Whether you’re going on holiday for two weeks, or heading off travelling for two years – the most daunting (and boring) task before any trip is undoubtedly the packing. Now we know it’s tempting to leave it until the very last minute, but unless you fancy arriving half way across the world having just realised you’ve forgotten your phone charger: a little forethought is always advised.
When it comes to backpacking, the task can end up being a real headache. What should you pack? Will you need ten t-shirts? Surely it’s worth stuffing in that extra pair of sunglasses… The short answer is: only take the essentials. However with lots of people unsure as to what falls into this criteria, it’s not always that simple. Furthermore, with all your money going on travel insurance and flight tickets, you’ll undoubtedly need to think about how much you can afford to spend on new gear.
With all this is mind, here are our top tips for organising those backpacking essentials on the cheap!
Think ‘Top to Toe’
Although a lot of people concentrate on general clothing, the small essentials can be forgotten about. Are you going somewhere cold? Make sure you pack a beanie hat – it’s a comforting bit of warmth that without, you’re likely to really miss. Similarly, if you’re thinking an old pair of Converse trainers will do – perhaps you should think about investing in a more durable, waterproof pair. Blisters are nobody’s friend.
If you’re a bit of a light sleeper, sharing bunk beds and hostels with countless people can be disastrous. Although you might have to come to terms with the fact that sleep is always going to happen on an ad-hoc basis whilst on the road, by taking items like ear plugs, eye masks or even lavender drops – whatever works for you – at least you’re giving yourself the best chance of getting some precious shut eye.
If whilst at home you are constantly looking at some kind of digital screen, the thought of being without a laptop, tablet or smart phone might feel alien. However, losing a few electronics is definitely something you should think about. Of course you’ll need some kind of camera and phone, but remember, the fancier the gadget, the bigger target you are for opportune thieves! If you’ve got the spare cash, why not see if you can get a few cheap bits specifically for travelling?
Buy a Decent Backpack
Lastly, one of the most vital ingredients in the packing mix is the bag you take it all in. If you’re thinking of digging out that ancient rucksack from the loft… think again. Buying the perfect backpack is advisable, and before you assume you’ll have to spend a massive chunk of the budget, the most expensive one are not always the best. With lots of online retailers like Amazon selling perfectly decent bags at affordable prices, you’ll also be able to save a few extra pennies for the trip.