Packing can be the bane of your life: but we’ve made the chore a little less tiresome for you and devised a COMPLETE packing list. Got a big trip coming up? Use this ultimate guide to remind you of useful essentials you need to buy for your travels whether it’s shower gel, socks, clothes or sunnies. Knowing how to pack a backpack for a long trip ain’t easy. But simply treat this as a packing checklist and tick off each item as you go. Of course, it really depends on what kind of trip you’re about to embark on whether it’s trekking a mountain, or inter railing a continent, so we’ve tried to include items that cater to every kind of trip!

When it comes to packing, the best way to pack a backpack is to save space. Our top tip is to fold your clothes efficiently. Remember: Heavy stuff at the bottom, stuff that leaks goes in plastic bags and things you’ll need as soon as you arrive at your destination (like toiletries) at the top. Roll your clothes up rather than fold them if it takes up less room.

This guide will also work for suitcases for air travel too, not just backpacks. Don’t forget anything – and happy travelling!

Don’t have time to read long articles? Here’s a quick rundown of the main essentials to pack before you leave the house:

  1. Passport
    The most important thing to pack for your travels is your passport. You won’t get very far without it. If you’re travelling within your continent as a citizen, sometimes all you need is your ID/Drivers license to travel – but this often depends on your airline so we recommend keeping your passport on you at all times, just in case. Before you travel, make sure your passport is valid too. It’s always good to have at least six months on your passport before it expires so always check your expiry date in good time so you can order a new one before the trip comes.

  2. Phone charger / portable phone charger
    We all know the feeling when our phone runs out of battery on the road. So bring a portable phone charger so that you can give your phone some charge on the go. You don’t want to have your phone die when you’re lost in the city or miss out on amazing photo opportunities.

  3. Cash (any preferred currency)
    Don’t forget your kobos and coins! We’d recommend finding a local currency exchange with the best rates rather than changing your cash at the airport where it’s more expensive. Don’t know how many to bring? Budget how much cash you’d need for each day and work from there.

  4. Clothes and Flip flops (for the hostel bathrooms)
    The hard part: clothes. Remember to take a mix of light layers and warm layers for your trip (depending where you’re going). It’s always handy to look up the weather before you go and pack accordingly. Packing light is a form of art and with limited space in your backpack, it’s good to be strict with yourself and only bring what you need.

Take into consideration what kind of activities you might be doing during your travels so that you’re prepared with the right gear – whether you’ll be hiking, snorkelling, partying, skiing or sightseeing around the city, you’ll need appropriate attire. If you’re going on a long trip, be sure to check the hostel has a laundry room so you can wash your things and wear clothes over again.

  1. Water bottle
    Always carry a water bottle to stay hydrated on the road. Most travel backpacks have a water bottle compartment so it’s easy to reach when you’re walking around. Not only are reusable water bottles better for the environment but they’re also a great way to save money so that you don’t have to keep buying more

  2. Socks
    Socks are important because they will protect your feet from rubbing against your shoes when you do a lot of walking. We recommend packing thick socks if you’re going somewhere cold and ankle socks if you’ll be wearing trainers around the city.

  3. Underwear
    Pack enough underwear for your trip (and maybe two or three extras). You can always wash your underwear during your travels if you do run out. Tip: remember to pack an small thin bag for your dirty laundry, it will separate your clean and dirty things so you don’t get them mixed up.

  4. Sun cream

Sun cream is one of the most important things you can pack in a travel backpack. Apply it generously and take sun cream with you everywhere you go. Especially if you have a tendency to burn. Even though it may not look sunny, the rays are still there so it’s important to wear sun cream everyday during your travels. A sun shade for the eyes would serve a greater purpose too, and make you look cool during a beach cruise.

  1. First aid kit (inclusive medicines and painkillers)
    It’s always good to have some medication on the road. Painkillers or allergy tablets will come in handy for headaches, muscle aches, period pains, stomach aches – so keep some on you just in case. Always carry a basic first aid kit alongside,most especially in cases where you are traveling with family. One can never tell what accidents may occur. Safety first!

  2. Snacks
    Pack a few small snacks that will fit in your backpack and give you a little taste of home. Take a couple of packets of your favourite biscuits or chocolate bar – we’re sure you’ll really thank yourself when you’re craving a bit of what you’re used to. Just make sure you pack snacks that won’t go out of date too quickly so you can savour them as long as you can resist!

  3. Any paperwork you may need.
    Photocopies of certificates, vital documents of yours can be attached in a protective case in your back pack. Unexpected opportunities out may just be waiting for you out there.


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