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A flashpacker’s essential packing guide

A backpacker travels with practical gear and a minimalist approach.

But you, my friend are not a backpacker. I see you there with your trendy clothes and your carry-on bulging with electronics. You’re the one who is willing to spend a few extra bucks to stay in an AirBNB because, let’s face it, you need as many power points as possible to charge your gear and you’re greedy with the wifi bandwidth. You’re a little older than those 18-year-olds on the party circuit and your travel goals are geared toward culture instead of pub crawls. You are a flashpacker. I’ve vacillated between backpacker and flashpacker as I’ve traversed the world, and have landed on a decidedly flashpacker perspective.

Here are a few must haves for every flashpacker:

Sunglasses

Whether you’re traveling around the world or to work, a cute pair of sunglasses are a necessity. After my favorite sunnies took a swim in the Indian Ocean, I ordered some new ones from SmartBuyGlasses and they arrived in a week and a half. SmartBuyGlasses Michael Kors I must admit, I’m feeling pretty stylish in my Versace sunglasses and the Michael Kors Isle of Skye sunglasses are polarized, which are perfect for all the water activities that come my way. (I’ll be using a strap to keep them on while riding in windy boats this time!)

Tieks

Tieks are my favorite shoes for travel. (You can find out why here.) I truly believe that every woman should own a pair of these versatile flats. They’re comfortable enough to wear every day on my 40 minute walk to and from work in Melbourne and cute enough to pair with skinny jeans and a cute top for a nice dinner. Pop Pink Tieks - Shop Now!

Lily Claire Bag

When I began to pack my bags for my big trip back in 2015, I went back and forth about the perfect travel purse. I’d always been a Kate Spade kind of girl, and just couldn’t see myself sacrificing cute for one of those heavy-duty theft-proof purses. I opted for a Lily Claire bag, which is cute, durable and has a zippable pouch to store valuables. That little zipper pouch also detaches from the main bag for use as a clutch, which has been perfect for nights out. My favorite thing about Lily Claire, though, is the heart behind the company. Lily Claire was started in 2012 with a heart to support women and children around the world. Today, with each bag sold, one child in a slum in Nairobi, Kenya is supported for a month. Lily Claire bag in Florence

Power strip

The hardest thing about traveling with all the accessories is ensuring that everything is charged. I’ve attempted to capture what surely would have been an epic shot, only to realize the battery had drained overnight. Bring along a travel powerstrip and never be caught uncharged. I’m not going to tell you how I know this, but if you bring along a regular old US powerstrip, you will knock out an entire house’s worth of electricity, forcing someone to find the surge protector to restore power. This one is 100-240V and interchangeable plugs for Europe, Australia, the UK and the US.

Panasonic Camera + Lenses

Before leaving the US in 2015 to travel full time, I purchased a Panasonic Lumix GX7 that has literally been around the world with me. I love my camera and am so proud of the photos I’ve taken with it. The quality of the camera and the retro silver and black style help me to take good pictures without the flashiness of a larger DSLR. I traded in my big Canon for the GX7 so I could keep quality while not drawing attention to myself as a solo female traveler. My 20mm lens is on my camera almost all the time, although my 14-140mm zoom makes an appearance every once in a while— especially for getting the perfect wildlife shot without getting too close!

GoPro

Are you a flashpacker who’s more comfortable in a pair of fins than in stilettos? My GoPro isn’t used on a daily basis, but I’d be lost without it when creating awesome underwater content. Check out my latest adventure Fly Boarding with Ultimate Watersports in Exmouth filmed 100% with GoPro: For more underwater fun, check out these awesome accessories:

Dome

For epic split photos underwater and above.

Underwater housing

The GoPro HERO 5 is waterproof, but if you’re a diver, you’ll need a housing to take it deeper than 33 feet.

Red Filter

Want to capture true colors underwater? Don’t go diving without a red filter!

Travel Insurance

Sometimes things don’t go as planned. That epic shot of a mountain sunrise was going great until the camera took a tumble. And the crowded streets were exciting until you realized your computer disappeared into the masses of people. Or maybe you’ve arrived in your dream destination, but your luggage has not. World Nomads has you covered! They offer a range of insurance plans for travelers, adventurers and digital nomads. It’s the one thing I never travel without. I’ve never had to use it, but I’m glad to have it just in case.

 What are your travel must haves? Are you a backpacker or a flashpacker?

Disclaimer: Some of the items mentioned in this post were received free of charge. All opinions are my own, though, and I wouldn’t recommend anything to you that’s not awesome! 

Many of the links and photos in this article are affiliate links. That means if you click on them and purchase, I’ll receive a portion of the sale, but it doesn’t cost you any extra. If you like reading articles from The Sweet Wanderlust, I’d appreciate you purchasing through these links if you decide to buy any of these products! 

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Flashpacker packing guide

Pilot Mark

Monday 5th of June 2017

Great list! As a pilot, I´m constantly on the road (in the air?) and have also become a pro at packing quickly and efficiently. The Go Pro is a great addition!

Brittany

Sunday 11th of June 2017

I bet you've got some amazing packing tips! I used to pack for every trip 2 weeks in advance, but now that I"m on the go, I have to be a little more last minute and just pray everything fits!

Rebecca

Saturday 3rd of June 2017

Ha - most backpackers in Belize seem to have thousands of dollars in equipment - drones and Go Pros but stay at the lowest level hostile and bargain down street salesmen over $2 items. Sigh...

I love this. But...you can tell me...I see the Tieks mentioned in lots of lifestyle blogs - can they REALLY be worth $300US? THAT GOOD??

Brittany

Sunday 11th of June 2017

Ai yi yi! That is true... So much technology in backpacks these days!

I LOVE my Tieks! I was a Tory Burch flats girl for years, and no matter how worn in they were, they still killed my heels. So, for a similarly priced product, Tieks are the way to go!