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Outdoors Pack Perfect What to Pack

The Essential Guide To Choosing The Best Backpack For Backpacking

So you’ve booked the flights, worked out your itinerary and got your dorm room booked, but have you considered which bag you’re going to use for backpacking? It’s not as simple as a quick impulse buy, you will be carrying this backpack for a long time, through busy city streets, upstairs in narrow hostels, onboard sleeper trains and to and from every destination you visit. The type of bag you choose will depend on your experience, take it from me, someone whose bag strap broke just as they collected it from the carousel at Bangkok airport, you need to put some thought into it. Not all backpacks were created equal. Here is our essential guide to choosing the best backpack.

What do we need to look for in a backpack?

Backpacks don’t come cheap, so it’s worth investing in one that is going to stay in good condition for a long time. Below we’ve outlined features to look for when choosing the best backpack.

It needs to be water-resistant

Can you imagine, you’re caught in the rain, your pack gets wet and so all your belongings inside? It’s the thing of nightmares, especially when on the road and you have nowhere to dry off your belongings. Make sure you pick a backpack which is made from a water-resistant material, is semi-water resistant or has a waterproof cover you can use to keep your belongings dry. Also make sure it is lightweight and easy to dry, the last thing you want is to be carrying around a damp, bag that makes your clothes smell musty.

Look for multiple compartments

Choose a bag which has multiple compartments. This is handy for when you want to seperate belongings from one another and for when you want to be able to reach important items quickly. Side compartments are also handy for storing shoes and any clothes that you need to wash. Your front top compartment is ideal for important documents such as your passport or ticket. Making sure everything is seperated and in the right place will help you feel in control and also be less time consuming. Choosing the best backpack means finding one that can tow all you need in an easy to use organization system.

Zippers that lock

Check that the backpack has two zippers that you can lock together. This is an essential safety option for when travelling, especially if you will be leaving your bag unattended at a hostel or in the luggage compartment of a bus or train. (Read our safety tips for solo travelers here if you’re concerned about your bag’s security!) When getting a lock for your bag, choose one that is TSA friendly if you are travelling to the USA. This lock will alllow officials to open your backpack if they need to check it, without breaking your lock.

Always double check on the airline and country you are travelling to, as some will require you to unlock your back for flying. However, for day to day travelling whilst backpacking and leaving your bag unattended in a luggage storage room, a lock is a must.

Don’t go for a backpack with an external metal frame

Forget the image you have in your head of backpackers with a bag on a metal frame. Just don’t go there. Not only will this be incredibly uncomfortable, it will take up much needed space and will be much heavier than a bag with an internal frame. Trust me, using a backpack with an internal frame will much easier on your back and your bank balance as you won’t have to fork out for excess luggage payments.

Make sure it’s padded

The last thing you want is for unpadded belts and shoulder straps digging into you whilst you carry your backpack. Opt for padding that ensures your hips are protected and the weight is evenly distrbuted. This should prevent any rubbing or pressure on your hips. Also make sure the hip belt can be easily adjusted to suit your body shape and that you can tighten it for added support if you need to.

Choose a backpack with padded shoulder straps to make carrying your bag put less pressure on your shoulders and lower back. The weight needs to be evenly distributed to ensure that your back and shoulders feel supported so make sure that your padded straps can be adjusted to fit your size and that the pads are comfortable and not stiff and chaffing.

Choose a padded back

Don’t forget to make sure that your backpack has a padded back. Your back will thank you for this. By having a bag with a padded back it will help distribute the weight evenly and will help take the pressure off your back. If possible look for a contoured back with a curve, this will allow airflow and will stop your back from getting sweaty. Consider how comfortable the back feels against you and if you could stick the next few weeks or months having it dig into you.

What size should I go for?

The size of your backpack should always match the size of your body, if your backpack is too big, it will be hard to carry. If it is too small you won’t be able to bring all of your kit and the weight won’t be balanced correctly. Choosing the right backpack means finding one that will fit your belongings with a bit of extra room just in case. Don’t feel compelled to buy a 70L backpack to fit a variety of outfits in, it will not only be too heavy and uncomfortable but you will regret this choice!

If you need to get a backpack that can be used as carryon luggage this is something to take into consideration as the bigger the bag, the more chance you’ll have to put it in the hold. Also, remember that if you want to take it as a carry on you cannot bring liquids more than 100ml on board.​​​​​​​ Choosing the best backpack for your journey will take time, prepare to try a variety of bags but remember that this backpack will serve you for a long time and is not something you should buy on an impulse. If you want to avoid an uncomfortable, painful backpacking experience, follow our guide and double check all of these points before making a purchase. Believe me, you’ll thank yourself for it when you’re carrying your bag through a busy street in warm temperatures.​​​​​​​

Written by Sarah McCann, Blog Editor at MyBaggage.com a luggage delivery service operating all around the world.

Advice Europe Pack Perfect What to Pack

Pack Perfect: How To Not Look Like A Tourist In Greece

Greece is the ultimate chic summer getaway… don’t you think? Think glamorous, warm nights sipping local white wine, soaking in the sun with your girlfriends while noshing on fresh fruit and exploring the iconic white-washed coastlines. Should you find yourself booking a dreamy trip to Greece, it’s important to pack items that will keep you cool while also looking lovely and put together. After all, the refined style of European women is so incredible. Here’s how to not look like a tourist in Greece!

Pack Perfect: How To Not Look Like A Tourist In Greece

A Cool Slip Dress

We love a midi dress for travel because it’s the perfect combination of glamorous, yet conservative and cool. This v-neck style is effortless and can be worn alone, as a slip under a layered tee or underneath a cardigan after the sun sets. Plus, the pop of teal will have you looking one with Santorini/Greece’s iconic architecture.

Pack Perfect: How To Not Look Like A Tourist In Greece

A Midi Eyelet Skirt

A fit and flare skirt ripped right from an old black and white film. We love this flirty, feminine little number – especially because it pairs well with so many different looks and is super lightweight. It’s the perfect choice for wine tasting or shopping in boutiques.

Pack Perfect: How To Not Look Like A Tourist In Greece

Vintage Inspired Sunglasses

Greece’s harsh sunlight is no joke – so be sure to pack a pair of vintage-esque sunglasses with great UVA/UVB protection!

Pack Perfect: How To Not Look Like A Tourist In Greece

A Nautical-Inspired One Piece Swimsuits With A Feminine Twist

This one piece has the perfect amount of coverage, while still remaining classic and subtly sexy. It’s the perfect choice to wear underneath a coverup or airy dress knowing that you’ll be near the oceanside later in the day. When choosing a swimsuit for Greece, I like to ere on the side of slightly conservative (for my own comfort) with unique details, like a cool belt or a ruched fabric detail like this one. If you’d rather rock a two piece, I love this athetlic option with denim looking fabric!

A Romantic Ruffled Top

This crisp white, ruffled top has a nod of romanticism while also being functional. Pair it with denim on a cooler day or layer it over a swimsuit after dipping into a pool during the mid day heat. Greece is well known for its romance (it is considered to be one of the ultimate honeymoon destinations for a reason), so be sure to dress in tandem with its vibe!

Pack Perfect: How To Not Look Like A Tourist In Greece

Packable Sunscreen Spray

To protect your precious skin during your long walks around Santorini’s beaches or the harsh sun while exploring ancient sites like the Acropolis, be sure to pick up a packable sunscreen spray. We love this one because it can easily slip into your bag and is TSA approved! (P.S. if you’re looking for eco-friendly products we love, check this post out!)

Pack Perfect: How To Not Look Like A Tourist In Greece

Platform Wedges

We love wedges for travel because they inconspicuously add some height while being comfortable enough to wear all day. European women are known for wearing sky high heels (even on cobblestoned streets), but you won’t be looking like a tourist in these bad boys. These wedges are so comfy because of their thick ankle straps support your ankles and keep your feet from sliding around.P

Pack Perfect: How To Not Look Like A Tourist In Greece

A High Waisted Bikini

Go for a vintage look with a chic high waisted, belted bikini bottom for the perfect amount of coverage, paired with a classic, supportive top. The paradise blue color will have you blending in with the Santorini skies with ease!

An Easy Mini Bag

This chic little bag is has ultimate cool-girl look. The crochet detail feels artisan and its mini-size won’t have you feeling weighed down.

Pack Perfect: How To Not Look Like A Tourist In Greece

Hoping you have the most glamorous, romantic time in Greece! With these looks, you’ll be looking like a local in no time. Happy packing!

Pack Perfect

How To Live Out Of A Suitcase For Over A Month (And Still Look Stylish)

Extended travel is one of the most exciting things a traveler can take on! Whether you’re about to take on your study abroad experience for a semester, temporarily living and working remotely or about to take on an epic adventure of your lifetime… long term trips all face one problem – PACKING.

I’m pretty sure all of us have struggled with overpacking. Especially those of us who adore options in our wardrobe! However, when on a long term trip, there’s really no room for extra alternatives. Our suitcases need to be filled with the good stuff and nothing extra!

As an adventurer who has primarily traveled long term, I have a few tricks up my sleeve. Here are my simple tips and tricks for living out of a suitcase for over a month (while still still looking stylish and polished)!

Understand Your Staple, Flexible Closet Items

Investing in quality, staple closet items that go with everything is KEY. That means spend a couple extra bucks on a clothing item that can be easily mixed and matched, thrown on (no matter the occassion) and accessorized to change its overall vibe.

​​​​​​​A great button down shirt, comfy jeans, a slick leather jack and casually-cool flats are crucial items in every traveler’s suitcase. Looking stylish with limited items to choose from simply comes from the practice of curating items that do it all and go with everything and every setting.

Limit Your Shoes

You read that right. Limit your shoes, ladies! The truth is, no matter how much you love your shoes… they’re the buckliest and heaviest items in your suitcase.I live and die by a three shoe limit. Deeply consider the activities you’ll be partaking in and pack those shoes accordingly. No more, no less!

Packing Cubes Are Your Friends

Organize your clothing items into packing cubes. There are lots of way to pack them up (by style, by occassion, by need, by day)… but no matter how you do it, I love how packing cubes keep everything in their place while also compressing them down!

Know Your “Airport Outfit”

Nailing your airport outfit is a sign of truly becoming an adventuress, if you ask me. Clearly knowing the outfit you love to pop on that keeps you cozy and comfy is key. And often, we can manipulate the system (and our outfit) to work in our favor.

​​​​​P.S. Wear your heaviest shoes and jackets on your body (that way you won’t have to worry about exceeding your weight limit on your suitcase)!

Color Coordination

If you’re a girl who loves a pop of color, embrace that! But just be sure all your pieces go together in some shape or form. Color clashing is fun and all, but it’s just a better idea to coordinate your clothing pieces so that they go together like peanut butter and jelly. So, pack those pieces that pack a punch… but just be sure that not all your pieces are statement pieces.

Coordinate your colors in your suitcase. Denim or a color scheme in shades and variations of similar hues will give you more flexibiilty when it’s time to get dressed!

Layering

Layering is the chicest way to dress for changing weather (and occassion) without overpacking. Keeping a suitcase filled with simple, classic layering pieces makes dressing a breeze.

Laundry On The Go

Eek! Some time during your adventures, there will come a time that you will need to do laundry. Don’t fight it. I’m a gal who hates doing laundry, even while at home. But let me tell you, after a while… there’s no avoiding it! Do a quick little search on your lodging’s website to see if they can offer laundry service (most hotels and hostels do). If not, buckle down and do it on a rainy afternoon in between sights. It may not be glamorous, but your clothing will thank you (and so will your travel companions)!


Looking stylish while living out of a suitcase comes down to a few simple yet steadfast tricks. I promise that with some intentional care and attention… you’ll be rocking some adorable looks that also serve their purpose while you’re exploring the world!

Advice Pack Perfect

Packing Tips For A Cold Weather Trip

Any avid traveler will tell you that packing for a cold weather trip can be challenging, especially because the clothes you need are much more heavier and bulkier. To strike the balance between packing too much and not freezing, you can follow this checklist!

Choose Good Base Layers

 

Your choice of base layers is important because it’s your first line of protection against the cold. Base layers help trap heat. Popular fabrics include merino wool, bamboo extracts, synthetic fiber, and cotton. Merino wool is the most ideal, but it can be quite expensive. Pack at least two to three base layers, depending on your length of stay. You also need to bring a few short-sleeved wool shirts and at least two pairs of liner socks.

Don’t Take Your PJs For Granted

Just because you’re going somewhere cold doesn’t mean you can’t wear pajamas. In fact, it makes them even more essential. You need to make sure that you pack clothing that will keep you warm throughout the night—especially if you’re on an adventure holiday where you could be sleeping in a tent or log cabin where there’s little to no heating. 

Opt For Lightweight Jacket

Instead of bringing a fleece, take a lightweight down jacket with you instead. Columbia Women’s Mighty Lite Hooded Jacket is highly recommended as it’s versatile, light, and good for backpacking. It’s a great mid layer for when you’re going skiing and it has a beautiful crossover appeal, too.

Go For Cargo Or Hiking Pants

 

When it comes to your choice of pants, cargo is the best, but hiking pants will also work great, especially if you’re off on a winter adventure. Make sure you get ones that are warm, breathable, and light.  super stretchy, lightweight, and doesn’t absorb moisture, perfect for summer treks in cold places like Iceland. Denim pants are a great choice, too, if you want something that could double as casual wear.

 

 


What are your classic cold-weather items you always pack?

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A Gift Guide For a Dame Traveler

Dame Traveler's Gift Guide For Female Travelers

Gift shopping can be tricky! Especially for our gal pals (or ourselves!) that always seem to have a major case of wanderlust. What do you get a girl who’s seen the wide and wonderful world? So often, female travelers value experiences over things. They collect moments over physical goods. We know that shopping for women who travel can be tricky. And that’s why we’re excited to share our top picks for our gift guide for female travelers!

From tech goodies for the digital nomad, photographer or gal on the go, our staple pieces we always love packing and some thoughtful, creative gifts she’ll cherish for life… happy shopping! 

Dame Traveler's Gift Guide For Female Travelers


MANEBÍ LEATHER SNEAKERS

These rose gold beauties are the perfect travel shoe that adds a little pop of color. Perfect for summer and winter trips, these sneakers are comfy and versatile. Great for dressing up an outfit while also keeping comfortable. And we love that they are ethically made by Italian artisans for the modern traveler. We’re obsessed!

Dame Traveler's 2018 Gift Guide For Female Travelers

LO & SONS CLAREMONT CAMERA BAG

We’re never without our Lo & Sons purse! This camera bag is stylish enough to pass as a regular crossbody purse, but functions as the perfect home for your precious photography goods.

Designed specifically to fit and protect DSLR cameras, this leather crossbody purse is a must for female travelers. And if you’re worried about size… fear not! The internal padding keeps your camera and an extra lens secure and there’s lots of extra room for your cash, keys and daily essentials.

Best of all, the Claremont bag doesn’t look like a tourists’ camera bag! We love that it doesn’t draw attention to itself when in busy tourist areas to potential thieves.

Dame Traveler's 2018 Gift Guide For Female Travelers

FLYTOGRAPHER PHOTOSHOOT

Ready for the gift that will make any traveler beside themselves? Book them a photoshoot on their next trip!

We know that travelers value memories and moments – so why not give them a momento that will last a lifetime? Flytographer allows travelers to book photoshoots with photographers around the globe to document their adventures. A gift card with Flytographer gives travelers the gift of memories… a perfect travel souvenir!

Having photos of their adventures in their favorite places in the world is a sentimental gift that any traveler will love for years to come. Imagine being able to show beautiful photos of their wild adventures for generations to come. Gift them a gift that will keep on giving! And be sure that they use the code DAMETRAVELER2019 for $25 off their shoot.

Dame Traveler's 2018 Gift Guide For Female Travelers

MARYSIA’S SCALLOPED ONE PIECE SWIMSUIT

This chic and comfortable swimsuit is our favorite because of its full coverage and support. We love the vintage silhouette of the capped sleeves and low scooped back, and its raw edge, hand cut scalloped edges add the perfect adorable details. Quick drying, fully lined and made with a great stretch – this swimsuit is always in our suitcases. This one piece is versatile enough to be worn on the beaches around the world, no matter the location!

Dame Traveler's 2018 Gift Guide For Female Travelers

SMITTEN ON PAPER’S PETITE PLANNER

We love this handy, little planner!As much as we live by our e-calendars, there’s nothing like putting plans down with pen and paper. The weekly layout is the most perfect size, as it doesn’t take up too much room in our bag, and is perfect for travelers who need to keep themselves (and their schedule) organized. We also love this planner’s tiny little details, like the gold foiled stamping and blush paper.

Dame Traveler's 2018 Gift Guide For Female Travelers

ALLBIRDS TREE RUNNERS

These sneaks are the ideal travel companion for those active days sightseeing and exploring. Light, breezy, cool and cute, the Allbirds Tree Runners conforms to the foot and keeps them cool and odor free. Plus, they’re machine washable and soft enough to wear sock less! Better yet, you can wear these out and about knowing that your purchase is environment friendly with a low carbon footprint. Be sure to get these sneakers for the traveler who’s on the go!

Dame Traveler's 2018 Gift Guide For Female Travelers

GOOGLE PIXEL 3XL

We’re constantly asked what smartphones a traveler should have – especially for one who wants to capture photos on the go. We have one answer – the Google Pixel 3XL. This bad boy produces the sharpest images, in our opinion, and is sleek and modern. Its 8 MP wide angel and telephoto cameras really make it stand out amongst the crowd. We’re constantly blown away at the high quality images it produces over and over again. 

Dame Traveler's 2018 Gift Guide For Female Travelers

MYCHARGE’S RAZOR PLATINUM CHARGER

Ask any traveler what they’re always in need of – and their answer will mostly like be… more charge! Us explorers depend on having fully powered at the drop of a hat. Our technology, from our laptops, cameras, smartphones and more, are our ultimate needs and resources while on the go. That’s why we love MyCharge’s Razor Platinum Charger – it does it all. It’s the most powerful portable charger capable of powering a MacBook in 100 minutes, tablets, and other devices. And it’s small enough that it doesn’t take up room in our bags!

Dame Traveler's 2018 Gift Guide For Female Travelers

KREWE’S POLARIZED SUNGLASSES

Krewe’s sunglasses are our absolute favorite. Not only are they chic and vintage inspired, but they also offer a lifetime warrantee and are prescription ready. That means any nicks or scratches that often happen to us travelers’s shades are taken care of! 

Dame Traveler's 2018 Gift Guide For Female Travelers

Happy shopping Dame Travelers!

Dame Traveler's 2018 Gift Guide For Female Travelers
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