I’m beaming out of my seat writing this post because I’m on my way to the airport, about to head to New Zealand!! 


New Zealand holds a very special place in my heart because I lived there in 2015 and started my blog “Nicole The Nomad”. Living there was such a transformational time in my life and this will be my first time back since I left!


This time I’m only going for a week; I’ll be there for a photo and video retreat with one of my favorite people to follow on Instagram (@ockeydockey) I’m also traveling with my Miss California so it will be a fun little reunion and getaway. 

Since New Zealand is in the southern hemisphere, their seasons are opposite ours, so right now it’s summer. I thought I’d put together this little blog about what I packed and what generally to pack on a trip like this since I get tons of questions!

Hopefully this gives you a good idea of things to bring and how to pack smarter so you can get the most out of one suitcase! 



I’m packing everything in my favorite Rose Gold eBags suitcase because it literally fits so much. I also swear by using their packing cubes because you can fit so much more in your suitcase and also keep your clothes organized so you know exactly where things are. 


The packing cubes are designed specifically to fit into your suitcase like a puzzle! 


I always start with my shoes on the bottom and I make sure to leave my heaviest pair out, to wear on the plane. 


I put my main clothes in my biggest packing cube and then comfy clothes/pjs/workout clothes in the medium sized one. For this trip I packed a few cute outfits because I know we will be taking so many pictures and the rest is workout type clothes for hiking and adventures. 


I find most of my toiletries in travel size to save space and then put them in a hanging organizer so I can pull it out and hang it in my bathroom. This one is from Monat and comes with shampoo, conditioner and dry shampoo. I also added:


On the other side of the suitcase I packed:


I made sure to leave lots of extra room in case I bring back some Tim Tams and amazing bars of chocolate. 😉 


I always bring two carryons: my Vera Bradley duffel and eBags weekender backpack.


My backpack has all my photo/video gear in it. On this trip since I’m going specifically for a photo/video retreat I’m bringing both my canon and SONY.


I also put a charging case on my phone so I don’t have to worry about my phone dying in the middle of an adventure. This one from Apple is really good and not bulky. I also packed:


My Vera Bradley is filled with:



Lastly, instead of bringing my big purse, I brought my Kate Spade sling purse because it’s easier to travel with and much more convenient/safer to run around with while you’re traveling. Especially alone! 


I hope this guide gives you a better framework for what to pack for your trip. I pretty much pack these same essential things for all my trips and switch up the clothes based on what I’m doing! 


Comment below what things you always take traveling or which tip you found most helpful! I can’t wait to share my pictures from New Zealand with you. For real time updates follow me on Instagram @Nicole_TheNomad.

See you soon! 

xx Nicole

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I've traveled to 11 countries in the last 4 years!



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