After a long wait I'm finally off to SE Asia on tuesday with my girlfriend. We're going for about 6 months. I've been before myself a few times but this will be her first time. So here's my predicament - She wants to bring a pair of flip-flops, a pair of converse and 3 pairs of sandals so she'll have something to go with whatever she wearing when we go out at night. She's not stupid, just a bit naive. I've told her this is ridiculous but she's not having it.I need help convincing her.
#1 humpdawg has been a member since 18/5/2009. Posts: 40
Are the Converse normal lace-up running / cross-training style shoes? If so, they would be WAY too hot and uncomfortable over there - especially if worn with socks. She would be better to get a pair of Teva's or similar if you plan to do any hiking or just want to be comfortable while doing a lot of walking.
In terms of 3 pairs of sandals - if she can't do without these, I would stick to one pair only. Bring basic go-with-anything in black. Point out that once you are there if she really, really feels the need to have more variety (and I bet she won't!) she can always buy more over there (stylish and very cheap).
The flip flops are good for the beach, the shower, etc.
If she's on the smallish size, she will be able to buy shoes and clothing along the way. It would be a bummer for her to not be able to enjoy these shopping opps if she just doesn't have the room for anything else.
Get her to pack her backpack now with everything she plans to bring. Then take her for a walk around the neighborhood. Be sure to include a few flights of stairs. If you live near a beach, walk through the sand for 1/2 km. Or if you live somewhere cold at the moment, go find a sauna and get her to move around in one of those with the pack for 1/2 an hour. That will soon her sort out packing priorities!
I'm with busylizzie - appeal to her sense of shopping. Clearly the woman loves shoes and what a chance to pick up some gorgeous new ones that not every other girl in her office will be wearing. In fact, she could probably drop a lot of other clothing out of her pack based on that notion :)
#5 momof4 has been a member since 16/3/2010. Posts: 12
.....She'll probably end up dumping a couple of pairs along the way. I first travelled with a pair of hiking boots, trainers, flip flops and sandals, and ended up just with flip flops and boots (my feet are big and I was doing a lot of trekking). I got fed up of carting the rest of the stuff around with me. The problem is, you do get bored of wearing the same clothes and shoes all the time - that's where the markets come in, but you have to pass on other shoes/clothes, or you run out of space.
If she's a real shoe girl, there's some fabulous shoe makers in Phnom Penh where she can get new sandals handmade to measure for about $18. They have all colours of leather and so many styles and heels to choose from. That might convince her to leave some space in her pack ...
In Phnom Penh a few months ago, I met four girls travelling together who had three travel hairdryers and two sets of straighteners between them. Couldn't understand why, if they really felt they needed these appliances, they didn't just have one of each and share the carrying!
I bet she's planning on taking too many clothes as well! Be sure and insist SHE carries her own stuff! She'll almost certainly be forced to dump a lot of it or leave it in storage somewhere anyway. Personally I find a pair of tevas and a pair of flipflops is all you need but I'm not exactly a fashion icon. :-)
I am a 20 year old girl that loves clothes and shoes... last year I took walking shoes, flip flops, sandals and some little white shoes 'just in case', plus a four pairs of shorts, a hoodie, a few long sleeve tshirts...AND I SENT ALL THE EXTRAS BACK AFTER 6 DAYS!!! I cannot stress to your girlfriend how heavy even 10-12lb is to carry in the 30 degree+ heat! Even just from the ferry to the taxi. It. Is. Killer. I've mentioned it on this forum before but i distinctly remember one morning walking to the trainstation that i threw my pack on the floor and said I wanted to go home because I couldn't take carrying it anymore, so my boyfriend had to carry his 80l pack on his back, and then mine in his arms. Plus, tell your girlfriend that once you get into the travelling thing you'll find you're not really going to 'dress up' as you would on holiday in Spain or something. Honestly, you don't need that many options and, as has been said above, you can buy so many different things out there that you'll kick yourself if you've already got your bag full of stuff from home.
Its been said a thousand times before, but having a pack that is too heavy can seriously ruin your trip... hopefully your girlfriend won't make the same mistakes I did if she realises how little you need before u go!
Thanks for the replies, never thought I'd get so many.
Well, we're back home about 3 weeks now and I've been humbled. She came back with more shoes and clothes then she left with. (I'm looking at you Hoi An). Here's the list -
- 1 pair of converse all stars
- 2 pairs of flip-flops
- 2 pairs of (going out) sandles
- 1 pair of knock off North Face trekking shoes from Sapa (great quatity I might add)
- 1 pair of suede sandles (Hoi An tailor shop)
- 1 pair of suede boots (Hoi An tailor shop)
And on top of this the clothes she brought and bought along the way plus her girlie/make up bag. And all this fit into a 55 litre rucksack - I S**T YOU NOT! If that bag had burst it would have made international news.
After a couple of days shopping in Bangkok before we went home we purchased a carry on bag for the plane to spread the load.
But there you go. It can be done. My hat goes off to you girls.
#10 humpdawg has been a member since 18/5/2009. Posts: 40
The trekking shoes only in Sapa, the boots from Hoi An weren't worn at all. One pair of flip flops got knicked but the rest of the stuff she wore. Reading back on my post might give someone the impression that she's like some kind of diva or one of those tarts off Jersey Shore but she's not like that at all. Just a girl who can't pass up a bargin when she sees one. I'm sure we all know one or two of those.
#12 humpdawg has been a member since 18/5/2009. Posts: 40
Well, as most people here know, I don't wear open toed footwear. I don't like it from a comfort standpoint, I don't like it from a fashion standpoint. I don't find it too hot here to wear shoes with socks. Your girlfriend sounds like my wife. She has tons of shoes. When we go somewhere, I am the pack mule. That's my job.
I think she does Liz. I know my daughter does. When we moved to Thailand her bags weighed 22 kilos - which was her limit on the plane. Mine weighed 20, 12 of which was her stuff. I carried it all everywhere. It's a good thing I was used to that from my time in the Army. It was ridiculous.
We all need a pack mule. Mine carried the SLR and the portable DVD player (yes, we were that sad but boy were we glad of it on those 22 hour train journeys in China) plus most of the toiletries and I complained that I had to carry the guidebook. Even the guys who stick bags on buses / boats etc. were shocked at just how heavy his bag was. Character building I say.
Re the shoes though - Birkenstocks. Mine became like an extension of my feet. And a prettier pair of flipflops to double up as "evening" shoes.
Actually I lied...I usually carry 3 pairs of shoes. Flipflops, teva like sandals, and old fashioned jelly bean beach sandals
which cost about $2 and are very hard to find in fashionable shoe shops these days, but jolly useful as they prevent your feet getting embedded with sea urchin spines and dying from inadvertently standing on a stone fish.
But some b*stard nicked my jelly bean shoes early on during my last trip. :-(