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Travel Travel Tips

Don’t Forget These 10 Backpacking Essentials


A decent backpack

A quality, comfortable backpack is essential – never underestimate the amount of time you’ll spend with this on your back.

On my first world trip I made the mistake of using a VERY old hand-me down rucksack – it was far too big for me, cut into my shoulders and hurt my back (see left photo). I dreaded every moment of lugging it around and I well and truly learnt my lesson – it is worth spending that little bit extra on something you will use every single day.

I highly recommend the Berghaus Ridgeway – I purchased this for my second travel adventure and it gave me zero problems. It’s got plenty of exterior pockets to help stay organised, an adjustable BIOFIT back system to create a personalised fit for your body, a pre curved hip belt and padded straps. There’s a reason this is one of the most popular backpacks with travellers – it’s super comfy and practical.

Purchase for just £76.40 (saving £27.60) on Amazon here.

 

 Travel Towel

travel towel

 

If you’re planning on spending more than 2 weeks away, taking a gigantic beach towel just isn’t practical – they take up loads of room and take ages to dry. I recommend this ‘Little Bodhi’ travel towel. It’s absorbent, fast drying, very light and takes up very little room. It comes in a nice range of colours too.

 

 

Purchase for just £9.99 (saving £7) on Amazon here.

Mosquito Repellent

 

A true essential – these pesky critters are EVERYWHERE. A repellent will protect you from painful, itchy insect bites. Some countries have a much higher risk of tropical diseases (malaria, dengue, yellow fever etc) so it really is worth making sure you’re carrying a bottle at all times. I found the most popular brands like Deet and Jungle Formula to be a little too pungent and they seemed to really irritate my skin.  Avon Skin So Soft was my repellent of choice – it smells good (yes really!), doesn’t dry out the skin and mosquitos seems to find it disgusting, so it ticks all boxes.

 

Purchase for just £4.85 on Amazon here.

Paw Paw Cream

 

 

A friend recommended this little tube of magic to me – Paw paw ointment. this stuff really is miracle balm. It works on cuts, burns, bites, bruises – you name it. It even cures chapped lips and dry skin.

 

 

Purchase for just £6.25  on Amazon here.

 

 Antibacterial Hand gel

hand gel

 

Hand-washing facilities aren’t always available and in some cases, proper toilets! Keeping your hands clean to ensure you don’t pick up any nasty bugs is a big must.

 

 

 

Portable power charger

 

This is something I didn’t bring away with me and wish I had – finding a power socket just isn’t always possible. Need to make an emergency phone call? Phone has died? This little portable device by Poweradd will come in handy.

 

 

 

Purchase for just £7.99 on Amazon here.

Mini fan

 

Sweating profusely whilst on public transport in South-East Asia? Can’t escape the sunshine and need a quick cool down? This little mini fan is a god send if you’re visiting sweaty, close the equator countries. During our first night in our campervan in Australia, temperatures reached 40 degrees and we began to quite literally, cook. The item we ‘probably won’t use’ was dug out the rucksack  – this tiny bundle of joy suppressed heat-induced panic attacks. Bliss. This E-More mini USB fan is perfect.

 

 

Purchase for just £7.99 on Amazon here.

 

Neck pillow

travel pillow

 

Ahhh, the heavenly neck pillow. Whether you’ve got a killer 18 hour coach journey across Australia or a painfully long overnight flight, this trusty neck pillow will be put to good use. After waking up too many nights with a painful crick-neck, I gave in and purchased this one at the airport. It boasts a soft velour cover and memory foam filling. Ultra-comfy!

 

 

Purchase for just £6.95 (saving £7) on Amazon here.

 

Ear plugs

 

A good night’s sleep isn’t always guaranteed – screaming babies on aeroplanes, snoring backpackers in shared hostel rooms and sirens in the city – all sorts of irritating sounds can keep you up at night. These squidgy Howard Light earplugs saved me plenty of times and are super comfy.

 

 

Purchase 20 pairs for just £3.60 on Amazon here.

 Moneybelt

 

 

If you’re anything like me and find yourself constantly patting down your pockets for your phone or purse/wallet, it’s worth considering purchasing a money belt. This waterproof Mountflow moneybelt one sits comfortable under your midsection and is hidden from view – the two pouches provide the perfect space for money, travel documents and loose change.

 

 

Purchase  for just £11.99 on Amazon here.


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  • Kate - Travel for Difference
    November 18, 2017 at 10:01 am

    Incredible list! The backpack itself is BY far the mlst important thing… But I would also add a decent pair of noise cancelling headphones to this list! Great advice 🙂 XX

  • Ania
    November 18, 2017 at 10:09 am

    Great list! I’m still on the hunt for that perfect backpack. I once wore the first backpack I could get my hands on, and it was not the right fit for me. I dreaded doing any walking with it. Now, I have learned my lesson, but I still haven’t found one that is the best fit for me. I will check the Ridgeway one out!

  • Lindsey
    November 23, 2017 at 10:42 am

    Love your blog. These are great essential items for any backpacker.

  • Annie
    November 23, 2017 at 12:32 pm

    Great list, very similar to my own version, which includes baby oil as a repellant! The same principle as Skin so Soft but more readily available when abroad 🙂 excellent news that there are like minded souls out there 🙂

  • Sarah
    November 23, 2017 at 4:03 pm

    Great list! I never knew how much I would love earplugs until I traveled long term. They are essential! No matter the quality of hotel or apartment you’re staying in, you never know if you’ll have loud neighbors or street noise.

  • Restless Heart Blog
    November 23, 2017 at 6:38 pm

    Thanks for the advice! I really like the money belt, it looks super practical 🙂

  • Una
    November 23, 2017 at 7:18 pm

    A real backpack was my best investment in travel gear. I highly recommend getting the right one for everyone, as this opens so many backpacking opportunities and adventures. With the right support and putting weight on your hips, it’s so much easier to take everything needed for a good trip with you.

  • Joanna
    November 23, 2017 at 8:30 pm

    Great list. I’m not a backpacker, but I’ve been looking into purchasing a backpack for traveling. I also LOVE avon skin so soft. I purchase insect repellant wipes as well.

  • Lyne
    November 24, 2017 at 1:18 pm

    Nice list ! Im not a backpacker but a portable power charger is definitely something I need to buy, I always run out of battery ahah.