue to wear them. I legit wear them 24/7, except when I decide that I don’t want to wear shoes that day and simply go barefoot. The last pair is a good old pair of running shoes for sports/hiking. 99% of the time, it’s a pair of Nikes, simply because in my opinion, they’re the best shoes in terms of quality and price, and no matter the model, I’ve never had a problem with them.
Now, I’m going to channel my inner fashionista and tell you about my favourite travel outfits, aka my bikinis. What I like most is when I can mix and match tops and bottoms, so I’m able to bring less pieces and still look like I have a new swimsuit every day. I also have a soft spot for Quebec companies like June Swimwear, Othersea Bikini, and Sealavie Swimwear, just to name a few. My go-to will always be June’s Jade top (wink wink) and bootykini – it’s a swimsuit that’s perfect for surfing and prevents you from worrying about tan lines.
If we’re a little more serious and talk about “real” outfits, and by real, I simply mean actual clothes, because you won’t be ready to walk a runway with my advice (go read Ariane’s articles for that). But believe me, by following my tips, you’ll be oh so comfortable in your day-to-day activities. I mostly wear jumpsuits and dresses, because I don’t have time to waste to plan out what I’m going to wear. With jumpsuits and dresses, I’m ready to go with just one article of clothing!
You’ll now understand that I don’t bring my new Gucci bag with me on trips (jokes, I don’t actually have one, but you get the idea) or six pairs of shoes “just in case.” The truth is, you’re not going to go to a fancy club in Central America where you’ll need to wear sequined shoes. Stick with the essentials, and believe me when I say that no one cares if you wear the same outfit twice in one week! The goal is to wear things that are comfortable and practical!
Oh and I almost forgot, I never leave without… Marina!!!