Experience, Married Backpackers, Travel, Travel Tips

What to Pack on a Road Trip

New South Wales Road Trip - Words and Wanderlust


Borne out of innumerable escapes, the husband and I have developed an uncanny precision and efficiency in packing our bags. We still struggle to pack light, of course; but we no longer stuff our whole lives into our backpacks like how we used to on our first few trips together.

In this post, we will let you in on the secret, using photos from the contents of our bags on an actual road trip. On an average, my— and I say MY because the husband almost always leaves the packing to me— packing rate is around 30 minutes for every 4 days for 2 people. That is at 100% efficiency— meaning, I won’t forget to pack an extra razor to shave my armpits or a pair of trunks for my husband in case a swimming opportunity comes up.


What to pack in a road trip - shoes
Havaianas, Nike

Flipflops | Thongs (AU), Jandals (NZ), Tsinelas (PH). For beach frolicking et al. I packed a pair of red slims, while the husband picked a pair of limited edition Where’s Waldo thongs.

Sports Shoes. For active pursuits like a bit of running or biking. (Optional, especially when you’re not taking your own car)

Outdoors Sandals. If it get’s too hot to be wearing trainers. We chanced upon these comfortable sandals with Ergonomic design in an outdoors shop somewhere in Parramatta.


what to pack
Billabong, Factorie, Jayjays, Cotton On, Ripcurl, Dresslink

Since this trip happened just when Autumn was starting, but was still relatively hot in Australia, I brought tank tops. To create a bit of variety, my tank tops came with either frills or bareback or racerback et al.

For weather changes (or to layer basic tanks), I also packed a hoodie and a zip-up jacket.

Now, no matter how rowdy the type of travel is, there is always a chance of a party. Therefore, a piece of cotton, no-need-to-iron LBD went into the bag too.

What to pack in a road trip - men 2
Khao San Road, Oakley, Quicksilver, Hurley, Roger David, Abercrombie and Fitch, Calvin Klein

The husband, on the other hand, packed a couple of beer singlets from our Southeast Asian travels, surfer/sport tees, a couple of collared tops in case he needed to dress up, a hoodie, and a zip-up jacket.


What to pack in a road trip
Chiang Mai night market, Billabong, Cotton On, Hurley, Oneill

Those who follow our travels know these are my staples: Genie pants, denim pekpek shorts, and boardies.

What to pack in a road trip - men
Fila, Billabong, Cotton On, Factorie, Oakley

To match, the husband threw in jogging pants, denim shorts, board shorts and casual walking shorts


What to pack in a road trip - beach
Calvin Klein, Ripcurl, Oneill, Billabong

For underwear, my rule of thumb is (days of travel) + 3. For this trip, I went for the quick-dry, cotton/polyester ones; low/bikini-cut.

The pairs of bras I pack, however, is dependent on the type of travel. For this trip, I knew I’d be in swimwear most of the time anyway, so I only packed 1 pair with removable straps.

For swimwear, I try to bring as many as I can, primarily because I don’t want to be photographed in just one pair. #uniform LMAO. I also try to pack a rash vest.

Although I wasn’t able to photograph the husband’s underwear stash, he basically had similar items: briefs [(days of travel) + 3], a couple of boxer shorts and a rash vest.

We also packed at least 2 pairs of socks each.

What to pack in a road trip 2

With toiletries, we stuck to the basics: deodorant, soap, shampoo, lotion, razor, wet wipes, toothbrush, toothpaste, lip balm, cotton buds, sunscreen and perfume.

Because a girl always needs more, I also packed a bottle of hair conditioner, a pack of tampons/ panty liners, face powder and lipstick.


Well, that’s what went in our big duffel bags. In our daypacks, on the other hand, went the essentials: a pair of sunglasses, cellphones, power banks/ chargers, wallets (with cash, cards, ID, drivers license, passport), a book to read, headwear, a few chocolate bars, a bottle of water, and a can of energy drink.

Easter Weekend Roadtrip Australia 1

The key is always, for one to effectively factor in together the weather, type of travel, type of activities that will most likely be done and the number of days on the road. Once we have these things down pat, packing would definitely be a breeze.

There is an art and science to packing– one that I’ve learnt through years and years of overpacking.

Happy travels!


Do you have any packing hacks you’d want to share? 

Published by Rain Campanilla

Born under the star of Sagittarius, the centaur of adventure; and in the year of the Rat, the ever curious--- Travel is my birthright.

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