Packing tips from the Pros: Alice Nettleingham

Alice Nettleingham is an adventurous British chick who has been travelling since 2010. You'll find her with my backpack hiking a mountain, driving a motorbike or getting lost with the locals in a back street somewhere. She believes in using travel as a challenge to face your fears, push your boundaries and reach your full potential.

She is a big advocate of women's rights and loves how wonderfully amazing and strong women are. Even if a solo female traveller can't see how good she is yet, after reading her blog… she will. Her travel blog Teacake Travels is all about honest, inspirational and motivational stories which are real, bold and straight to the point. She has been a burlesque dancer in Shanghai, travelled Bangladesh alone, driven from the UK to Mongolia and back with an all-girl team on the Mongol Rally and studied Jiu Jitsu in the mountains of China. Along with how to prepare for a trip and get the most out of a destination once you've arrived, you'll find plenty of resources to sink your teeth into on Teacake Travels.

In this post, Alice will give you her best packing tips!

What's usually in your carry-on?

I like to keep things simple. I purposely travel light so that I can jump on any mode of transport I want, without worrying how I'm going to get my belongings to come with me. I'm admittedly usually travelling in Asia, so my backpacking packing guide is what I follow every time (and I don't have to worry about big winter coats). All in all, my bag consists of clothes, blogging equipment and my one golden item: my passport.

Tell us about the usual type of clothes you bring when travelling? Do you pick your wardrobe meticulously, plan a day by day outfit, etc.?

I definitely have some favourites when it comes to my clothes. I love my bandanas, so I'll usually pack three. I use them as accessories to jazz up my hair, as a mask when I'm on my bike or as a place to hide my valuables when I wear one round my wrist. I'll always have 'the dress' which comes out for special occasions and a long-sleeved shirt to protect me from the sun and scrapes when I'm on my bike. Apart from that, it's highly-durable, quick-drying underwear and my favourite high-waisted denim shorts. Clothes naturally get worn, so if there's something I see in a local market and desperately want to buy, I tell myself something else will have to go from my backpack if I want it. It just keeps me in check and makes me ask myself if I really want that item of clothing.

What's the best packing tip anyone has given you? Who gave it?

Don't use a backpack which is top-loading and for the love of your own insanity, invest in packing cubes and roll your clothes to fit them in. I've been travelling for nearly 7 years. You quickly pick this thing up from other travellers when you're backpacking around in hostels and taking out items from your backpack all the time.

What is the best thing about packing light/heavy?

Freedom. Not having so many things just makes life a lot simpler. When you only have 1 or 2 dresses to wear, picking out an outfit for the night is a piece of cake.

How does your packing for a travel routine look like?

As a travel blogger, you might think that I'm the most organised woman out there. Far from it. You'll find me packing an hour before I'm meant to go. When I went off to The Mongol Rally (where you drive from the UK to Mongolia in a car for 2 months straight), I packed in 30 minutes. It is kind of ridiculous but having a packing list to follow and having packed so many times in my life now, I kind of know what I'm doing. I still forget stuff though. That's because I'm an airhead.

How do you deal with "excess baggage" situations? Do you pay extra? Lessen your load? 

Nope. That has nothing to do with me. I once had to pay for excess baggage in Russia, and after that, I vowed to pack as light as I possibly could. I avoid fees by packing light and sticking to my carry-on backpack.

What's your best-kept packing secret?

Don't fold your clothes. Roll them. You'll save so much space by doing this.

Quick Q's

Favourite region? Asia

Favourite country? Bangladesh

Favourite city? Busan, South Korea

Favourite beach? Brighton, England

Favourite food? Kimchi Jiggae

Favourite mode of transport? Motorbike!

Favourite book? 'Vagabonding' by Rolf Potts

Window or aisle seat? Aisle

Carry-on or check-in? Carry-on

Hostel or hotel? Hostel

What's your favourite design from the Cabin Zero collection? The Mysore Red Classic 44L Ultra Light Cabin Bag

You can follow Alice’s travel blog for more teacake travels and also join her on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, and Instagram.


Alice answered all your questions about his best-kept packing tips, and now it’s your time to answer his!

Alice asks: What country would you pick to take your next solo holiday?

Click this link to answer the question and get a chance to win a 28L Cabin bag!

The winner was announced on Tuesday, 18th of April 2017 on the linked post on our Facebook Timeline. 

Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.