What’s in a name? – Your GTG on brands and where to put your pennies

Greeting globetrotters from the current political minefield of Newcastle, NSW, Australia (for those curious folks, I’ll fill you in later). So far we’ve discussed what to pack, and how to minimise it to your advantage but one thing we haven’t covered as yet is where to buy it. For each individual, how we prioritize allocating our budget and space in the backpack will vary greatly. This week we take a look at a few significant areas that can cost the earth or a penny and matter a lot, or not at all.depending on each person’s view.


  • The Backpack/Suitcase

Ok so let’s begin with the vessel of your belongings. For anyone that’s ever seen a fragile sticker or imagined how their bags may be treated by handlers once out of their personal sight, this can be an area where it pays to pay. Whole stores supply quality products as a more reliable sector of the market. As seems to be the way with brands in most departments, the products generally last a little longer, and can handle a little rougher treatment. With the constant slinging around, projectile motion, crash landings, and dragging that many packs receive, it’s no wonder people consider durability seriously. Brands like The North Face, Osprey, Quechua, Black Wolf and Kathmandu are all examples of tried and tested packs that have survived the scrapes and scurries of time. The pack becomes particularly important because should it break in a major way, you may find yourself in a predicament until you can find a replacement (which of course is also common by the way).

  • Shoes

Whether hiking or not (but especially hiking), all travellers will find themselves on their feet for significant amounts of time, even if only from the door of the airport terminal to the departure gate. Sore feet could be for many a serious detractor from the ultimate experience, as high-heel-wearing girls will testify. Your GTG would also cautiously like to pull the fashion card here which suggests that perhaps since the fabulous Jimmy Choo isn’t huge in the travel department, his footwear might not be the shoe that fits. On the other hand, your ideal footwear may still set you back a bit. The best advice here would be to go with something that is comfortable, not too distinctive that it may draw unwanted attention, and something that if your pack does get lost for some reason, you won’t be left ruing the day.

  • Jacket

Well it will be no surprise that places can be cold and windy, hot and humid, and almost any number of weather combinations at the same time. This becomes especially relevant with travel since your home area may have a completely different climate to where you plan to visit and you may also be planning to visit a large number of different areas on your trip. Bearing in mind  you are left to carry whatever you take with you, your GTG suggests the three best attributes in a jacket are; lightness, ability to block wind and ability to let your body breathe. Other than that, pay as little or as much as you like.

  • Generic travel accessories

Here your GTG is talking about things like special micro fibre towels, metal drink bottles, cameras, headlamps, sleeping bags, travel sheets, mini travel stoves, U-shaped pillows and any other possible inventions that have been designed with the intention of both making your trip easier and emptying your pocket before you depart. Your GTG recommends in this case to consider the type of trip you yourself are embarking on and appraise each gadget with the intention to eliminate your long list rather than seek to add to it. This is one area that is arguably based more on fashion than absolute necessity but there is no denying the convenience of these, ultra-cool, custom-designed contraptions.

In general reference to your packing and purchasing, all choices of what to take with you should be made with the minute yet real possibility in mind that your entire luggage could be separated from you temporarily or permanently in any number of situations, both expected and not so expected. Where budget enters the equation, to risk stating the obvious, any money spent on your gear, is money you don’t have on the trip, and each of you will somehow find the balance that works for you. Most other purchases to deliberate over will be specifically related to individual trips and the only people who will know exactly what you need are the people that have done that exact trip before you. Another great reason to have friends that travel. With that in mind, don’t forget you can always take your Jimmy Choos with you for that glamorous night out on the town, wherever that may be, just make sure everything is covered by your travel insurance… Until next week.