BACKPACKING ESSENTIALS

There is no better way for you to get out there and experience the world than spending your time backpacking through countries eating incredible food, visiting unbelievable places, and embracing thousand year old cultures. When you start backpacking you're quick to realise that your pack becomes your life. It holds essentially everything you own from your cute frilly socks to the most important travel documents and ensuring you've packed everything you need is extremely vital to ensure your trip is about enjoying yourself instead of worrying about the things you've forgotten. 

BEFORE YOU GO

A couple very important things to remember before you go out into the world;

1. ENSURE YOU'RE PROPERLY VACCINATED 
I cannot stress this enough, please do your research on the countries you are visiting/could potentially be visiting and look at your medical history to check if your vaccinations are up to date on what you need. I can almost guarantee if you haven't previously travelled to the country or similar you'll need a stop to the doctors. Although expensive and not the most pleasant experience, doing this will prevent the hypothetical worst that can happen on a trip. Some common vaccinations for the most popular backpacking countries are;


India - Diphtheria; Hepatitis A; Tetanus; Typhoid
South America - Cholera; Yellow Fever; Typhoid; Hepatitis A and B; Tetanus, Diphtheria and Polio; Rabies Vaccine (dependant)
Africa - Hepatitis A and B; Meningitis ACWY; Tetanus, Diphtheria and Polio; Typhoid; Yellow Fever; Rabies Vaccine

If you're visiting Africa, Asia, Central and South America, certain parts of the Middle East and certain Pacific Islands ensure you have an updated malaria vaccination. 

Although all these jabs are daunting and for those whom don't like needles, quite scary, you're in luck. More likely than not, you'll have a lot of these vaccines in you already, both Hepatitis A and B as well as Tetanus are usually given to you as a child or at school. As for the others, modern technology has graced us with the ability to put two or three different vaccines into the one shot, cutting down on the discomfort of multiple jabs.

2. VISAS
Thankfully, most countries allow tourists to visit up to 90 days with no visa, and even if you do need a visa they are usually quite easy to obtain. Ensuring all this boring paperwork is organised before your departure will save a lot of hassle when you arrive in the country, so have a read of the list and check off any places you're going to that you'll need a visa to enter!

Some of the most common countries you will need a visa for are;
​Afghanistan, Australia, Bangladesh, Belarus, Bhutan, Bolivia, Brazil, Cambodia, China, Cuba, Egypt, Ethiopia, India, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Jordan, Laos, Madagascar, Maldives, Myanmar (Burma), Nepal, Pakistan, Papua New Guinea, Paraguay, Russia, Solomon Islands, Somalia, South Sudan, Sri Lanka, Sudan,  Syria,  Tanzania, Thailand, Tibet, Turkey, Uganda, United Arab Emirates, Venezuela, Vietnam

Less popular destinations that you'll need a visa for;
Algeria, Angola, Azerbaijan, Benin, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cape Verde, Central African Republic, Chad, Cameroon, Comoros Islands, Congo, Cote D'loire, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Djibouti, Eritrea, Falkland Islands, Gabon, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea Bissau, Republic of Guinea, Kazakhstan, North Korea, Kuwait, Lebanon, Liberia, Libya, Macao, Malawi, Mali, Mauritania, Mozambique, Nauru, Niger, Nigeria, Oman, Pitcairn Island, Qatar, Rwanda, Sao Tome & Principe, Saudi Arabia, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Suriname, Tajikistan, Timor-Leste, Togo, Tonga, Turkmenistan, Tuvalu, Uzbekistan, Western Samoa, Yemen, Zambia, Zimbabwe

There is no better way for you to get out there and experience the world than spending your time backpacking through countries eating incredible food, visiting unbelievable places, and embracing thousand year old cultures. When you start backpacking you're quick to realise that your pack becomes your life. It holds essentially everything you own from your cute frilly socks to the most important travel documents and ensuring you've packed everything you need is extremely vital to ensure your trip is about enjoying yourself instead of worrying about the things you've forgotten. 

THE ESSENTIALS ON THE ROAD

1. DISPOSABLE CAMERA
An absolute essential in my opinion. Although thought to be out of fashion, there is nothing more rewarding and exciting than buying a disposable camera, snapping cute and funny pics along your travels, then getting them developed to have a physical copy of your incredible trip away. You will never be able to achieve the same outcome with a phone or a DSLR and sticking them to your wall after your travels will hopefully inspire you to get ready for your next adventure. 

2. TRAVEL TOWEL  
Normal towels are large and bulky and will definitely take up a large portion of valuable space in your pack if you bring one. Instead, invest in a travel towel. They are made of microfibre material which ensures they are fast drying and they are also perfect for backpacking due to their ability to compact into nearly nothing. If you're a girl you can even buy two, one for your body and one for your hair. 

3. ADAPTER 
Investing in a global travel adapter will mean not having to awkwardly try and ask someone in your hostel to borrow theirs the first night you land because you've bought the wrong one or forgotten to bring it at all. Although they can be quite pricey, it's definitely a great choice.

4. AN ITINERARY 
No matter how much you have planned your trip, it's a great idea to have printed copies of what you have booked because there is nothing worse than trying to look through months worth of emails to try and find your conformation to your hotel after a long flight. Have a folder dedicated to everything that you've planned including flights, accomodation, activities and anything else you've booked. It's also a great idea to have photocopied passport and visas either in the same folder, or if you don't trust yourself not to lose it, somewhere safe in your pack. 

5. A PAIR OF TOGS (SWIMMERS)
No matter what the country, bringing a pair of swimmers are an essential. Whether you're going swimming or not, you never know what kind of mischief you'll get up to and may need them for. Whether it's having a bath together with your best friend, jumping into a lake you stumbled upon, or sneaking into a Jacuzzi in the VIP area it's always a perfect idea to pack some. 

6. DEODERANT 
I'm pretty sure this goes without saying, but sometimes you become so frazzled with bringing everything else you completely forget about the basic things. Make sure you bring a little travel bottle to bring in your carry on for flights and to keep on you in case you don't have your big pack on hand, and even get a second bottle to pack in your backpack, just to be on the safe side. 

7. A FANCY OUTFIT
No matter where you go in the world it's always nice to feel pretty. Bringing a nice top/shirt to wear with jeans or a pretty dress is perfect for nights out, fancy dinners and even a yummy brunch. Bring something diverse which you can wear for lots of occasions and not too heavy or bulky in your pack.

8. PAWPAW (LIP BALM)
This is one of the biggest essentials for me, so it might as well be the same for you. In Australia we have the most incredible lip balm made from Pawpaws (Lucas' Pawpaw Ointment, you can find it on Amazon) and it not only it amazing for dry lips, but it's also perfect for things like boils, burns, chafing, cuts, cracked skin, gravel rash, splinters, open wounds and insect bites. 

9. BABYWIPES
Sometimes it may be hard to access a bathroom, toilet or shower, so bringing baby wipes will save your ass (literally). If you're camping or in a remote location, using them to clean yourself and wipe your face, as well as being a lot more pleasant to use when going to the toilet instead of leaves, you'll be thankful you brought some. Even if you're staying in a city bringing some is always handy to wipe your feet after walking on the dirty hostel floor or use them to clean yourself if you're too lazy to shower. 

10. SUNSCREEN 
Obviously a very season dependant essential but travelling in summer definitely requires the need of some sunscreen. Instead of buying a lotion one, which has the chance of spilling all through your bag, perhaps buy a mist or just a small travel sized bottle (and put it in a ziplock bag to avoid it ending up on all your belongings. 

11. METAL WATER BOTTLE 
Buying 3 seperate plastic water bottles a day is not only wasteful, but is also an expense you can't really afford if you're a budget backpacker. Buying a metal bottle before you go (or if you forget they pretty much always sell them at airports) will mean not paying for water (that money can now be spent on things like a big bowl of Pho) and helping the environment. What more do you want? 
SIDE NOTE; It's important to note that in some countries it is not safe to drink the tap water, so make sure to ask first.

12. HAND SANITISER 
Whether your eating with your hands in India or dancing with a sweaty man in a jazz club in New Orleans, bringing hand sanitiser will mean no unwanted sicknesses during your trip.  

13. A NECK PILLOW 
An optional choice but a well needed one if you're planning on doing a lot of long haul flights, overnight trains, and long bus journeys. There is nothing worse than getting a stiff neck after travelling all day so buying something comfy will be great for your travels. 

14. RECHARGEABLE PORTABLE BATTERY
If you're going to be snapping pictures all day on your phone, bringing a spare rechargeable battery will save you having to go without that beautiful sunset shot. Buy a slightly more expensive one where you can get two charges out of it if you're not close to power too often or if you're sharing with friends.

15. MONEY BELT (PARTICULARLY FOR ASIA, MIDDLE EAST, SOUTH AMERICA AND AFRICA) 
Showcasing money is a surefire way of becoming a target of petty theft and although you should take this into account for whichever countries you plan on visiting, buying a money belt if you're visiting regions such as Asia, the Middle East, South America and Africa instead of carrying a bag around is a good idea. It will attract less attention to your valuables and hiding it under your clothes to store your money will mean basically no chance of theft.

16. LOCKS
No matter where you go in the world, ensuring your belongings remain safe is vital. Buy a small lock for both your backpack and day bag, preferably with a code instead of a key because losing the key is just one more thing to worry about. 

17. FIRST AID KIT
A good essential to bring on your trip away because you truly never know what is going to happen. Bandaids, gauze pads, antiseptic wipes/spray, safety pins, mosquito repellant, small sewing kit (you never know when you'll have to sew a button back on) are all things you should consider packing.

18. NOTEBOOK AND PEN
A nice way to record memories, pass time and write down important information. Bringing a notebook is a good way to get off your phone and instead doodle drawings and jot down funny moments and memories as well as write down important information like bus times in case something happens to your phone.

19. PORTABLE SPEAKER
An optional choice to bring but if you enjoy the party lifestyle and you're going to be staying in hostels, with friends or even just enjoy boogying to music, consider bringing a portable speaker. UE booms are also a good option as they aren't too big, are waterproof, are super loud and are affordable. 

20. FLIPFLOPS
An essential for hostel showers and just popping down to the shops for some crackers and tomatoes (staple backpacker meal) as well as a bottle of tequila for you and your new friends (staple backpacker drink). Bringing a cheap pair of flipflops will save you from having to lace up your trainers or hiking boots every time you need to run down to the off licence. 

21. TOILETRIES BAG
An obvious choice for travelling but more often than not you'll end up forgetting a vital item of toiletries, and although not the end of the world, is just a bit of a pain. Remember to bring shampoo, conditioner, shower gel, toothbrush, toothpaste, cotton buds, face wash, makeup wipes, hair gel (for boys), spare hair ties, perfume/aftershave, shaving cream, deodorant.

22. TRAVEL CUTLERY
Another optional choice but if you're looking at going to more rural areas or camping bringing along your own cutlery never hurt. Even if you're just lying on the beach in the south of France bringing your own cutlery to cut the fresh fruit you bought will save your hands from becoming a sticky mess. There are travel sets of cutlery you can buy from hiking and outdoors shops. 

24. HEADPHONES AND HEADPHONE SPLITTER 
Headphones are an essential I'm sure many people will bring without my help, but, in case you were thinking of giving them a miss, you may want to reconsider. The perfect way to drown out noisy people in your dorm room, and if you bring a headphone splitter (the thing that lets you plug in two sets of headphones into one device) you can watch movies with your new found friends. 

25. A SENSE OF ADVENTURE
Now, you may think this point is clique, but hear me out. It can be daunting if you're not really sure where to start with this whole backpacking situation, but the most important thing to remember is that it's meant to be fun. You're going to get on the road and realise you've forgotten your toothbrush and have to try and find a new one, but that's fine! Enjoy the adventure of everything and embrace what you have to offer to the world. You're going to make mistakes, both with what you pack and the choices you make while you're on the road, but in my opinion that's just a great excuse to tell one more story about your travels when you're back home.

LET'S TRAVEL THE WORLD TOGETHER

@SHETRAVELLEDTHEWORLD

  • Instagram
  • Pinterest
  • YouTube
  • Facebook

PHOTOGRAPHY

SHOP

MEET COURTNEY

CONTACT

PRIVACY POLICY

AND DISCLOSURE

FAQ

SUBSCRIBE TO THE  NEWSLETTER AND GET 10% OFF SHE TRAVELLED THE WORLD SHOP