Blog #4: Packing list

On a certain moment the time is there to think about what to pack. You probably recognize the phenomenon that one place in you home slowly transforms into an assembly point :). Basically all you need is a passport and a credit card, but some other stuff may come in handy. This blog is all about the handy stuff.

First of all, if you travel by camper a suitcase is not ideal. The room you have inside a camper is limited and opening up a suitcase every morning requires some space. In our camping we had to convert our living room into a bedroom and vice versa. Expert opinion: within a few weeks you will stop doing this and your living room becomes a lounge (i.e. permanent bedroom), which will limit your space even more. A backpack is recommended.   

Keeping your backpack organized is quite a challenge. You can pack your stuff in so-called organizer bags with different colours to recognize which stuff is in which bag. Or just use the cheaper version; bin liners. It also helps to keep your things dry when travelling to places with high humidity.

New Zealand has a lot of sandflies (mosquito-like insects), so everything to protect yourself from them is welcome: insect repellant! But also a mosquito net; if you want to leave the backdoor of your camper open in the evening you can try to span the net in the door opening to keep the sandflies out.

The car radio reception outside villages decreases rapidly, and trust me, you will find yourself a lot of time in the outback. If you’re a music lover, take a few CD’s with you or download some Spotify playlists for offline use. We spend a lot of time buying CD’s in towns, which also was fun and brought us some new idols and a big CD collection.

With a Dutch license you are allowed to drive in New Zealand. Officially you need an international driver’s license. Probably you won’t need it, but it’s typically one of those things that when you need it and you don’t have it you’re in trouble. In the Netherlands the ANWB issues international driver’s licences.

There is always a moment during your travel when you need one of these kind of things: duct tape, clips, safety pins, a rope or a lighter. You won’t regret taking them with you, for instance to span your mosquito net or to hang your wet clothes.

A good photo will give you the ultimate, vivid memory of your trip. Nowadays there’s almost no need to have a SLR camera; you don’t have to be a great photographer to make great pictures with your smartphone. To be fully equipped you can purchase a mini wide angle lens for your smartphone.

Second thing about photography: landscape photo’s are great, but they’re even greater when you’re in it :). A selfie stick can make this happen. Two other advantages: your face doesn’t look awkward when you try to smile but also have to push the shutter and the ‘normal’ camera gives higher quality pictures than the ‘selfie’ camera.

Tip: a USB charger (for your phone) and a powerbank are two other must-have items on the packing list. Most campers have power, but this only lasts for about two days without charging and you have to be wired to charge your phone (at least in our case). If you choose not to charge the in-car-battery for a longer period of time, but you still want to have your phone, e-reader and/or iPad charged, this is a good device to have. Google maps also drains the battery of your phone, so if you’re using this app charging while navigating is essential. Third, in a lot of areas there is a weak or absent mobile phone signal, this drains your battery because your phone will constantly search for a signal. Flight mode / switching off your mobile network can help saving battery.

To list all the points mentioned above:

  • Backpack and organizer bags / binliners
  • Insect repellant and a mosquito net
  • CD’s
  • International driver’s license
  • Duct tape, clips, safety pins, a rope or a lighter
  • Mini lenses for your phone and a selfie stick
  • USB car charger

In my next blog I will highlight some mobile phone related tips for your NZ trip!

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