Backpacking is a fantastic way to work in some personal development while enjoying yourself, but it’s definitely not all sunshine and roses. From the tedious trip planning procedures to having to deal with logistics on the move, it can get pretty stressful. Here are 10 travel essentials for backpackers that will minimise woes and streamline your travels.
1. Packing Cubes
These are literal lifesavers for the simple backpacker. Backpacks are soft and odd-shaped, and stuffing your clothes, toiletries, soiled laundry, universal adaptor, etc., can make you feel like pulling your hair out in frustration. Packing cubes are like Hermione’s magic pouch in The Deathly Hallows. Their regular shapes make stuffing your rolled garments easier, and fitting them into your backpack becomes a simple game of Tetris. You’ll be surprised how efficiently packing cubes organise the space in your backpack.
2. Hanging Toiletries Bag
The seasoned backpacker swears by this. Hostels come in many shapes and sizes, and their bathrooms all have their quirks. Some don’t have ledges or soap holders, and you’re forced to place your 10 bottles of face and body products on the ground. But a toiletries bag with a hook saves you all that trouble and ickiness. Just hook it over the door or on the clothes hook and complete your 10-step cleansing routine.
3. Waterproof Flip Flops
Protect your feet from fungus! Hostel floors and showers aren’t the cleanest, and with the high human traffic and turnover each day, loads of harmful microorganisms lie ready to pounce on the next unsuspecting foot. A pair of rubber flip flops are an inexpensive way to protect your feet, and consequently, your wallet!
4. Microfibre Towel
Ditch your thick, fluffy, cosy towels for a compact and quick-drying one while on the road. It’s life-changing. You’ll get to save space in your backpack and not have to worry about stinking up the hostel room with a towel still damp from your previous night’s bath.
5. Hand Sanitizer
This goes hand-in-hand with hygiene. Unfortunately, taps and public toilets may not be widely available in some regions, so hand-washing is sometimes left behind as a stay-home luxury. It doesn’t have to be that way. Save yourself from food poisoning by rubbing some hand sanitiser before you eat and after you go to the loo. Please. The number of people who don’t wash their hands after going to the toilet is astonishing.
6. Day Pack
You absolutely can’t visit attractions with your humongous backpack. Well, you can, but it’s going to be a hassle, especially if you have to squeeze into tight spaces, or if some attractions forbid you from carrying large bags. Grab a day pack, which can range from a small backpack to a simple tote into which you can dump your identification papers, water bottle, snacks, and wallet, and saunter around free as a bird. It also helps you blend into the background and not be a ripe target for pickpockets and robbers.
7. Water Bottle
Do this for the environment. Air travel is one of the biggest contributors to an individual’s carbon footprint these days, and tourism is unfortunately not a very eco-friendly activity. Bring your water bottle along and refill it whenever you can! If you’re in a country with no potable tap water, boiling a kettle of water in the morning and filling your bottle after it cools down saves you one plastic bottle a day and several dollars a week. Every little bit counts.
8. Universal Adaptor
We’re all smartphone dependent, so you probably already know this. Unless you’re travelling within your home country, it’s essential to bring a universal adaptor along as not every accommodation is fitted with international sockets.Sa
Invest in a good padlock before your trip. You can use it to lock up your backpack while you’re out exploring. Furthermore, most hostels which provide lockers loan out padlocks for a fee. Buying a good quality padlock ensures that you can use it for years to come and helps you travel with peace of mind.
Did we miss any travel essentials you can’t do without? Let us know in the comments section down below!