Days to go: 28
So the time is now: which clothes to pack!
I have literally sat and made lists and crossed things out and made more lists about which clothes I was going to bring with me. I’m not normally that fussed about clothes, but with the limit of one 23kg suitcase, I had to be creative. One thing I can highly recommend (as you can see in the picture) is vacuum bags. These little beauties can be bought in bog-standard packs of 2 (in various sizes) in any Poundland store near you. They can reduce the space you need when packing and thus mean you can pack more! All in all, with most of the clothes and my towel packed into 2 vacuum bags, it weighed less than 5kg – quite good I’d say!
Now, with this list I had to bear in mind that I’m going to a place where the climate can vary between very hot and humid to very cold and snowing. That means: layers!! It means a variety of clothing types, but with the luggage limits it means working on roughly a 7 day cycle (for washing purposes).
– 7 pairs underwear
– 3 bras (2 normal/1 sports)
– 7 pairs socks (4 thick/3 normal)
– 4 pairs trousers (jeans/combats/crops/jogging)
– Pyjamas (trousers/shorts)
– 1 jumper/1 hoodie/1 light jacket/1 heavy jacket
– 2 spaghetti tops
– 4 t-shirts
– long-sleeved top
– summer dress
Shoes: docs (to be worn in plane); slip on shoes; walking sandals; heels
As you can see, I’ve kept a bunch of my clothes separate from the vacuum bags. The underwear and socks can be easily rolled up and put in shoes/handy gaps, so there’s no need for these to take up space in the vacuum bags (don’t overfill these or they’ll split, which is a right pain!). The other pile contains 2 sets of clothes – one to wear on the plane and one set for my hand luggage (because you never know if your bag’s going to get lost, or some disgruntled passenger is going to be sick on you….)
This is only going to be a small section, but it’s still an important one. Although many of you out there may not be fantastic sewers, I would recommend taking a small emergency sewing kit out with you (for all those loose buttons or rips on the clothes you don’t really want to replace). I have quite a lot in my kit (mainly because I intend to do more than just repairs while I’m out in Japan), but you can get by with just a few of these basic items (in bold):
– Black/White Thread
– Safety Pins (various sizes)
– Tailor’s Chalk
– Hemming Tape
– Tape measure
– Various sizes of needle
– Assorted Buttons
– Small Scissors
– Fabric Scissors
You should be able to get all this out there, but it would be easier to have a small stash with you and then you won’t have the panic of trying to find needle and thread when you have a huge hole in your trousers!