Making lists – 2 days to go

2 days until paradise!

For once I’m being organized. It’s a strange thing, packing early. I don’t like to take too much stuff when I travel, and I’ve learned my lessons about taking a large suitcase anywhere. No one wants to haul around a 25kg suitcase around Egypt for a month, right 20 year old me?

My partner and I are sharing a suitcase for Rarotonga. It’s slightly larger than carry-on size, which is plenty of space for 2 of us for 9 nights.

This is a great opportunity to take any sample size products you’ve been stashing. Shampoo, conditioner, body wash, soap, body lotion, toothpaste, mouth wash – you name it. Or if you purchase travel size bottles from the dollar store, you can fill them with everything you need, and you won’t have to take any giant bottles of shampoo etc.

I always start out over-packing, then take another look and remove about half. I estimate not doing any washing, or minimal washing in a sink. Some places offer free use of a laundry, but sometimes the machines are dirty. It’s a good idea to take some washing powder in a ziplock bag, so you can wash what you need in your room. I even just use the hotel soap to wash clothes.


  • 1 outfit to wear to the wedding
  • 3 beach dresses
  • 1 pair of shorts
  • 3 tops
  • 1 pair of jandals for the beach
  • 1 pair of sandals for the wedding
  • 2 pair of sneakers to wear on the plane/any activities
  • 3 pairs of socks
  • 5 pairs of underwear
  • 2 bras
  • 2 bikini tops/4 bikini bottoms

I wear comfy pajama-like clothing on the plane. Baggy sweater/hoodie and lounge pants/track pants. I hate being cold and uncomfortable for hours on a plane, so I opt for things that are good to sleep in.

For makeup I am only taking waterproof eyeliner and mascara, and some invisible powder. I have very oily skin and because I tan easily there is little point in me taking foundation. I will sweat it off, and within 10 minutes of being in the sun I will tan too much for the colour to match anyway.

I’ve added a few items to my general list since my last post:

  • After sun lotion
  • Toiletries – deodorant/shampoo/conditioner/body wash/toothbrush/toothpaste
  • Plasters/band-aids
  • Lucas’ Papaw ointment (great for insect bites etc!)
  • Chapstick
  • Toilet roll

There is nothing worse than going somewhere new, not having something like a toothbrush and not knowing where to get one. If you’re like me, you probably feel like you need to feel clean after a flight. Just being able to brush your teeth and take a shower is wonderfully refreshing.

I also realised I have been going overboard with deciding to take food.

It’s now going to be:

  • 1 box of cereal
  • 1 litre of long-life milk (please don’t explode in my suitcase)
  • 1 packet of crackers
  • small packet of cheese
  • jerky

There are morning and night markets in Rarotonga, it’s just a matter of finding ones near your hotel. They have lots of cheap street food, fresh fruit, and there are always local restaurants, bakeries and delis to try.

Don’t forget to organise airport transfers. I had been stressing out about ours, since we arrive at 10:20pm and hadn’t heard from the hotel. I contacted them twice this week, once via the general contact form on their website, and once by email and hadn’t heard anything. I worry about things like not being able to check-in because we’re arriving late. Today I phoned them, and they were super nice about it. The lady on the phone knew who I was before I said anything, and she assured me she’d gotten my email and it was all arranged. I don’t stress about much, but things like that drive me nuts (and having to fill out forms – I hate forms). Usually, hotels will contact you about a week before you’re due to arrive to see if you need transfers.

The last thing I would recommend is to withdraw any cash you’re wanting to take ahead of time. At least if you can use your own bank’s ATM, you’re not paying any extra fees. Also if you’re arriving late to your destination, the money exchange places at the airport may be closed.

I cannot wait to go, the weather here is atrocious at the moment, even though it’s supposed to be spring.

Bring on the cocktails!


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