What's In My Pack: New Zealand Working Holiday
Below you'll find a list of everything I brought with me to New Zealand for our Working Holiday. I may be carrying too much stuff but I was packing for an entire, multi-seasonal yearlong trip. If your trip is different and/or shorter, you could potentially just use this as an outline.
Our plan is to downsize once we leave New Zealand to just one mid-size pack each. Hopefully we'll be off to warmer locales that require less bulk.
- 3 solid colored v-neck shirts
- 1 long-sleeved scoop neck shirt
- 1 pair khaki shorts
- 1 pair running shorts
- 1 pair yoga pants
- 1 pair compression cropped pants
- 1 pair Arc'teryx all-round trekking pants. I bought an old version of these in a maroon color for 50% off in Reykjavik, Iceland in 2014.
- 1 long-sleeved thermal shirt
- 1 pair waterproof snow gloves
- 1 Buff
- 1 one-piece swimsuit
- 1 sunhat
- 1 rash guard shirt for wearing over swimsuit while snorkeling or (fingers crossed) learning to surf
- 1 dress with belt
- Ultralight down jacket (I have a green one of these that's a few years old). The best feature is the compression sack it comes with that makes it pack up super small.
- Rain jacket and plastic poncho. The rain jacket is for cold, rainy days. The plastic ponch takes up hardly any space in my little pack in case I go somewhere and get caught in a rainstorm.
- 1 pair tie-dye pajama shorts (v-necks double as pajama tops)
- 4 bras
- 5 pairs Ex Officio underwear
- Socks: 2 pairs long, 2 pairs crew cut, 2 pairs ankle length. I love Point 6 socks.
- 2 Pairs of footwear: 1 pair of Chaco's and 1 pair of GORETEX Ecco boots (similar). Chaco's are the sturdiest, best walking sandals I've ever owned.
^All of the clothes rolled up and packed in Eagle Creek Compression Cubes.
- Travel-sized Dr. Bronner's liquid soap.
- Travel-sized contact solution
- 2 reusable 3 oz. squeeze bottles: one with aloe, one with an everyday moisturizer
- Small bottle of lavender essential oil for stinky hostel dorm rooms. (Very useful!!)
- Allergy eye drops
- Tiger Balm pain relief ointment
- 1% Hydrocortisone Cream for bug bites
- Home-made dry shampoo
- 30 SPF sunscreen stick
- Solid shampoo bar from Lush so that shampoo didn’t take up room in my liquids bag. Their stuff smells so nice and works well, too. Keep them in a separate pouch or container like one of their tins, though, because they come apart a little with use.
- IPSAB Tooth Powder. Hard to get used to when you're accustomed to paste. But it lasts forever.
- Aluminum-free deodorant stick
- A razor
- Toothbrush and holder
- Small hairbrush and a wide-toothed comb
- Cotton swabs
- 30 SPF Sunscreen stick
- Ben's insect repellent wipes. Has worked wonders on the notorious New Zealand sandflies, as well as mosquitoes.
- A box of tampons
- A small manicure set (had the complete thing for ages until I went through security in Melbourne, AUS last week and they made me throw the nail scissors out).
- Bandages in varying sizes
- 1 small roll of gauze
- 1 small roll of tape
- A few individually packaged alcohol wipes
- A small assortment of over the counter pills for motion sickness, cold & flu, headaches/pain, indigestion, and allergies.
- Some women's probiotic supplements and iron supplements. The former for general feminine health on the road and the latter for when our vegetarian diet is severely lacking iron.
- Prescribed traveler's diarrhea antibiotics (I will never not have some just in case after accidentally having a smoothie made with ice in Panama...)
- Headphones for listening to music, headphone splitter to share music/movies
- My brother's old LG G2 smartphone* +case +charger
- Samsung Series 3 Chromebook +charger
- GoPro Hero4 Silver +case +spare batteries +extra memory card +charger +mounts
+Warrantech 3 year accident protection plan
- Canon PowerShot SX510 HS* +charger +extra memory cards
- An all-in-one power converter and adapter. Similar to this.
*carried by Emmett in his pack
- Sample-sized eco-nut detergent. I have also just used Dr. Bronner's for sink laundry because it's all-purpose.
- A Turkish bath towel which folds down pretty small and dries really quickly (like overnight). Also can work as a sarong. I also brought the smallest-sized pack towel.
- Glasses +case / Old pair of glasses as backup
- Contacts +case / Six months of spares
- Mask & snorkel
- Reusable water bottle
- Camp mug
- This mealkit. It's got a bowl, plate, strainer/cutting board, cup, and sporknife all nested up in a tupperware that packs well. Perfect for camping or a poorly-stocked hostel kitchen (of which I have encountered many).
- Small flashlight
- Two books, a journal, three pens, a highlighter, two small gluesticks, and a thin notebook.
- Needles and thread
- Small lock & key for hostel dorm lockers
- In-Transit/Dorm Sleeping Essentials: Inflatable pillow, multiple pairs of ear plugs, & a sleep mask.
- Sleeping bag liner
- Bra Wallet: A perfect stash for small bills & a few cards if you're worried about pickpockets or don't have pockets on your clothes.
- Shark Waterproof Digital Retro Watch From 2013-2016 I had the green one. I got this blue one just before New Zealand. These watches are so useful because you can wear them all the time, keep track of two times at once (US time & NZ time for me), have a stopwatch, and two alarms
- Pro tip: wear the clunkiest shoes (the boots) on your flight to save space.
- Shout out to male readers: Better than men's Ex Officio, Emmett prefers these ultra lightweight undies for travel.
- Another Emmett recommendation that I second: liquid bandage. Perfect for small abrasions on the go. You can seal a cut and disinfect it all at once.
- Some other stuff that we've picked up along the way and used: a lighter, sweaters, a permanent marker for hitching signage, a small jar candle (even more effective than the lavender oil at combating stink hostels), culinary herbs & spices, and a pair of KEDS for me when I don't feel like wearing sandals or boots.