50 Things to Pack in Your Travel Backpack

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Your go-to checklist for packing like a pro

Packing can be the bane of your life: but we’ve made the chore a little less tiresome for you and devised a COMPLETE packing list. Got a big trip coming up? Use this ultimate guide to remind you of useful essentials you need to buy for your travels whether it’s shower gel, socks, clothes or sunnies. Knowing how to pack a backpack for a long trip ain’t easy. But simply treat this as a packing checklist and tick off each item as you go. Of course, it really depends on what kind of trip you’re about to embark on whether it’s trekking a mountain, or interrailing Europe, so we’ve tried to include items that cater to every kind of trip!

When it comes to packing, the best way to pack a backpack is to save space. Our top tip is to fold your clothes efficiently. Remember: Heavy stuff at the bottom, stuff that leaks goes in plastic bags and things you’ll need as soon as you arrive at your destination (like toiletries) at the top. Roll your clothes up rather than fold them if it takes up less room.

This guide will also work for suitcases for air travel too, not just backpacks. Don’t forget anything - and happy travelling!

Haven’t got a backpack yet? Check out the 10 best backpacks of 2017

Researching a holiday She's all packed, with the help of guide ;)

1 Passport

2 EU Adapters

3 Underwear

4 Socks

5 Phone charger

phone charger

And a portable phone charger

6 Clothes (including PJ's)

Remember to take light layers and warm layers. Pack enough clothes to last the duration of your stay but don't overpack -  it's going to be hard to fit everything in your backpack if you take more than necessary. If you're going on a long trip, be sure to check the hostel has a laundry room so you can wear clothes over again.

7 Waterproof mac

8 Walking shoes

It’s usually best to wear your bulkiest shoes at the airport so that you can save space in your luggage.

9 Water bottle

For travelling, we recommend a metal water bottle. Much more hygienic and long lasting.

10 Euros

Put your wallet somewhere that's easy to access (or store your cash in a bum bag).

11 Camera


And with every camera you'll need a...

12 Camera charger

Oh - and a spare memory card if you'll need one!

13 Deodorant

14 Shampoo, Conditioner

Small, portable bottles are better for travelling

15 Body wash

16 Towel

Microfibre towels

Ideally a microfibre towel that takes up less room (like these awesome ones from Amazon).

17 Moisturiser

18 Makeup/makeup wipes

Very important

19 Hairbrush/comb/hair gel/spray

20 Map, compass or GPS

You never know if you'll have good signal or not using GPS, so it would be helpful to take a back-up compass or map

21 Going out outfits

Girl looking at clothes

It's hard to choose what to wear on nights out but be brutal and only pack what you need.

22 Going out shoes

23 Painkillers

24 First Aid Kit

25 Toothbrush

26 Toothpaste

27 Gloves/hat/scarf

Depending on where you're going

28 Trekking poles

29 Medicines


30 Emergency whistle

(If you’re backpack doesn’t come equipped with one already)

31 Torch or flashlight

To avoid having to turn all the lights on in your dorm room and waking everyone up (just so you could find that lost sock before your flight).

31 Eye mask

eye mask

So that if someone does turn the lights on, you won't even notice!

32 Ear buds

33 Sleeping bag liner

Sleeping bag

34 Sun cream

35 Lip balm

36 Board shorts/swim gear

37 Spectacles/ contact lenses/ contact lenses cleaner

38 Mobile phone/spare cheap phone for emergencies

Get yourself a SIM card that works abroad

39 Thermal flask and cup

If you're planning on camping out and cooking, remember matches/a fire starter, food and cooking utensils

40 Shaver/nail clippers

Beard gang members: remember your beard trimmer and charger (if you don't wanna rough it out)!

41 Sunnies

Sunnies in the sand

42 Goggles

43 Underwater camera

44 Sandals/flip flops

45 Trainers

46 Padlock

47 Backpack rain cover

Some backpacks already have one. If not definitely purchase one; the last thing you want is all your stuff to get drenched.

48 Hat, cap

To keep you shaded

49 Reading material/travel guide/phrasebook


Small snacks that will fit in your backpack. Breakfast bars, trail mix, sweets. These will come in handy if you’re going trekking/hiking.

Now you’re ready to go!

Loading the car boot

Coming soon: What to pack for a ski holiday

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