Traveling with contact lenses & glasses: A Quick Guide


Should you take monthlies or dailies? How much contact lens solution should you take? Should you take your usual glasses?

Before I embarked on my Round The World adventure, I asked my optician what he thought and his advice served me well so I thought I would share it with you:

Monthlies vs. dailies

The first piece of information my optician parted to me was that if you are happy with your lenses, stick with them. Travelling with lenses you’ve never tried or tested before is risky because eyes can be very sensitive, and it could be one or two months before you realise that a new pair is causing problems.

However, if you’re reading this with plenty of time to spare and have the opportunity to try a more travel-friendly lens, definitely consider the following:

  • If you wear monthlies, opt for a pair that you can sleep in. Long days that roll on well into the sociable night, overnight buses, and air conditioning make 8 hour lenses less practical. You want to ensure that if you accidentally fall asleep in your lenses or if you have a long day out, you won’t be left gouging your eyes out.
  • Dailies are great for backpacking trips lasting three to four months, especially where sanitation is poor and quality contact lens solution is difficult to buy. Bottles of solution will only weigh you down, even if they’re travel sized, and dailies are more hygienic than monthlies. Plus, if you lose or damage a lens it’s not as troublesome as you’ll be due a new pair the next day.
  • My optician recommended that for a year-long trip I should continue using my monthlies. He didn’t think that I would want to carry a large expensive box of lenses backpacking. My monthlies took up next to no room, and I carried two bottles of solution to last me four month until I could buy more.
  • Dailies can be almost double the price of monthlies. For me, the bottom line was that I couldn’t justify the extra expense when my monthlies were working just fine.

I wore monthlies for the entirety of my trip. My only regret is that I didn’t upgrade to a pair that could be worn night and day (24hrs).

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Should I take a laptop, phone or tablet travelling?

Which electronic device should you take travelling_

I remember agonising for weeks about what to electronic device to take backpacking with me. I didn’t want to take my phone as it was new, and I was initially only going to be travelling for 6 months to a year (as it turned out, by the time I returned my “brand new” phone was an ancient brick hahaha!). I didn’t want to take my laptop as it was heavy, but I also wanted to be able to back up my photos easily and run my new blog.

At the time I thought that there must be a one-size-fits all policy, but after more than 2 years of travelling, and having had the experience of both living somewhere and backpacking, I have a much better understanding.

Answer the following questions and read my solutions, and you will be able to determine what’s right for you.

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How to choose your destination | First Time Backpacker Series


So, you’ve decided that you’re ready to take the plunge and go on a backpacking adventure.

But then you’re left wondering where the hell to go: do you go inter railing in Europe or partying in South East Asia? Do you go off the grid in South America or take a tour bus round New Zealand? Or do you do a bit of everything?

And then you start to consider and weigh up all of your worries and fears about travelling for the first time, and suddenly you have no clue of where to go.

The first point that I will make is that you should do your best to not stress out about this. The process should be fun – make the planning a part of the adventure!

Here are some simple and easy steps to help you get the ball rolling:


1) Write out a list of places that you have always wanted to go

I know this is elementary, but it’s where I started when I first started planning my backpacking adventure, and it was what I kept coming back to when I was plucking up the courage to book my flights. I added to this list when I was tired and miserable at work, when I was sitting on the train, when I was tucked up in bed at the end of the day – it was an outlet for my dreams and wanderlust in an otherwise dull world.

Imagine that you have no budget and no limitations. Forget your fears of solo female travel and no-go areas in foreign cities.

Dig up every place, activity, exotic animal, and tourist destination that you have ever wished to experience in your life. Write everything down – no detail is too small and nothing is too extreme.

2) Get on Pinterest

Gather pictures and ideas, and organise them into location-based inspiration boards.

See which areas fill up the quickest.

Are there any locations in particular that you are drawn to?

Have you been pinning places that you had never even thought of, leading you to a whole new dream?

The images I have been pinning lately are photos of Italy and France, so I’m guessing that’s where my heart is telling me to go!

3) Pay the travel agent a visit

I wouldn’t recommend getting travel advice and booking on the same day, but travel agents can be a great source of advice. Chances are, one of the agents will have travelled to where you are thinking of going, and they’ll have great ideas for possible routes and budgeting.

I recommend STA for cheap flights and backpacking information, though be careful with add-ons such as their money card and insurance policy as they aren’t always the best value for money!

Check out my article “Should I book through a travel agent?” for more tips and tricks.


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Travel & Backpacking Makeup

Travel and Backpacking Makeup - 600x600

So, you are about to embark on a travel adventure and you can’t decide on the best makeup to take with you. You need to pack as light as possible, and you like the idea of being natural and makeup-free, but you also want a good solid kit that enables you to create both casual and dramatic looks.

Firstly, let’s start with the makeup packing rules:

  1. No powders – powdered eyeshadows, bronzers and blushers, etc will break, unless they have thick and resilient packaging. (The eyeshadow and blusher quads that I packed all broke within my first two weeks of backpacking). Try to stick to gels, solids and mousses as much as possible.
  2. Avoid brushes if you can – they are high maintenance as they need to be washed frequently. Plus, they take up valuable space.
  3. Choose makeup that can be used for more than one purpose – Can you use your eyebrow pencil as an eyeliner? Do you have a lipstick that can also double up as a blusher?
  4. No once-in-a-lifetime designer products – I can’t count the number of times that I have met a girl in a hostel who was distraught because she lost her Chanel foundation or Dior eye palette. Never take anything that you care about. Drug store products are your best friend.
  5. Try to find products with sturdy packaging – many makeup palettes and quads have flimsy plastic packaging that cracks all too easily.

(If you want to read more about other beauty essentials such as hair products and skin care, I have already got you covered in a previous post).

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Feel Good Blogging Challenge Day #5: What to Pack in your Hand Luggage

What to Pack in your hand luggage

Make sure you check out:

Day #1: A Simple Introduction

Day #2: The Time I was Almost Left At The Grand Canyon

Day #3: A Guide to Hitchhiking (as safely as you can!)

Day #4: 10 Random Facts About Me (that you probably didn’t know)

Today’s task is to share something useful with my readers. I honestly can’t think of a better topic than to talk about what a backpacker should pack in their hand luggage.

Blog posts and YouTube videos on the subject often display perfectly coiffed beauty gurus embarking on luxury holidays, pulling out a perfect lip balm or some deluxe healthy snack from a Chanel handbag.

However, what I need to know is what to take on a long haul flight, particularly from the point of view of being a long-term traveller and/or backpacker. Whilst I am sure that scented hand sanitizer is nice (the one time I took hand sanitizer in my carry-on it exploded all over my seat mate due to the cabin pressure…awkward), I follow one simple rule:

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