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 the Global Couple

Tell us a little about about who you are, what your blog is called, and where you’re traveling now.

My name is Petra and I’m a mid-20s New Zealander. I love photography, the outdoors, and street food. My husband Shaun and I run our travel blog, The Global Couple. We’re currently at home in Auckland, New Zealand after travelling in North America for most of 2014. We’re working and saving up for our next trip!

packing tips from the global couple portland

Do you use a backpack or rolley suitcase for long-term travel?

I use a backpack. Both Shaun and I have Macpac Pegasus 55L packs (Macpac is a local New Zealand brand). The quality of the fabric and sewing is excellent and they don’t show any signs of wear and tear after months of being hauled around. For our next trip, though, I’m looking at getting a smaller pack that will also be good for hiking when we are travelling.

What shoes are your every day walking around, sightseeing shoes? 

I usually pack about 3 or 4 pairs of shoes – Havaiana jandals (flip flops), Teva Tirra sandals, Nike Free Runners, and sometimes Converse black leather street shoes. I usually wear the Teva sandals or Nike Free Runners for sightseeing. It really depends on the destination as to how many pairs I take – I’ll remove the Converse shoes if I’m going somewhere like SE Asia, but in 2014 we were mostly in the US and Canada so they were great for a slightly nicer shoe that I could wear out to dinner and drinks!

packing tips from the global couple

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?

I hate to say it but I’m pretty lazy when it comes to doing extra exercise while travelling. I’m lucky enough that I don’t really put on much weight while travelling, especially when in hot destinations it’s easy to sweat it out! We tend to do heaps of walking though (upwards of 10km per day) so that keeps the blubber at bay. Sometimes we’ll hire bicycles too.

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’m not that fussy with hair products, so I just use a cheap one from the supermarket – Tresemme is usually my go-to brand. I have quite sensitive facial skin though, so I take a bottle of Cetaphil face wash and Cetaphil moisturizer with SPF so I can avoid breakouts and dry skin! I always take a mascara with me, and my latest favourite is one from Sephora.

packing tips from the global couple south island road trip

For those who thing 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?

Packing cells! These things are genius – I have one for tops, one for bottoms, one for underwear and I also have a compression sack for bulkier items like sweatshirts. I’ve learned that I don’t need a hair straightener, heels, or many fancy clothes – I generally wear pretty casual stuff so I’ll only take one dress that can be squashed into a fist-sized ball.

The Hippie in Heels has to ask, would you ever pack heels on a backpacking trip?

It depends on where I’m going. If I’m heading to Asia then definitely no, but perhaps I would if I was going to Europe or North America. I don’t wear heels much when I’m at home so it’s even less likely that I would wear them on a trip!

packing tips from the global couple whistler

What type of outfit do you take in case of a night out clubbing or going to a fancy bar/hotel?

As I said above, I usually take one dress. In terms of shoes, If I’ve got heels with me I’ll wear them but otherwise I’ll try to pick up a cheap pair of nice sandals from a shop. I don’t do a lot of clubbing so it’s probably not something I really need to think about that much!

What is the one material thing you miss most from home while you’re roughin’ it abroad?

My pet cat Lemmi (is she a material thing?) – she’s 20 and so loving, and I miss her like crazy when we’re away from home.

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 don’t really care how I look at the airport. I take exercise leggings with me for the plane (and I also use them for sightseeing and hiking etc.) and just wear a comfy t-shirt and cardigan that I would be taking with me anyway. I’ll also usually wear my largest pair of shoes (Nike’s usually) so they don’t take up space in my pack!

packing tips from the global couple

And for the girls, what are your absolute favorite make up products you take with you on a trip?

Sephora mascara, MAC Mineralize Skinfinish powder, MAC Bronzer, eyeliner (just a generic brand), MAC eyeshadow, Lippy, and sometimes a waterproof mascara too. If I’m in a hot, sticky climate I usually only wear mascara – the powder runs off within a few minutes!

Do you have a special skin care routine on the road to prevent breakouts from the stress, sweat, and humidity?

Cetaphil is my go-to brand for skin care. If it’s really hot and sweaty I tend to wash my face a couple of times a day. I sometimes take facial wipes to get rid of sweat and grime if it’s really that hot and sticky!

What does your most worn, daily outfit look like (for example mine is high waisted jeans short or a maxi skirt with a crop top!) while you’re traveling?

Black short shorts and a loose singlet – probably a breathable one made by Nike or similar. Jandals if I’m not walking too far otherwise Nike Free Runners or Teva sandals!

packing tips from the global couple ski in whistler

Tell us the ONE thing you pack for a long backpacking trip & would never leave behind.

Ooh, this is hard – I have so many things I couldn’t do without! I would probably say my Swiss Army Knife. The amount of times it has come in handy – cutting tags, opening beer and wine bottles, slicing band-aids, etc. is ridiculous. Definitely a necessary item. I also love photography so I’d never leave my camera behind!

You can only pick one: iPod or Kindle? 

Kindle – I love reading when I’m travelling!

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!

Just do it. It will be an experience you will treasure forever, you’ll create amazing memories, and you’ll have a ton of fun! Yes, there are stressful times and you may get sick, but in the end it’s all worth it. Enjoy! Check out our post on how to avoid stress while travelling.


packing tips from the global couplePetra is one half of The Global Couple travel blog – the other half is her husband Shaun. She’s a New Zealander who loves photography and the outdoors, as well as wandering around new cities and trying street food. The Global Couple focuses on budget adventure travel and gives lots of handy travel tips and insider information into numerous destinations. Follow The Global Couple on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram!

Shop Petra’s Faves!


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