18 Travel Products Every Backpacker Needs

Christmas is just around the corner: these gifts are perfect for any backpacker

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  • 07 November 2017
  • • 7 min read

With these 18 travel essentials in your armoury, your next trip will be easy peasy. Trust us, you won’t want to travel without a lot of these life savers...

Your Christmas list sorted!


A Go Pro is an amazing tool to capture out-of-this-world shots. In fact, there’s no better way to document your travels. So if you have a big trip coming up, you know what to add to your Christmas list! With a GoPro you can pretty much do anything: from connecting the camera to your skateboard, filming underwater, capturing amazing still shots and videos with the ultra-wide camera view - and even extending it into a selfie stick.


For all the beach lovers. Gone are the days of having sand stuck to your beach towel, and frustratingly stuck to your skin. With the sandless beach mat, you’ll never have this worry again. So how does it work?

The smooth top layer of the mat allows sand to pass through, and the bottom layer prevents sand coming up. As a result, sand just disappears as soon as it touches the mat and goes through to the other side - creating a sand-free environment.

At first I was pretty sceptical about this mat, but then I watched all the videos and read the reviews. It’s super light, easy to pack and so much more convenient for travelling - and most importantly it works.


Picture the horror. The one party outfit you managed to squash into your backpack is finally needed. You’re in Berlin getting dressed up with your hostel friends, excited for the night to come. You pull the dress out from the bottom of your pack and it’s a gonner. It’s completely creased. You think ‘Maybe I can get away with it?’, you try it on and to your dismay you look like you’ve been through a tumble dryer.

If only you had a travel steamer to smooth out those creases. Travel steam irons can be quite heavy/big to pack but they are truly a saviour for times like these. Whether it’s a shirt or dress, if you know you’re going to be hitting club or nice bar on your travels then you won’t want to travel without one. The only way to avoid times like this is to pack anti-wrinkle clothing. You can buy one for a little as £7.99.


Backpacking means A LOT of travelling around. On planes, on trains, on coaches, on buses. Even on boats. You’re going to want to sleep to pass time and to reboot your energy levels. Travel pillows will ensure you actually get a decent rest without waking up with one side of your neck suffering from a serious cramp. Travel pillows are essential for when travelling for a long period overnight. You don’t want to embark on an eight hour night coach ride without one.

We recommend: Anything comfy and soft 


Make sure you or one of your friends travelling with you has one of these. A Bluetooth wireless speaker is perfect to play some tunes in your hostel room after a long, busy day. And it means any phone can connect to it using Bluetooth.

We recommend: Philips portable wireless speaker


Portable chargers a god send. The last thing you need is your battery dying, especially when you’re about to go sightseeing and you want to take photos for the ‘Gram. Even worse - if you’re lost in the middle of a city and you need to call your friend. A portable charger is literally LIFE. You can buy a good portable charger from most airports - and they don’t have to cost a fortune. You can even get a portable charging banks with several USB ports so that you can your friends can all charge your phones at the same time.

We recommend:  The Anker PowerCore 20100


Nobody wants to wash their hair every day when out on the road. Who has time for that? Dry shampoo is your answer to keeping your hair feeling fresh, non-greasy and clean. Just give it a few sprays, rub it into your roots et voila you’re ready to start you day, or night. Quick, easy and effective.

We recommend: the Batiste range of Dry Shampoo from  Boots.


Ear plugs will help you get a good night's sleep whether you’re in a dorm room at a hostel or on a flight. It will block out all that noise, especially if you’re a light sleeper.


If you’re a frequent traveller who is constantly on the road, then invest in one of these bad boys. This international SIM card from Chatsim means you can send unlimited texts, emojis and use chat apps such as Whatsapp and Facebook Messenger all over the world (even if you don’t have access to Wifi). Chat SIM will automatically connect you to the roaming operator with the best coverage so that you always have the best connection quality using 3G or 4G. For just £30 pounds a month, it’s a pretty good investment if you’re travelling - and it means you never have to worry about roaming costs again. All you have to do is put the SIM in your Smartphone.

Find out more


An obvious product but perhaps one of the most important. If you want to use electronics abroad whether it’s a phone charger, camera charger or hair straighteners then make sure you have an adapter. A universal adapter is your best bet. This is just a one off purchase that will work all over the world whether it’s the States, the EU, the Far East or the UK, so you're sorted for all future trips! Check the packet before you buy so you know exactly where you can use it.


Keep your valuables safe and always keep your luggage locked with a padlock. Whenever you leave things in your hostel, or boarding a flight it’s always best to be safe and lock your things.


Wet wipes or hand sanitizer will come in handy way more than you think. So pack these.


Black out your surroundings and sleep well with an eye mask. That way, if anyone turns on the hostel dorm room lights early in the morning, you won’t even know it...


It’s common to get a little bit ill or suffer from a bad tummy when abroad. So keep some Imodium on you just in case this situation arises. You’ll thank yourself for being prepared. Just remember to stick to bottled water to prevent getting stomach issues (and try not to eat anything that you think may be a bit dodgy).


A local guide book can come in handy if you want to pick up some of the local language or get a feel for the area and where to visit. A lot of guide books will recommend places to steer clear from too, so very useful!


Don’t forget to pack your trusty headphones. Perfect to keep you occupied on long journeys!


You never know when you may be in need of a sleeping bag liner. If you're ever concerned about the cleanliness of the bed you’re in, this travel essential will get you through the night. Just slide yourself in and voila. (You won't need this in St Christopher's hostels though, as all bedding is ready made and cleaned before your arrival). This sleeping bag liner is thin, portable and much easier to carry around than a bulky sleeping bag. Click  here  to view it on Amazon.

We recommend:  The Mountain Warehouse Microfibre sleeping bag liner

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