Traveling is a thrilling experience that everyone should have at least once. However, it can be stressful when you need to know what to pack. It’s essential to have a well-prepared travel backpack that contains all your necessary items.
This article will discuss what to carry in your travel backpack to ensure a comfortable and enjoyable trip. This article will discuss the essential items you must carry in your travel backpack and some non-essential but valuable things that will make your journey more comfortable. We will also provide some tips on how to pack your bag efficiently. Here is the complete guide on Can I Travel with Pins in My Backpack.
It may seem like common knowledge, but your passport is undoubtedly the most crucial item to pack for your travels. Without it, your journey is likely to come to a swift halt.
After you’ve crossed off every item on your pre-travel checklist and just before you step out the door, taking a final moment to ensure you have this vital document with you won’t hurt.
Even if you’re an EU citizen travelling within Europe, some airlines may require your passport, so we recommend always keeping it on your person.
Additionally, before embarking on your trip, verifying your passport’s validity is essential. In certain situations, you should have at least six months of validity on your passport before it expires. Therefore, always check your passport’s expiry date well in advance, allowing you ample time to order a new one if needed.
Trust us, you don’t want to be dealing with the stress of rushing to replace it because it accidentally went through the washing machine (we’ve all been there at some point). Here is the reviewed on Top 11 Best Roll Top Travel Backpack in 2023.
Remember to pack your adapters, especially if you plan to embrace the digital nomad lifestyle! Purchasing them at the airport or upon arrival can be quite costly, and they’re often surprisingly challenging to locate.
On Amazon, you can snag a pair of EU Adapters for just £4.39, which should suffice for your travel needs. You can charge and use your laptop, phone, camera, hairdryer, and more with two adapters.
Pack ample underwear for your journey, and consider bringing a couple of extra pairs. Remember, you can easily wash your underwear while travelling if you run low. If you’re headed to a hot or humid destination, you can always have a few pairs of pants!
Tip: remember to pack a small thin bag for your dirty laundry, it will separate your clean and dirty things so you don’t get them mixed up.
Smelly feet can be unpleasant, so it’s essential to ensure you have an ample supply of clean socks for your journey. If you’re heading to a colder destination, pack thick, knee-high socks, and if you plan on exploring the city in sneakers, opt for lightweight ankle socks.
PORTABLE PHONE CHARGER
We’re all familiar with that sinking sensation that hits when our phone’s battery drains while we’re out and about. Ensure you have a portable phone charger to recharge your phone on the fly.
You wouldn’t want your phone to go dead on you when navigating the city or exploring the mountains, especially when amazing photo opportunities are waiting to be captured. Here is the guide on What Size Backpack Should You Get for Traveling Europe.
CLOTHES (AND PJS)
The challenging aspect of packing is clothing selection. It’s essential to balance lightweight and warm layers for your journey, as even the coziest destinations can turn chilly at night.
Achieving a minimalist packing approach is an acquired skill. Given the limited space in your backpack, it’s crucial to exercise discipline and only bring what’s truly necessary – though this can be easier said than done!
Factor in the activities you plan to engage in during your travels to ensure you have the appropriate attire on hand. Plan accordingly, Whether you’re hiking, snorkeling, dancing the night away, hitting the slopes, or exploring city streets.
Consider creating a separate clothing checklist if it helps. For extended trips, it’s wise to confirm that your accommodation offers laundry facilities, allowing you to refresh your wardrobe and re-wear items.
A waterproof raincoat with a hood will prove invaluable during your journey. European weather can be quite inconsistent, especially in cities known for occasional rain showers.
It’s advisable to seek a lightweight raincoat that’s easy to stow away (a packable raincoat is a budget-friendly choice).
If you plan to do a significant amount of walking or hiking, include well-made walking shoes in your packing list. Wearing your largest or bulkiest footwear when traveling through the airport is generally advisable to maximize space-saving in your luggage. If you still need to get suitable boots, you can find high-quality options at affordable prices from second-hand sellers such as eBay or Gumtree.
SLEEPING BAG LINER
A sleeping bag liner is a versatile essential to keep on hand; you never know when you might find yourself in a less-than-comfy sleeping situation! They’re lightweight and compact and serve as an ideal bedding addition whether camping in a tent or crashing on someone’s couch. Here is the reviewed on Top 5 Best Deuter Backpack for Travel.
REUSABLE WATER BOTTLE
Make sure to have a water bottle with you whenever you’re on the go to stay well-hydrated. Many travel backpacks come equipped with a dedicated water bottle pocket, making it convenient to access while you’re out and about.
Not only do reusable water bottles benefit the environment, but they also offer a cost-effective solution, eliminating the need for frequent replacements.
Remember to bring your Euros! We suggest locating a currency exchange service in your hometown as it typically offers more favorable rates than exchanging your money at the airport. Uncertain about the amount to bring? Estimate your daily cash requirements and plan accordingly.
Pack necessary hair care items to maintain healthy and happy hair while traveling. To reduce the number of toiletries you need, we suggest bringing a hairbrush and either dry shampoo or hair gel to conserve space for essentials like deodorant and toothpaste.
If you have extra room in your luggage, consider bringing a set of curling tongs or hair straighteners, but only if you anticipate using them.
PAINKILLERS AND MEDICINE
It’s a wise idea to carry some medication while traveling, as conveying your symptoms to a foreign pharmacist can be challenging.
Having pain relievers or allergy pills with you can be beneficial for addressing headaches, muscle aches, menstrual cramps, or stomach discomfort, so it’s a good idea to keep them on hand as a precaution. Additionally, having Imodium or Dioralyte in your travel kit is always a good practice.
In today’s world, the camera on your smartphone is likely of high enough quality to capture fantastic photos. However, consider using a traditional disposable camera for a more nostalgic touch.
JOURNAL OR DIARY
A travel journal or diary is a fantastic method for preserving the memories you create during your travels. Particularly on longer journeys, it can be challenging to remember all the experiences and people you encounter along the way. Moreover, a journal can double as a handy route planner and a local phonebook.
When choosing a deodorant for travel, opting for a roll-on, roll-ons are a more convenient and compact option. Spray deodorants can pose risks to individuals with asthma who may be near you. Additionally, it’s worth noting that spray deodorants are typically not allowed in airplane cabin hand luggage.
SHAMPOO & CONDITIONER
Shampoo and conditioner containers can be quite cumbersome for transport, occupying a significant amount of space in a backpack. Instead, consider transferring your hair products into compact, reusable bottles, readily available at most pharmacies and supermarkets.
Alternatively, step towards sustainability by using shampoo or conditioner bars to support the zero-waste movement.
The same principle applies to your body wash. Consider packing travel-sized versions or filling compact, reusable containers to conserve space. Alternatively, choose a soap bar in a tin, which can ideally last for the entire trip and reduce plastic usage.
Opt for a slim microfiber towel when packing, as bulky towels consume significant space. Consider packing a couple of smaller towels. Remember that many hostels may not offer towels for free, so remember to bring your own.
The extreme hot and cold temperatures can significantly dehydrate your skin, so be sure to apply your favorite moisturizer daily while you’re on your travels. Your skin is also experiencing a cultural shift, so taking good care of it is essential!
Tip: it’s a good idea to buy a moisturiser with SPF for extra protection from the sun.
GOING OUT OUTFITS
If you intend to explore the city during your trip, pack some attire suitable for going out. Deciding on the perfect nighttime ensemble can be challenging, so be selective and bring only the essentials. Two outfits and a few extra tops for versatility should suffice for mixing and matching.
GOING OUT SHOES
You can wear sneakers or boots when visiting most of Europe’s top clubs, which is convenient as it helps save room in your backpack. You can opt for Converse, flat biker boots, or Vans, as they suit daytime and nighttime activities. Generally, you will only find a need for high heels if you’re aware that you’ll be attending a more upscale venue.
GPS OR MAP
Accessing a GPS app on your smartphone can be a lifesaver when navigating a city. Consider downloading apps like Maps. Me or City Mapper for your convenience. Nevertheless, carrying a backup map is wise if you lose signal.
FIRST AID KIT
Every backpacker should carry a first aid kit, especially if you’ll be doing a bit of exploring in the wild. You can buy a first aid kit from Amazon.
Remember to bring your reliable toothbrush. Electric toothbrushes can be bulky, so if you need more space, consider choosing a conventional toothbrush.
If you aim to reduce your plastic usage, consider investing in eco-friendly bamboo toothbrushes that are gentle on the environment.
We’ll be honest with you – public restrooms aren’t consistently pleasant. Carrying a bottle of hand sanitizer is a wise choice during your travels; it could prevent you from catching an unpleasant illness while on the go.
Toothpaste is a crucial travel necessity. However, when traveling with friends, you can optimize space in your toiletries bag by jointly using a toothpaste tube. A single tube can last quite a while!
If it can easily fit into your bag, this fantastic addition will enhance your travel experiences on trains, planes, boats, and cars, making them much more enjoyable. Some of these items include hoods, perfect for travelers with a keen sense of fashion.
Sunscreen is a crucial item to include in your travel backpack. Be sure to apply it liberally and carry it wherever you venture, particularly if you’re prone to sunburn.
Even on overcast days, harmful UV rays can still reach you, underscoring the necessity of daily sunscreen application throughout your travels.
If you wake up easily, we suggest including an eye mask in your travel essentials. When staying in hostels, there’s always a chance someone in your dorm might switch on the lights at night.
By using an eye mask, you can sleep undisturbed. Additionally, eye masks are extremely useful to keep in your carry-on bag for extended bus or train rides when you want to catch some rest.
You don’t have to go all out (get it?) with your swimwear, like fancy swimsuits or board shorts and such. Remember that while traveling, you’ll have many chances to do laundry! If you’re headed to a destination with lots of swimming, bring two or three different choices you can switch between, wear again, and clean conveniently!
BEARD TRIMMER & NAIL CLIPPERS
Remember to bring your beard trimmer and charger (unless you’re up for a more rugged look). If you’re considering packing disposable razors, we suggest investing more in a reusable option. This way, you’ll save money in the long term and significantly reduce your plastic waste.
Certain hotels and hostels offer complimentary earplugs at the front desk. However, to ensure a peaceful night’s sleep without disturbances, purchasing a pair (or two) of foam earplugs is a good idea in case they aren’t provided.
GLASSES & CONTACT LENSES
For individuals who require eyeglasses, the following factors hold immense significance. The ability to see clearly while traveling is essential. After all, what’s the purpose of traveling if you need help to appreciate the sights fully? If you wear glasses, prioritize packing them and consider packing a spare pair.
SPARE CHEAP PHONE FOR EMERGENCIES
If you’re embarking on an extended journey and need more time to take your regular smartphone along, consider purchasing an inexpensive one before your trip. Afterwards, acquire a SIM card or eSIM that functions internationally. Ensure that the SIM includes 4G/5G capabilities so you can access maps, make hostel reservations, and access travel guides conveniently while on the go!
REUSABLE COFFEE CUP
Keep contributing to environmental conservation during your travels by acquiring a reusable coffee cup. Whether you desire a takeaway hot beverage from a local café, intend to enjoy the complimentary breakfast at your hostel, or plan to brew your own in your private room’s kettle, having a reusable coffee cup will prove invaluable throughout your journey. Nowadays, you can even find collapsible coffee cups occupying minimal space, so there’s no reason not to make the eco-friendly choice!
It’s a must-have for any journey, regardless of the season. With luck, you’ll glimpse the sun on your adventure, whether summer or winter! Bring high-quality sunglasses to shield your eyes from the daily elements.
Additionally, it’s a good idea to pack a more budget-friendly pair that you won’t mind exposing to the wear and tear of the beach or the sea.
If your backpack doesn’t already have one, consider adding a whistle. You never know when a whistle can be incredibly useful, especially when travelling, as unexpected and potentially stressful situations can arise at any time (although we hope they don’t happen).
A whistle can come in handy if your car breaks down and you need to signal for help, if you encounter a fearless animal that you need to scare off, or if you find yourself stuck in a restroom cubicle with a malfunctioning door. The point is that you never know when it might be essential to have one.
This might come in handy for various situations, whether a camping excursion, an early morning hike to catch the sunrise or to prevent disturbing your dorm mates by not turning on all the lights. You don’t need anything extravagant; a compact, affordable flashlight or headlamp should suffice.
For individuals planning to spend significant time in the water, it’s a good idea to bring goggles or a snorkel mask. This way, you can fully enjoy the ocean during your trip without the need to rent it or deal with discomfort from saltwater in your eyes.
WET WIPES & TISSUES
“Another essential item you might overlook when packing is wet wipes and tissues, which can prove invaluable during extended travels. Wet wipes can also serve as a convenient way to freshen up, but remember not to rely on them excessively!”
FLIP-FLOPS OR SANDALS
Durable and comfortable footwear is crucial when embarking on a backpacking adventure, especially during the peak of summer. Investing in a high-quality pair of flip-flops or sandals that will endure throughout your journey is essential. The last thing you want is your footwear to give out on you.
Tip: flip-flops are one of the most obvious signs of plastic pollution on many beaches nowadays. If you can, find a shoe bank to donate your old ones to, where they will be recycled into new products.
You’ll be doing quite a bit of walking during your trip. While flip-flops are perfect for a relaxed day, sneakers will be your best friend when you’re on the move. Wear them in a bit if you get a new pair for your journey. Nothing’s more uncomfortable than getting a blister while exploring a city.
After packing, secure it with a padlock to safeguard your belongings. Whether travelling on night trains, navigating busy areas, or waiting at a station, keeping it locked at all times is crucial.
BACKPACK RAIN COVER
Certain backpacks come equipped with one already. If yours doesn’t, it’s essential to purchase one. Experiencing your belongings getting soaked from point A to point B can be distressing.
Consider wearing a cap to shield your head and face from the sun’s rays. Caps are reasonably priced and offer valuable protection. Additionally, many caps can be conveniently fastened to the exterior of your backpack when space is limited inside.
One of the most crucial items to pack after your passport when preparing for your travels is any necessary medication. Include any prescribed medicines or daily tablets in your travel essentials. To help you remember, consider setting an alarm on your phone, as it’s easy to forget when you’re backpacking.
Remember to include SPF lip balm in your packing list. Just like your skin, your lips can suffer from sun damage. Ensure they stay hydrated and protected by using a sunblock-infused lip balm, readily available at most pharmacies and cosmetics stores.
Also, remember to bring along your preferred moisturizing lip balm, as the sun can cause your lips to become dry.
You might find yourself frequently on aeroplanes and trains while travelling, so consider purchasing some enjoyable books to keep yourself entertained (or invest in a Kindle to save space).
Having city guides and phrasebooks with you on your travels is beneficial, but remember that they can become burdensome, so try to limit yourself to just one.
Pack some compact snacks that can easily fit into your backpack, providing a comforting reminder of home. Consider including a couple of packs of your beloved cookies or a chocolate bar – you’ll undoubtedly appreciate having them when you long for a taste of familiarity. Just be sure to select snacks with a longer shelf life so that you can enjoy them for as long as your willpower allows!
Make a Choice for the Right Backpack
The first step in preparing for your trip is to choose the right backpack. You’ll want to pick a durable, comfortable bag with enough space to fit all your items.
Look for a backpack with multiple compartments, which will make it easier to organize your items. Choosing a sturdy suspension system bag is essential to distribute the weight evenly and prevent back pain.
Indispensable Items for Your Travel Backpack
Your travel documents are essential items to pack in your travel backpack. These include your passport, visa (if required), travel itinerary, and other relevant documents.
It’s also a good idea to make a copy of your travel documents and store them separately in case of loss or theft.
Money and Cards
Another essential item to pack is money and cards. Ensure you have enough cash and a credit/debit card that works in the countries you plan to visit.
Consider carrying a money belt or a hidden pocket to keep your cash and cards safe from theft.
Electronic devices are essential items to pack in your travel backpack. You’ll want to bring your smartphone, charger, camera, and other necessary electronics.
Consider purchasing a portable charger to keep your devices charged while on the go.
Toiletries are also essential items to pack in your travel backpack. You’ll want to bring a toothbrush, toothpaste, shampoo, soap, and other necessary toiletries.
Consider purchasing travel-sized items to save space in your backpack.
Clothing and Footwear
Clothing and footwear are necessary items to pack, but it’s essential to pack them efficiently to save space. Consider packing versatile clothing items that can be worn in multiple outfits.
Pack comfortable footwear, such as sneakers or hiking boots, depending on your travel plans.
Carrying a basic first-aid kit in your travel backpack is always a good idea. You’ll want to include bandages, pain relievers, antiseptic wipes, and other necessary medical items.
Non-Essential But Useful Items to Pack
Travel Pillow and Blanket
Although not essential, a travel pillow and blanket can significantly affect your comfort level while traveling. These items can be beneficial on long flights or train rides.
Consider purchasing a compact travel pillow and blanket that can easily fit your backpack.
Staying hydrated is crucial while traveling, especially in hot or dry climates. Consider bringing a reusable water bottle that you can refill throughout your trip.
If you enjoy taking photos, consider bringing a camera or a high-quality smartphone with a good camera. This will allow you to capture your travel memories and experiences.
If you plan to travel to different countries, consider bringing a travel adapter that can fit various electrical outlets. This will allow you to charge your electronic devices without any issues.
A portable charger can be a lifesaver when traveling, especially when you can’t access a power outlet. Consider purchasing a portable charger with enough capacity to charge your devices multiple times.
Books or E-Reader
If you enjoy reading, consider bringing a book or an e-reader to entertain you during long flights or train rides.
Packing Tips for Your Travel Backpack
When packing your travel backpack, keep these tips in mind:
- Pack efficiently: Consider rolling your clothes to save space and pack items in multiple compartments to stay organized.
- Pack light: Avoid packing unnecessary items that add weight to your backpack.
- Keep essential things within reach: Store your travel documents, money, and electronics in easily accessible compartments or pockets.
- Use packing cubes: Packing cubes can help you stay organized and make finding items in your backpack easier.
Packing your travel backpack can be overwhelming, but it’s essential to pack efficiently to ensure a comfortable and enjoyable trip. Remember to pack the necessary items, such as travel documents, money, and electronics, and consider bringing non-essential but valuable items, such as a travel pillow and blanket or a portable charger.
Use our packing tips to pack your backpack efficiently and keep your essential items within reach. With a well-prepared travel backpack, you can have a stress-free and memorable travel experience.