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. E-mail me if you’d like to be featured.
An interview with packing tips from Glamorous Traveller
Tell us a little about about who you are, what your blog is called, and where you’re traveling now.
Hi! I’m Liyana Jamil from GlamourousTraveller.com. I’m a lover of all things fashion and travel and am a firm believer that just because you’re living out of a suitcase doesn’t mean you need to look like a hobo! *unless dressing like a hobo is your thing… for which I will not judge. Promise*
Do you use a backpack or rolley suitcase for long-term travel?
I personally don’t do ultra long-term travel. My trips are usually up to two weeks max (damn you corporate life!) in which I would tend to just bring a carry on suitcase with me. Usually my convertible Eminent bag since it also has this magical ability to expand into a mid-medium size bag and can be checked in if last minute shopping occurs.
If I choose to do long-term travel though, I would prefer to set up base in another country altogether and then travel around from there, which means multiple boxes packed into a shipping container to bring all my shoes and handbags =) (editor’s note: a girl after my own heart…)
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’m a firm believer in carrying no more than three pairs of shoes whenever you travel. Typically flip flops or sandals that can also be used in showers, a pair of flats, and a backup pair of either flats or sandals. One pair should be ‘dressy’ enough that you could wear them to a nice restaurant and not feel of place. My favorite so far has been this pair of gold flecked Michael Kors ballet flats that have been ultra-comfortable for travel and still dressed up enough.
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?
One of my vices (apart from shopping!) has to be enjoying the local cuisine. I’m not too fussed about it when I travel as I believe I would only be there for that one moment in time, so why not just enjoy it. Could you imagine going to Italy and NOT eating the pasta because you don’t want to get fat??
Walking around usually helps, and I tend to walk a lot – up to 5 hours a day, which I then feel justifies having those profiteroles at the end of the day. And if all else fails, don’t worry, you can always hit the gym again once you get home.
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?
Funnily, I am one of those low maintenance travelers even though I like to advocate for stylish travelling. I bring a small packet of Clinique Moisturizing with me for my face that I use before sleeping and first thing in the morning. I also like to bring my anti-dandruff shampoo and conditioner since I have sensitive scalp. But beyond that, perhaps the one thing I must have because otherwise I feel blind would be my contact lens solution.
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?
For women, I do think the tendency to overpack looms large. If you had to make a choice, I suggest paring down on your bottoms whilst keeping your tops options more versatile. People tend to remember what you wore on top rather than bottom and so you can save some space. Make sure to always have at least one nice dress that can be dressed up or dressed down. And electrical things that take up space like hairdryers and hair straighteners should really be avoided. Let nature take its course and enjoy that windblown look, or at worse park yourself below a hand dryer in a public toilet to dry it out.
The Hippie in Heels has to ask, would you ever pack heels on a backpacking trip?
I don’t ever bring heels with me unless it’s for a very specific and dressy occasion (i.e. a wedding). If I want to dress up and feel taller, I would bring a pair of wedges. It’s a better alternative since you still have sufficient balance to walk in in case you need to emergency lug your backpack somewhere.
What type of outfit do you take in case of a night out clubbing or going to a fancy bar/hotel?
It would depend on the country and location itself. For example, going out to a club in Bali is very very casual (one can also head in wearing a pair of flip flops), but going out to a fancy bar in Singapore means dressing to the nines. I like to make sure that I have at least one dress that can be dressed up or down to make sure I get sufficient wear out of it. I’ve found a black maxi dress to be the best alternative and easiest to dress up with the right jewellery.
What is the one material thing you miss most from home while you’re roughin’ it abroad?
Perhaps it’s silly, but I miss my laptop a lot when I’m travelling. With the advances in smart phone technology I typically find having a cell phone (iPhone for me) sufficient to get me through most cities and travels. I tend to leave my laptop at home as I try to force myself to not be too dependent on it, but I do miss having a large screen to look at, and an easy ability to navigate and search for things.
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?
I believe this really depends on how long you’re travelling for. I think of flights as short haul (<4 hours) vs. long haul (>4 hours) flights. On a short haul, anything goes and you could deff go more glam than usual. But on a long haul flight I preach comfort over all else. I tend to take at least two seven hour flights a month and they’re tiring! The last thing you want is to have a wedgie from that thong you wore because you wanted to wear a cute tight dress for 10 hours straight!! This doesn’t mean you have to give up on the glam though. Even on long distance flights I try to look my best whilst balancing comfort in maxi skirts, or maxi dresses or slacks that aren’t too tight. I know a lot of people advocate wearing leggings or jeggings, but my body was just not built for that.
And for the girls, what are your absolute favorite make up products you take with you on a trip?
Similar to my beauty products, I am very very basic when it comes to travel makeup. I usually only wear my Bobbi Brown eyeliner and a selection of lipsticks (Estee Lauder or MAC), I couldn’t be bothered to put anything else on since they tend to just leak off my face when I start sweating.
Do you have a special skin care routine on the road to prevent breakouts from the stress, sweat, and humidity?
Wash your face! I know it’s very basic, but sometimes just having some wet wipes with you to wipe your face down will really help you feel fresher as well as making sure all that sweat and grime and bus exhaust fumes don’t clog up your pores.
What does your most worn, daily outfit look like while you’re traveling?
This has changed much over time, but looking at my old travel pictures I find myself always having at least a pair of jeans and a nice top whilst on the go. Perhaps because a pair of jeans is so universal and so generally accepted that it’s the easiest fail safe outfit. Since I’m from the tropics, I’ve also mastered the art of wearing denim in summer heat with no issues.
Tell us the ONE thing you pack for a long backpacking trip & would never leave behind.
When I go for a proper backpacking trip I always make sure to have a good travel towel with me. You’re not always guaranteed to have one if you’re staying a hostel or an AirBnB and there’s something nice about knowing that towel has only wiped down YOUR body.
You can only pick one: iPod or Kindle?
Good old fashioned books for me! I love listening to public sound be it the chatter of others in an airport lounge or the thudding of steps whilst jogging Vondelpark. But I do need books to occupy my time in between flights or just as down time sometimes.
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!
The world is a truly magical and an amazing adventure. Simply stepping out into the unknown challenges your preconceived notion about what life really is about. Beyond anything else it teaches you compassion, humility and appreciation for this wonderful place we live in. So step out into the unknown and be prepared to have your mind blown!
Liyana Jamil is the founder and owner of GlamourousTraveller.com a website dedicated to her love for travel and fashion. She was born and raised in Malaysia but has travelled to more than 30 countries and lived in at least five of them in her last thirty (or so) years. Her mission in life is to eradicate the thought that fishermen pants are what all Asians wear at home and that ‘homeless juggler’ is a look one should aspire to when travelling. You can find more on her wardrobe and travel adventures trough her website, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter accounts
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