I travel so often that I no longer need packing lists. I can pack for long adventures in less than an hour from memory these days. No matter where in the world I’m off to or how long/short a trip may be there are a few items that ALWAYS get packed. Every. Single. Time!
After many requests I have decided to share them with you. I will be doing a series of packing blogs over the next few months so keep an eye out!
15 THINGS I ALWAYS, ALWAYS PACK
The most important item to pack, of course, is your passport – you can’t go anywhere without it! Customs can be pretty strict if your passport is damaged, I have heard of people not being allowed entry because the corner of their passport is bent. In order to keep it nice and secure in all of your traveling I suggest a passport holder. Not only does it keep your passport safe but it keeps all of your travel documents organised. I personally like to keep it small and simple like this one, which also has space for tickets and a pen to fill in immigration cards (a Pen is a MUST).
I don’t like keeping my passport with my cash etc but if you do and you prefer a larger organiser where you can keep it all in one place this one is my pick! Both options are RFID Blocking, if you’re concerned about that kind of thing.
Gone are the days where you needed to lug around multiple adaptors for multiple regions of the world. These days you can get a universal adaptor that can be used in every country of the world. This particular Universal Adaptor is my pick – not only is it a bargain but it also boasts two USB points! No need to carry iPhone/iPad/Kindle Chargers as well. One Adaptor for all your power needs. Easy!
EYE MASK & EAR PLUGS
At some point in your travels chances are that you will either be sleeping on a plane or in a room with a loud snorer. These two items take such little space in my backpack but are lifesavers I couldn’t do without. I prefer a silk eye mask as they are much softer on my face. If you struggle to sleep on planes you may also like to buy a bundle (like this one) which includes an inflatable travel Pillow (inflatable take SO much less space).
I love a good book and it took me a long time to accept the fact that carrying ten books in my backpack all the time wasn’t doing my back any good. I have now converted to a Kindle and I could never look back. I was lucky enough to be gifted a Fire for Christmas and it is truly a travelers dream. I can store hundreds of books on it, I can read in the dark in hostels, I can play games, watch movies and search the web. If I wasn’t a blogger that needed my laptop with me I would take only this, everywhere I went. It is so versatile. It is also super light and a bargain! I can’t praise this piece enough!
From protecting your eyes from the suns rays to hiding your jet-lagged face and for making a fashion statement, sunglasses are a girls best friend. I have been wearing this pair for the last year and I love how versatile they are. They are light on my face and the Polarised Lenses make the colours of nature really stand out! I also have this pair that I also love, the specks of blue really stand out!
BPA FREE WATER BOTTLE
The one thing I always, always have with me whether I’m at home, at work or working out is my water bottle. Traveling is no exception. When traveling in developed countries with safe tap water I use my bottle to drink from, it saves me loads of money. When traveling in countries that requires bottle water purchases instead of buying 500ml plastic bottles all of the time I’l buy a massive 10Litre bottle from the supermarket for only usually $1 extra. I will then fill up my BPA free bottle to drink it over a few days. It saves me so much money! Here is one I recommend, it is leak proof, has a handle for easy carrying and looks pretty too!
A Padlock is an absolute must in my eyes. Not only is it necessary for your luggage on flights (and even buses/trains etc) but also to lock up your things in a hostel locker. I only use TSA Approved Padlocks as they are the only ones that are allowed on plane luggage (they have a red diamond shape on them). I also only recommend combination locks rather than padlocks with keys as it’s much safer and easier. I always pack two padlocks with me and I recommend you do the same!
When I first started traveling almost seven years ago I decided to buy a micro-fibre towel as they dry quicker, are light and take almost no space in a backpack. My Dad thought I was wasting my money and went on and on about how I could just take a regular towel with me. To this day it is still one of the best travel purchases I have made. I love my microfibre towel. It may not be as soft and luxurious as a regular cotton towel you’d use at home but a microfibre towel is the perfect travel accessory. When you aren’t on the road they can also be used as a gym towel, a yoga towel and a beach towel.
I personally don’t recommend purchasing a towel online as they all differ greatly in texture and size so I recommend checking out a few local camping stores to find your right fit. I love the texture of my Kathmandu towel and it has lasted me a long, long time.
If an online purchase is your only option this one seems to be the best. It also has a lifetime warranty, so no risk really!
You can’t go traveling without a camera, how else will you show your loved ones all the beautiful places you have seen and the people you have met? After a run of bad luck where three cameras broke in a year I traveled quite a long time with only my iPhone to document my adventures. Now I have an assortment of gear from an SLR Camera, A GoPro, a Polaroid Camera and a Film Camera. I really love photography but my camera obsession is border-line insane! If you’re not photography obsessed like me and just want one camera to document them all I recommend the new GoPro (though I’ll do a technology post soon). It’s lightweight, compact and super versatile. The new versions now also have a screen on the back so you can see what you’re filming and the top of the range GoPro now has long exposure capabilities so you can even capture the Northern Lights! I wish I could afford to upgrade my GoPro because the new GoPro Hero 4 Black makes me really excited!
I added Packing Cubes to my backpack a year and a half ago and I have never looked back. They keep my clothes and my backpack so much more organised. I know exactly where things are and it makes it so much easier to pack and re-pack time and again. Everyones packing style and backpacks are different so how many cubes/size of cubes you choose is up to you but I personally like to have one larger cube for my bulkier clothing like jackets and pants and I like to use a smaller cube for my shirts and dresses. If I didn’t have a pocket for my underwear in my backpack I would probably use a small one for those (or even dirty laundry). You can roll or fold your clothes inside depedning on your preference (I personally love rolling).
These are my favourites and they come in a variety of colours with a lifetime warranty!
Playing Cards take up such little room in a backpack but they can provide hours upon hours of fun when you are socialising in a hostel or waiting for a bus or flights etc. With so many games to be played with a a single pack of cards they are super versatile and one of my traveling essentials!
MINI SEWING KIT
When I travel I travel light which means my clothes get worn time and time again, with that said I often get a loose button or a hole that needs to be fixed. I always pack a mini sewing kit for those situations (and to use the needles to pop my inevitable blisters). This Kit is an awesome little addition, it has absolutely everything you’ll ever need to fix your clothes/backpack on the road and it’s smaller than your hand!
This is the newest addition to our backpacks and we love it! This Anker PowerBank is ridiculously lightweight and small and can charge almost anything that has a USB charge point (iPhone, iPad, iPod, GoPro, Kindle etc). It can charge an iPhone up to 200% in just a few minutes. This will be great for charging up our gadgets whilst on the road, when camping or during power cuts! So versatile and such a great bargain!
PAW PAW OINTMENT
If you know an Australian you will probably already know how obsessed we are with PawPaw. Not only is this bad-boy great as a Lip Balm for chafed lips (no hands application is a must in developing countries) but it can be used for an assortment of things like minor burns and scalds, sunburn, gravel rash, insect bites, splinters, chaffing, open cuts and wounds and to relieve the symptoms of dermatitis and eczema. I sometimes also use it as an eye cream. This magical balm does everything and I’ve used it daily for over ten years, it is my travel necessity!
This is probably my #1 travel tip for you- pack a sarong! Both men and women should take a plain sarong (or printed if you can find a nice one) on your travels. They are so much more than a skirt to wear over your bikini. I use my sarong almost everyday when traveling. I use it as a beach towel so my shower towel won’t get sandy, I use it as a makeshift curtain to create privacy in my bottom bunk in hostels, I use it as a makeshift scarf when the temperature drops, I use it as a blanket on long bus/plane journeys or when sleeping in an airport, I use it as a long skirt when visiting temples and religious places, I use it as a makeshift hair wrap and I also use it as a dress or skirt with or without a bikini in sight.
Sarongs are so versatile, so light and dry really quickly! I take mine everywhere!
- I always have multiple bank cards on me in case one gets lost/hacked etc. It has happened to me before and I have been in a foreign country waiting for a replacement card because someone hacked into my account. You don’t want that to happen to you!
I use the Commonwealth Bank Travel Money Card (for Australians) as you can load many currencies onto it straight from your online bank account and has pretty good rates. They give you two cards so that you can always hide a spare in your backpack in case you lose your original card.
- I always carry roughly $25 in US Cash on me for emergencies as it will be accepted pretty much everywhere world-wide/can be exchanged easily.
- I also recommend you scan and email yourself copies of your Passport, Drivers License, Bank Cards, Travel Insurance etc so that if they were to get lost or stolen you know all of the details and they can be easily found online no matter where you are!
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There you have it. These are 15 things I always pack in my backpack! I hope this helps make your next packing experience a whole lot easier!
Over to you! What else do you always pack in your bag?
I’d love for you to tell me in the comments below!
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