One thing to remember about backpacking, is that it’s very different from just going for a short trip away on some hotel. Backpackers are usually budget travelers who likes going to different places for the adventure and not the luxurious amenities one might usually find in a fancy hotel or resort. Backpackers need to travel light, and require a different packing checklist compared to the people just looking for a quick getaway.
So if you’re getting ready or planning for a backpacking trip, here are a few must-haves for your checklist.
Item # 1: Plug Adaptors
Definitely something you should get ready with especially if you’re visiting different countries halfway around the world. All your fancy gadgets, phone and camera’s aren’t worth anything if their battery’s dead, so I recommend you bring a small kit where it generally has most, if not all, of the plug adaptors you might need on your trip.
You can also try buying an international travel adapter that can be used worldwide
Item # 2: Organizers/Zip lock Bags
A convenient way of organizing everything in your backpack, from your toiletries to your underwear, organizers are a surefire way to make sure that you can maximize the use of your bag as well as making it easier for you to find specific items if you need them.
Item # 3: Headlamp/light
Perfect for when you’re spending the night away in dimly lit rooms or hostels, headlamps are an essential item that comes in handy in more ways than you might think. Convenience and efficiency at its best, no more ruffling through the dark for your flash light and struggling to search using only one free hand.
Item # 4: Travel locks
While many hostels offer up some type of deposit box or safe to store your valuables, it’s better to be safe than sorry and bring at least one or two things; a travel lock for your bag and for your locker. They may not offer much resistance when determined thieves decide to break the hell out of them with a hammer, but they will definitely deter small time robbery who are just looking for a quick grab and run gig with your valuables.
Item # 5: Money belt or Security pouch
One of the best ways to keep your belongings safe is to always carry it with you somewhere where you can always keep an eye on it. Security pouches are easy to bring around, where you can store your documents and emergency cash should you need it. I advise bringing an extra wallet or money belt specifically for small amounts. You never want to reveal everything that you’re carrying especially cash and credit cards to random strangers in the street or in a restaurant.
Item # 6: Sleeping liner/ Sleep Sack
While it may not completely keep the bed bugs away, thin cotton sleeping liners or sacks are very useful at giving you peace of mind, especially if you’re spending the night in poorly cleaned accommodations. In addition to hostels, sleeping sacks can also be used in any form of transportation on your long journey such as on planes or trains.
Item # 7: Travel Towels
Hostels, unlike hotels, often do not provide towels for the weary traveler. Travel towels are an essential item on a budget trip or long backpacking adventure. I suggest buying travel towels that are made up of microfiber fabric and choose a size large. Unlike regular towels you have in your home, travel towels are made of highly absorbent materials that gets you dry faster than a regular towel.
Item # 8: First Aid Kit
Never forget this item on your list, because if you do and you suffer minor injuries along your trip, you will definitely regret it. Carry a lot of adhesive band-aids and sterilized bandages in your kit, especially if you’re travelling to developing countries as these items can’t easily be improvised.
Item # 9: Sunscreen
This is highly recommended especially for Asian countries, where the sun’s onslaught is nonstop and the penalty for underestimating the need for sunscreen is severe. Bringing your own sunscreen will save you money along your trip as well as making sure you’re not half baked while walking under the sun for half an hour.
Item # 10: Passport/Travel Documents copies
As you become more experienced travelling, you’ll soon learn that it is definitely better to be safe than sorry. Bringing along copies of your passport or travel documents just in case the original ones get lost or stolen will prove to be worth the hassle in the end. Just make sure to pack these separately from the originals.