10 Travel Packing Essentials for Backpackers

Written by Stephanie Marando, Student Ambassador

Who doesn’t love a good holiday away from all their troubles? Why not backpack? It’s the best way to experience the local culture and meet new people; although fitting your life into a backpack can be a bit of a struggle… For stress free packing, here are 10 packing essentials for a lightweight backpack filled with items you’ll actually need!


1. Notebook
Not every detail can be remembered by looking back on photos; they may show the beautiful places you’ve been, but they don’t capture how you were feeling… with this in mind, a few words in your notebook each night detailing your day will help you remember your adventures forever.

2. Passport & ISIC Card
These items are a must, so guard them with your life and keep them in your money belt.
Be precautious, always have a copy of your passport with you either via email or if you’re old school have a hardcopy version. Another must have is an ISIC card, it shows that you’re a student or under the age of 30 and helps you get some awesome discounts around the globe for things like eating out, guidebooks and shopping.

3. Money
It’s always handy to have some cash in your money belt while travelling, but it’s essential to stick the rest on a CashFLEX Visa Card. It’s a preloaded credit card of sorts that you can use to withdraw money from an ATM, or reload at any time in case you splurge that little bit too much.

4. Sleeping bag liner
To avoid bed bugs and sleeping on mysterious “marks” that are on the hostel sheets, pack a sleeping bag liner. They take little to no space in your backpack, provide comfort and make for a more hygienic hostel experience. Find them cheap online or from Kathmandu!

5. Thongs
Thongs are imperative for shower time. A lot of people use the showers at hostels, it’s better to be safe than sorry… take them and wear them.

6. Bug spray
Aerogard may not be for everyone, but no one likes to be covered in big mozzie bites especially in holiday pics. So it’s worth packing a small spray to prevent bites and reactions especially in the summer months of travelling.

7. Drugs

The medical kind! Panadol and cold & flu tablets are a must have for those unexpected long days that end in headaches or that sneaky illness that everyone seems to get while travelling for weeks on end.

8. Wipes
Not an item many would think to pack, but wet ones will help you in the most unexpected situations. You may not be able to shower for some reason… use a wet one to freshen up. You need to remove makeup…use a wet one. You need to clean up scratches or your shoes… use a wet one. And finally if you’re dripping in sweat from sleeping with no air con (this happens a lot in hostels)…use a wet one.

9. Towel
Buying a micro towel will be a lifesaver. Not all hostels will provide you with free towels… yes, some do charge to rent a towel. Micro towels dry fast so you never have to worry about travelling with wet items and they come super handy for those days at the beach when you want to get your tan on.

10. Padlocks
These are a must have on your backpacks for security reasons (especially when sharing rooms), but it’s also useful to carry a couple spare so you can use the hostel lockers.


Are you packed and ready to go? Let us know What is on your essential packing list.