Backpackers Checklist | 10 Essential Travel Items

Travel: What to Pack When You're Going Backpacking  

10 essential travel items

 When I went traveling at the beginning of the year I scoured the internet for inspiration of what I should pack. I never realised just how much I would depend on some of the things I look along with me. 

Here are 10 things that I was so glad I packed.

1 Portable Charger

My boyfriend got me this as a birthday present in the lead up to my travels. It is definitely (and kinda weirdly) one of the most useful and loved presents I've received. When you're traveling you often need your phone for general minor emergencies and research. Therefore it's really important to have battery when you actually really need it. Plugs are super hard to come by too. This one was quite heavy, but for the price was worth it, and I didn't begrudge it once.

2 Luggage Packing Bags

These made my life SO MUCH EASIER. Living out of a bag is hard enough without it taking about 1000 hours every morning try to find things and re-pack. Packing bags are such a time saver and help organise everything so you'll always know where things are. It makes packing so much easier when you're in a rush to make the check out deadline & it also helps to separate the dirty clothes (everything) from the really dirty clothes (pretty much everything).

3 Sleeping Bag Liner

Okay this was maybe my favourite thing...the infamous Bed Bug Rug. A lot of the beds you'll stay in while traveling will look suspicious and unwelcoming at best. A lot of them have the suspicious air of not being changed for about 5 months. Also travelers = bed bugs, bed bugs = horrible easily infected bites. I recommend 'Mummy' sleeping bag liners as they cover the pillow as well- maximum coverage is essential. Any cotton sleeping bag liner will do though. +Sidenote: some people we met had mosquito nets, you don't need to take these, they are bulky, you won't be able to hang them, and countries that have a risk of malaria tend to have them.

4 Ear Plugs

I used these a lot. You are rarely alone when you're traveling, which isn't a bad thing, except when it comes to sleeping. I think the biggest dorm room we stayed in was of 16 people. That's a lot of people coming in at different times & the killer- snoring. There is always a snorer. These one's did the job perfectly & helped me shut out many strange, suspicious and unnerving sounds. They are also a life saver when you are on overnight transport.

5 Cosy Jumper

When I was packing I focused completely on packing summery clothes. I only packed a jumper and leggings for the plane journey. I ended up using my cosy jumper a lot. A lot of the rooms have freezing, non-adjustable air-con. Some of the transport is similarly freezing. As well as that some of the countries we visited weren't as hot as we had thought they would be (Laos was cold). My cosy jumper also acted as a kind of security, it reminded me so much of home and I ended up sleeping with it most nights. 

6 A Book 

This is an obvious one, but one I couldn't leave off. When you're traveling you have a lot of time for yourself and you have the luxury of having spare time and the chance to read lots of different books. One great thing about travelling is the opportunity to swap books with people you meet. In lots of the hostels there are book shelves for people who are wanting to leave an old book behind, or pick up a new one. It's such a lovely way to acquire books, knowing they have traveled far and wide, and have once been loved by a fellow traveler. 

7 Travel Journal

I kept a travel journal and documented every single day of my travels. My brother and his fiance gave me this book for Christmas, it's a personalized note book from Under Cover. And it's now the most special book I own. Every disaster, every thought, every memory captured in time. I highly recommend to anyone who is traveling to take a journal and to do it. It will take a few minutes out of your day, but when you get home it will hold your entire adventure. It's also a nice thing to do, when you're so busy and everything is so hectic and changeable, just to take a morning over a coffee, to sit and reflect and be calm. 

8 Lonely Planet

If you put time into researching your trip you do get more out of it. The Lonely Planets books are written by travelers, they have something for anyone and their information is accurate. Some of the best hostels and restaurants we went too were courtesy of a Lonely Planet book. I don't think they are something you need to swat up on before you go, but they are great to have with you when you're actually in the country. Going to places that are so very different from home can be confusing and a little over whelming when everything is so unfamiliar. Invest in one, use it, and then leave it behind for someone else. 

9 Headphones

These were another key item that we constantly lost. I would take 2 or even 3 pairs. I would also recommend not taking the over the ear headphones as they are bulky and you'll probably lose them anyway. Before you go away make sure you've updated your playlist, there's lots of opportunity to lose yourself in your playlist and it can make that 11 hour journey so much more bearable. Also they get kinda dirty and gross, so another reason to take a few.

10 Padlock

This is another absolute essential. In pretty much every hostel we went to there were lockers available- use these lockers. You are carrying around with you very important items like documents, passport, money, phone. This does unfortunately make you a target. It's so important to have a padlock with you- even if the hostel doesn't have lockers, you can lock you items away in a small bag to keep them safe. 

  My travel journal- 

Travel Journal Diary Travel Essentials Backpacking

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