So you’re finally setting off on your great adventure. You’ve been planning it for what seems like an eternity but now your itinerary is confirmed and departure date in sight. This leaves just one more thing…. perhaps the most underestimated job of the lot…. Packing!


Here is a list of the essentials for any backpack, our 21 Essential Things To Pack.

1. First things first. Clothes. An obvious one perhaps, but we don’t mean the basics. Hopefully we don’t have to remind you to pack underwear etc. If so, you’re not ready for world travelling! What we would recommend are the following;

Lightweight waterproofs. Always handy for all countries, climates and inevitable weather changes.

Sarong or scarf. For both general use and to cover those knees, shoulders or head if planning to visit any temples, mosques or other religious places. Most will require you to cover up as a sign of respect/etiquette.

Good socks. Hugely important and not just the one pair. You’ll be on your feet a lot so take care of them and they’ll take care of you.

Appropriate footwear. You won’t regret investing in a good quality pair of shoes/boots. Remember to break them in.

A hat and sunny’s. A hat and sunglasses are day to day essentials. Cover up that bad hair day and whip on some shades to cover those bags under your eyes.

Top Tip – wear your shoes/boots and pack your flip-flops. 


2. Prescribed medication and pharmaceuticals.  Good painkillers, Imodium, contraceptives, maleria tablets, plasters, inhalers, antiseptic cream, antibacterial gel, even mosquito spray and Nightol for those long flights and overnight trains/coach journeys.

Top Tip – Take everything out of the packaging, they pack flatter but keep any paperwork given incase any medication is queried at customs/airports. 


3. Chargers for all your electronics. Camera, phone, iPod, Go-Pro, laptop/iPad etc.


4. Plug adapter. A multi adapter if visiting numerous countries can save space and will cover you for all adaptions.


5. Plug board/bar. This will allow you to charge most, if not all your electrical’s at once and by requiring only the one mains adapter. These plug boards are often lightweight, narrow and easy to pack.


6. Freezer/zip-top bags/packing cubes. Great space savers and waterproofing substitute.

Top Tip – Simply roll or fold your clothes, place them in the bag, push the air out whilst zipping shut and you’ve got a lighter weight, flat space saving solution. 


7. Document holder. Always handy to keep all of your travel documents, insurance certificates, itinerary, flight details and tickets/boarding passes in one place.


8. Diary, journal or scrap book, complete with pen. You’re going to want to document your trip and remember where you were and when.

Top Tip – make sure this is packed in an easy-to-reach spot. You never know when inspiration might strike and you need to scribble away. 


9. Foldable day bag. This will be invaluable for days where you can store your backpack and saves you bulking out your pockets with your daily essentials.

Top Tip – some backpacks come complete with detachable day bag. Ideal!


10. Multitool. A small item with many benefits for various situations. A bottle opener, screwdriver, scissors, knife etc. (Just hope you won’t find yourself requiring it in a situation similar to ‘127 Hours’).

Top Tip – remember to pack this in your backpack and not your carry-on when going through any airport security. You don’t want to risk an invasive frisking before a long flight. 


11. Lighter. Just a standard lighter, nothing fancy. This isn’t us advocating smoking: It’s a filthy habit! A may always come in handy; whether you want to light a camp fire, need a torch to find your way to the dodgy toilet in the middle of the night or maybe even make a friend. How often has a passer by or fellow traveller asked you for a light? Obliging can often lead to conversation, integration with other travellers, further socialising or even just fulfil your feeling of good will.


12. Portable hard drive/memory stick. Essential in backing up all your travel photos and to keep a copy of travel documents. Perhaps back these up on email/internet storage too. You can’t be too safe!

Top Tip – you’ll meet loads of new people whilst travelling with different tastes in music, film, TV etc. By sharing files you’ll come back with an eclectic iPod the envy of all of your friends. 


13. Padlock. Most lockers etc offer you a padlock but its sometimes gives you peace of mind using your own tried and tested padlock.


14. Waterproof bag. Perfect for wet beach towels/ swimwear or as a dirty laundry bag.


15. Important contact details. These are always worth backing up so that you aren’t stuck if loose your mobile.


16. Mini camera tripod/Gorillapod or retractable selfie stick. You’re not going to want to miss out on any photo opportunity. They may not come again.


17Towel. Maybe not an essential but a semi essential luxury. Remember a towel can double up as a blanket or folded into a pillow too! It could also be handy for those days where you just need a little bit of privacy in your 8 bed dorm. Hang it up around the side of your bunk and hey presto! You’ve got yourself a private boudoir.

Top Tip – towel isn’t yet dry but you need to make a move? Tie it to the handle of your backpack and let it air out en-route. 


18. Toilet roll/tissues. ‘Cause you don’t want to be caught short!


19. Money. The most important thing of all. Appropriate currency, and credit/debit card will be something you do not want to forget! Travel X cards can be a good choice. These are pre-loaded cash cards that are useable worldwide and often come with extra benefits.

Top Tip – don’t keep your money all in one place. Store it in multiple places in your backpack and day bag. That way if a thief fancies their chances on a quick swipe, they’ll get some and not all! 


20. Travel insurance. An absolute must! Double, triple check that you are covered for countries/areas your visiting and activities you plan on forking out for.


21. Passport. Last but certainly not least, your passport. You will not want to get to the airport without this. This is your ticket to the world! Make sure any Visas required are completed well in advance and that your passport is and will be in date throughout the entirety of your trip.

So there we have it. Our 21 Essential Things To Pack. We hope this list will go some way to saving you from any packing fiascos and/or ending up stranded on a beach without a portable hard drive, selfie stick or toilet roll. God forbid! 

Now you know what to pack, check out How to Pack a Backpack. 

Have we forgotten anything? If so, please tell us….. You may just save our bacon!