Dearest Readers,

As much as we love jetsetting and seeing the world, there’s one aspect that never becomes more enjoyable – packing!

Undoubtedly we aren’t alone in dreading this task before any journey, so we have put together for your aid and perusal a selection of key items to ensure your hand luggage is the epitome of prepared, and you are able to breeze through the journey whilst oozing sophistication.

Of course male and female packing has quite different priorities, so enjoy below the Penelope and the Hector recommendations…


Most recently my adventures have been extended trips, so below is aimed for longer durations rather than a weekend get away:


Kindle – for any long journey, there’s no better way to pass the time than getting lost in a good book. Gone are the days of cramming a suitcase full of books – as a fast reader, I always make sure to fill my kindle with new and exciting reads

Windows Surface Tablet – aside from being more convenient to pen new blog posts on than a small phone screen (!) this is perfect for keeping in contact with home, storing a backup of photos, and also takes a memory card to store a few movies for long journeys

Canon 1100D – my ever faithful travel companion, and doesn’t require any explanation as to it’s role in my backpack! I also like to carry a spare SD card in here to make sure I’m never caught out without memory

Power Bank – as there’s nothing worse than being stuck trying to meet someone on the other end without a working phone. This could also be important for the new rules that airport security may also ask you to turn on any electronic items if they have run out of battery during your journey so far

Toiletries – it’s no secret that I’m not exactly a fan of the 100ml rule at airports, but nonetheless there’s a few key items that are essential for long journeys

  • Toothbrush and toothpaste – some airlines provide these, but it’s not worth taking the risk. Being able to freshen up before landing makes you feel significantly better
  • Face wipes – for the same reason – to keep feeling fresh on the flight. Wet wipes can also come in handy for any accidental spillages…
  • Deodorant – “stick” deodorant doesn’t count as liquid, so there’s no need to cram this into those tiny plastic bags
  • Lipbalm and moisturiser – to help counteract how dry your skin becomes up in the air
  • Body spray – not only to make yourself smell nice, but for those unfortunate situations where people around you don’t smell so good either… (or a personal low – when a baby is vomiting in the seat behind you for 9 hours…)
  • Antibacterial gel – to keep those travel germs at bay

Guide Books – if you aren’t already feeling prepared, there’s no better time to read up on your destination than whilst you’re on route and excited about your arrival

Travel journal – there’s no better time to start logging the trip than when it begins, and as someone that struggles to keep up with writing entries, I try and start good habits right from the outset

Medication – as someone that has a constant fear of their bag not arriving on the other end, I make sure to keep these essentials on me to reduce these worries, and of course make sure I’m prepared if anything was to happen on the journey. On a similar note…

Clothing – there’s always the potential for delays during travelling, and it takes up very little space to keep a clean t-shirt and set of underwear in the back of your bag in case you really need to freshen up. I also keep a scarf handy, as these are light and perfect if you start feeling cold and can’t control the temperature.

Sleep mask and inflatable pillow – Sleeping on the move is tough, and in order to try and conquer the dreaded jetlag, I try and make myself as comfortable as possible to feel rested on the other end. The pillow has been a bit of a lifesaver particularly on long bus/train journeys

Make up – there’s no harm in keeping the basics handy to look a little more human when you land on the other end!

iPod – this trusty companion travelled with me for 7 solid years.. Take care not to leave these on planes..!



Now my style of packing is slightly different as I adopt a minimal approach, taking only a few key items with the clothes on the my back, and an extra set just incase.

Camera – I’ve used and traveled with many cameras over the years, but my most recent snapper is my favourite – Sony NEX 5r. It’s small, compact, yet still manages to capture DSLR quality pictures. Be sure to carry an extra battery and SD card.

Clothes – The least exciting thing about traveling – trying to pack as little as possible to ensure there’s room to bring goodies back home. A good quality T-shirt, jumper, underwear, socks and a trusty plaid shirt; While on my person a light jacket, jeans, and good walking shoes. Alway look at the weather forecast at your destination and pack accordingly.


iPhone – I only joined the apple crowd last year with my iPhone 6 and straight away wondered how I coped before. It’s my music collection, camera, my book, my games console, my communication tool, and my compass to guide the way. If you’re like me and drop your phone all the time, be sure to have a indestructible case on – I’d recommend ‘Spigen Air Cushion’.

Headphones – I love music. Love it – and music is my perfect travel companion. M.I.A reminds me of Berlin, Bombay Bicycle Club reminds me Geneva, and Ben Khan takes me back to Barcelona. The Bose SoundTrue is my choice for the crispest sound you’ll ever hear. However walking around cities I would recommend the standard apple earpods to avoid being immersed in your own music and becoming a target.

Tote Bag – So small yet so useful. I like to avoid carry a background while wandering, and find a small tote is great to store your camera and wet-wipes (always useful), and yet still large enough to hold fresh market produce and souvenirs.


Toiletries – A compact manual toothbrush, a small stick of deodorant, shaver and shaving cream (I dislike shaving and avoid where possible, but I dislike a hairy face even more), moisturiser (Bulldog is my go-to brand, absorbs quickly and non-greasy), aftershave/cologne (anything Calvin Klein is a great travel scent – light and fresh). Always check your airports restrictions and rules to avoid having to bin your expensive toiletries..

DSC02988Journal – Much like Penelope, I like to carry a small travel journey around with me. While it easy to note everything into my phone, I still find myself quickly reaching for my journal to jot down ideas, thoughts, names, and places.

And the real essentials…

Passport, travel documents and purse – these are a bit of a no-brainer when it comes to packing, and are without a doubt the items you check time and time again whether you’ve packed. I keep documents together in a holder to make sure everything is prepared for the right moments, and prefer to travel with a bag that has a separate or handy pocket so everything can be accessed quickly. Having your hotel/hostels addressed written down will also be handy in a non-english speaking country while trying to get directions or even inform your taxi driver.

Don’t keep all of your cash and cards in one place – I learnt this the hard way, and there’s nothing worse than using everything in one go. I keep this up for the duration of any trip, which is particularly important when travelling alone.

Offline Maps – You arrive at a new, strange, exciting place. You check your phone to find you have no service and no accessible Wi-Fi spots, how are you going to get to your hotel/hostel? You open Google Maps to find a Wi-Fi connection is required – bummer!!  Offline maps works just as it say – works even with no connection.

Make copies of your passport and any other important documents, and either keep them in a separate place, or with someone you trust back home

Do you agree with our selections? Are there any other key items you don’t like to be without? Do get in touch and let us know, and in the meantime, happy packing!!

With kindest regards,

Hex and Peps xoxo


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