SLIDER

MINIMAL GUIDE: What to pack for a working holiday in Australia

Wednesday, 20 March 2019

This infographic from Viessmann points out, that a return flight from London to Hong Kong uses 3.4 tonnes of C02 and that's a pretty big contribution to anyone's carbon footprint, let alone someone who likes to spend as much time in Asia as I do. With its hole in the Ozone and huge parts of the great barrier reef dying, Australia, where I'm heading to this time, knows more than most places, the effects of  high C02 levels and global warming. There are loads of ways for us to cut our C02 levels, be it replacing an old boiler, or in my case, trying to reduce my number of flights.

With so many places that I want to see, I'd be flying forward and backwards all the time if I did them separately but doing an extended trip, with just two long haul flights at either end (and then mostly land travel in between) is great because I still get to see lots of different places but I leave make less of an impact on the planet!

One of the problems I do encounter with a longer trip though is what and how much, to pack! My latest adventure, back to Oz will be the third time that I've had to pack a carry on suitcase for an extended trip and out of the three it was the hardest.

The first time I had no idea I was doing, I definitely didn't pack enough but that was fine because I didn't care what I looked like when I was backpacking, it was hot and I was either drunk or hungover most of the time; plus it was my first trip and I was excited to buy the singlets and elephant pants.

The second time, was three weeks after I got home from my first trip and I was so desperate to get back to the Thai sunshine, that I didn't even unpack; just pulled out the things that I didn't use and left with less that 6kgs of stuff.

This time I'm going straight to Oz and having spent 6 months there already, I have a little bit more of an idea of what I want to take back with me. Hopefully it'll be useful knowledge for anyone struggling with what to pack for their own trip!
I know it's very hot there, I know I want to work in office and I know I'll probably be quite active to; so I've decided to split my packing into 4 different options, day, night, work and gym. More basically, I'll need smart(ish) & casual.


Tops

For the day, I want tops that work for the gym and for the sunshine - both mean I'm going to get quite hot so I'm looking at light, floaty materials and cropped shapes. I'm also taking some cute cami's that will work for both the day and night depending what I pair them with. It's important to pack things that are versatile. It's kinda like a 6 month capsule wardrobe.

          - 6 t-shirts and strappy cami's - 4 day/gym and 2 night/work
          - 3 sports bras - which I wear as tops to the gym
          - 3 cropped jumpers - I only want to take 2 but I can't pick
          - 1 long cardigan - works as kaftan, covers shoulders at work, got worn loads last time
          - 2 bralet tops - clubs or bars and are great for lazing around the house as well
          - 2 oversized t-shirts - when I cant be bothered to get dressed.

 Bottoms

I'm taking mostly shorts because that's what I wore most last time with my active lifestyle in Oz. These don't really work very well for smart occassions so I'm taking a black skirt as officewear too.

          - 4 gym shorts - great for lazing around/food shopping/ will probs wear these most
          - 2 fashion shorts - going out
          - 2 leggings - mostly for going out at night (food shopping, McDonalds lol etc)
          - 1 black bodycon skirt - for work but will probably get used quite alot
          - 1 cycle shorts - in case I fancy doing some more Uber.
          - 1 tracksuit bottoms - to travel in
Dresses

This is something I really missed wearing on my last trip since I only took 2 to Thailand. I often found myself wishing I had brought more because they look like I've put a bit more effort in and they are just so easy to throw on. 

          - 3 light, floaty dresses that work for day, night and casual office work.
          - 1 heavy, denim, strappy dress that I  bought in Thailand and just cant go without

Shoes

Last time I left the UK with a pair of trainers and a pair of flip flops. I came back a year later with six pairs of shoes so I need to be prepared this time.
          - Converse x 3 (I couldn't choose ok, this is excessive for me)
          - Air Max
          - Black Pumps
          - Flip-flops
 Other Bits
        
          - 2 Bikini's - never to the beach, only to the apartment pool
          - Sunglasses - my awesome new Ray-Bans from Smartbuy Sunglasses *GIFTED
          - Underwear - one weeks worth works for me
          -  Minimal mini toiletries - just so I can brush my teeth & shower when I get there.
          -  Perfume - 30ml so I can take it if I go anywhere on a budget
          - Backpack - mostly for the plane - snacks, laptop, passport.
          - Handbag - I'm taking a black cross body and a mini backpack for the gym or days out
          - Rain coat - it rains alot in Queensland.
For me, this is overpacking and I would never have packed this much for my Asia trips - I literally went there for 3 t-shirts, but I feel like I can take a bit more if I'm looking to settle in one place for longer. Although the weight is a bit more, with the help of my packing cubes, it all literally takes up exactly the same amount of space so why not?! They do an amazing job of getting everything compressed and into your suitcase neatly. I got mine on Ebay for £5 and I wouldn't travel without them now. 

From this:
to this:
 I hope this has been useful if any of you are off to Oz!

Brisbane on a budget

Monday, 11 March 2019

Two weeks ago, I took a 29 hour journey from London to Brisbane and spent the week there solo, before meeting up with Jonny after our month apart.

Brisbane was the cheapest place in Australia to fly in to which worked for me as that was exactly where I wanted to go. I flew from from Heathrow, via Manila with Philippines airlines and I can 100% recommend them. The food, service and selection of films were all really good plus I liked that you get a little amenity pouch even in economy. My favourite thing however, was that the first 14 hour leg of my journey only had 99 people on board so we got a whole row each and I slept for a solid 10 hours.

That being said, I had some of the worse jet-lag of my life so ended up spending quite a lot of that week in bed, although, as it slowly started to subside, I was been able to get out and explore the city a little bit more. Apart from accommodation, I've spent less than $70 so in this post, I wanted to share some of the ways I've kept spending to a minimum.

Flatshare 

First things first, accommodation. Hostels in Oz are much more expensive than in Asia, you're looking at $25-$30 per night and for the same price, you could rent a room in an apartment for a week. I searched Facebook for groups like Brisbane flatmates hub and sorted it all out before I arrived. It meant I had my own air conditioned, en suite room and a kitchen, complete with beautiful engineered wood flooring to cook my own food in, just a 20 minute walk into the city centre.

There were 4 other people living in the apartment from all over the world and we spent a could of nights drinking out on the balcony which was really nice. 

Another great thing about being in an apartment block was that it also gave me access to a private pool and a little gym which I took full advantage of! 


City Hopper Cruise

The city hopper ferry is a free service that runs along the river and stops in the main parts of town. Not only is it great, free public transport but for a tourist, it's a super fun, cheap way to see the city. With an open top to sit at so I ran up there as soon as I got on.

City Markets

I accidentally stumbled across different markets almost every day. There was a cute craft one that runs over the weekend on the South bank which had a really lovely atmosphere, it was lined with bars and restaurants and everyone was outside in the sunshine enjoying themselves.

Then there was the food market just by North Quay ferry terminal which seems to be where they have different markets every day. The 2nd I spotted on my way back from the ferry terminal - I walked past to see hundreds of students and backpacker types set up on the floor with clothes literally everywhere. After a little bit of research, I learned that it was the suitcase rummage sale which is held on the first and third Sunday of each month. Most pieces were going for $5 each (£2.50) and I very nearly bought myself a pair of Gymshark leggings for $3 but I'm trying to travel light so I resisted.


South Bank

This is one of Brisbane's most famous areas and really is worth a visit. The coolest part was definitely Streets Beach - a man made beach in the middle of the city and it's pretty unique, I've never seen anything like it. There is also where you'll find the Brisbane wheel, a whole load of bars and restaurants and also a load of free events. 

Something else I thought was really pretty was a big steel structure that ran along the walkway down to the beach. It's called The Arbour and was covered in beautiful pink flowers, it was like something out of Alice in wonderland. 


Supermarkets 

This one has saved me a lot of money although I don't know if I would have necessarily stuck to supermarkets as much as I did, had I not been too jet lagged to enjoy food properly. Apart from a smoothie bowl and a cheeky Maccas (or two), I ate every meal from the supermarket and that was the only money I actually spent.

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