Welcome to Backpacker’s Boutique. Every Sunday, this spot will feature a new travel blogger. Some weeks it will be a really fun interview about packing, fashion, and fitness so you can snoop inside their bags & lives a little bit and other weeks it’ll be a detailed luxury guide to a city the featured blogger/expat knows very well. I’m looking for more participants, so e-mail me if you’d like to be featured.
An interview with packing tips from Breadcrumbs Guide
Tell us a little about who you are, what your blog is called, and where you’re traveling now.
Hi! I’m Sonja Riemenschneider, creator of Breadcrumbs Guide, a blog designed to provide destination specific resources including detailed itineraries, packing lists and budgets. My most popular resources on the site right now are my Big Island 7 Day Itinerary for Hawaii and my 10 Day Peru Itinerary. Right now I am based in my home city, St. Paul, Minnesota. I’m also getting my PhD in Chemical Engineering.
Do you use a backpack or rolley suitcase for long-term travel?
Both! Since I don’t travel full time, my trips are never longer than 2 weeks. I tend to customize my packing for each specific destination. When I’m hiking the Inca Trail or on a canoe trip through the Minnesota Boundary Waters I bring my Osprey Ariel 65L backpack. It fits all of my normal stuff plus a sleeping bag and sleeping pad and some other camping gear. When I’m not doing a lot of hiking, I usually bring my FUL 20” carry on roller bag. It has a sleek profile and fits into every overhead bin I’ve ever tried.
What shoes are your every day walking around, sightseeing shoes? And how many pairs of shoes do you pack for a long-term backpacking trip?
I always bring at least 2 pairs of shoes. When I’m visiting cities, I wear my black leather flats (which bit the dust on my trip to Peru – still looking for a replacement!). In hot, beachy destinations, I wear my Kelly & Katie sandals that work for nights out or on the beach (These also bit the dust when I tripped on a sidewalk in Fort Kochi, India and ripped the strap out. I really need to go shoe shopping!)
If I think I’ll be hiking I also bring my North Face waterproof hiking boots or if I’m going to a colder climate, I’ll bring my Steve Madden leather Troopa boots instead of the sandals.
When you’re pigging out trying new foods, other than typical walking & sightseeing in towns- what do you do to keep away the love-handles?
Oh right, I should be doing that. Anyone who’s read my blog probably knows how much I hate running. I love to walk, on the other hand, so I usually choose that over taking public transit. I also love checking out what hiking trails are available or going for a swim in the ocean, if I’m on a coast.
When you’re traveling, do you pick up beauty & shower products while you go or are there products you can’t live without- what are they?
I usually bring what I need, since my trips are never longer than 2 weeks. I love LUSH solid shampoo (who doesn’t at this point?) because I’m always struggling to fit my liquids in a quart sized bag for air travel, and with solid shampoo, I can stash it wherever I want! Jumping juniper is my favorite. I always bring some Aveeno lotion too since scented hotel lotions give me hives!
For those who think living out of a backpack is impossible, what tips do you have for saving space or what things have you learned you actually don’t need to pack?
Shoes take up so much space. I pack my flat, low-profile shoes and wear my bigger walking shoes on travel days since they don’t fit easily in a backpack or suitcase. I also love my super-compressible North Face Thermoball jacket for cold weather. It is really warm and compresses into its own pocket, taking up less space than a pair of jeans.
Another major space saver (gentlemen, skip ahead) has been switching to OB tampons. I used to fill an entire pocket of my suitcase with period supplies, and now I can fit everything I need in a tiny pocket of my toiletries bag!
The Hippie in Heels has to ask, would you ever pack heels on a backpacking trip?
Nope. I’m a flats girl all around.
What type of outfit do you take in case of a night out clubbing or going to a fancy bar/hotel?
My sister got me a tribal pattern mini skirt in Thailand that I love. I can pair it with a black top and leggings or tights in more modest (or cold) countries. I finish the look off with some statement earrings, like the Kit Heath champagne hoops I found cheap on Ebay!
What is the one material thing you miss most from home while you’re roughin’ it abroad?
Not really a material thing, but I miss my golden retriever, Lily, the most of all. I’d never take her on an airplane, but there are so many times I wish I could bring her with me! I think she’d make a good traveling pup!
Airport style: love looking LA paparazzi ready or could care less? Do you pack “plane” or “relaxing” clothes for a long-term backpacking trip or would it take up too much space?
My normal style is pretty casual and comfortable so I just wear my normal clothes on the plane. You’ll probably find me wearing stretchy jeans from Express, a light weight cotton top, and a cardigan.
What are your absolute favorite make up products you take with you on a trip?
I have a super basic make up routine, and only pack foundation, mascara, and lip gloss. For my liquid foundation, I’m loyal to Loreal’s True Match Super Blendable Makeup with SPF. My favorite lip gloss is bareMinerals Pretty Amazing in Courage.
Do you have a special skin care routine on the road to prevent breakouts from the stress, sweat, and humidity?
I love Neutrogena make up remover cleansing wipes. They don’t count as a liquid for TSA (yay!) and are super convenient. I am looking for a less wasteful alternative, though. I don’t mess with face masks or peels because honestly, I wouldn’t know what I was doing!
What does your most worn, daily outfit look like while you’re traveling?
Put together skinny jeans, a scoop neck top, a cardigan, flats and a layer of dog hair and you’ve got my classic look! Even if Lily isn’t traveling with me, her fur manages to find its way into my suitcase. As I write this I’m looking down to see drool splotches from a slimy tennis ball covering my jeans. Thanks Lily!
Tell us the ONE thing you pack for a long backpacking trip & would never leave behind.
My camera! I take a camera with me everywhere, whether it’s my full frame Sony a7, my compact Canon S110, or just the camera on my iPhone. You never can predict when you’ll come across something that would make a great photo and the best camera is always the one you have with you.
Thank you for interviewing on Hippie in Heels, before you go can you tell readers that may be on the fence about taking a trip why YOU think they should go for it!
You will always be able to find an excuse NOT to go on that trip you’ve been dreaming of. But, there is almost always a way to make it work. People think that travel is incredibly expensive – and it can be – but there are lots of ways to travel more economically. If you look for deals, you can often find amazingly cheap flights, or even get free flights with credit card sign up bonuses. I love helping my readers find sneaky ways to get travel deals, so hit me up if you need some ideas!
Once you’re traveling, there are lots of ways to save money, and often the best experiences are the ones that don’t cost anything at all. When you’re watching the sun set from the top of Hawaii’s tallest volcano, it won’t make a difference if you drove up there yourself or if you went on an expensive tour. Save up your money, find those travel deals, and GO!
A self-diagnosed travel planning addict, Sonja Riemenschneider spends her free time planning and preparing itineraries for trips all over the world. Then she gets out there and puts them to the test. To share her travel planning passions, she created Breadcrumbs Guide, a blog that leaves a trail of crumbs in the form of advice, packing lists, budgets, and itineraries to help fellow travel lovers follow in her footsteps. Follow along on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
Shop Sonja’s Faves!
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Thanks for this link, Rachel. I will be signing up for her blog – especially for the posts on The Big Island.
Thanks for having me, Rachel! Always fun talking packing and travel style!