When I came to Australia I packed the lightest I have ever packed for anything! Even lighter than for a weekend away. My osprey 70l bag weighed in at 15.5kg when I left the UK and my backpack was 7kg, not bad for a years worth of stuff!
I had been researching and researching for ages things to take backpacking and it was all common sense stuff, we all know we need mozzie repellent, clothes and sunscreen! But what about the extra bits that would be a bloody gem when the time comes that people don’t tell you about.
Here are my list of things that I am SO glad I brought with me:
A Padlock – bring loads of padlocks! I came with 4 and have lost 2 along the way so I always have a way of securing my locker or if lockers aren’t provided I can look up both my day bag and my main backpack! Just make sure you remember the codes, if your forgetful, write them down in your phone as a contact.
Ziplock bags – you never know when this will come in handy! Whether it’s to put soap in, put over the top of shampoo that might leak or to decanter hot chocolate into, honestly I did this!
A pen – keep this in your hand luggage because your bound to have to fill in stuff on the plane or when you get to passport control and the whole thing is easier and less stressful if you have your own pen! Also handy to write your name on food!
Curling tongs – okay so this was totally my luxury item. BUT I am sooooooo glad I brought my tongs because it meant I could quickly glam up to jazz things up for a night out or disguise that I had greasy hair. My Remington travel tongs are so compact and are my absolute life.
Packing cubes – I first discovered packing cubes when I was trawling amazon everyday for backpacking related products. I have 3 different sized cubes that fit all of my clothes in and they fit perfectly in my backpack and then 3 zip bags which I keep swim stuff, underwear and suncream in! They just really help to keep you organised and makes packing SO much easier, everyone is so jel of my cubes.
Go Pro – I love taking pictures and my go pro was the best purchase I made before I came as it’s so versatile and you can capture so many moments a normal camera wouldn’t get! Without my go pro I wouldn’t have captured me swimming with turtles, sharks, going down a slide off the boat on the Whitsundays, having a hilarious time in the Noosa national park fairy pools and swimming in Lake McKenzie. Definitely a great investment and I have 4 batteries which is a god send as the battery runs out fast.
Earplugs – yup, a Backpackers essential. You just never know when you might need them due to a snorer, people coming in late or getting up early! I sleep with my earplugs under my pillow so I can pop them in quickly. I bought about 4 pairs as they are easy to get lost.
4 Port USB charger – mains points can be few and far between in hostels, sometimes you can have your own by your bed, thank you Flashpackers, but other times it’s a bit of a fight and we all have so many devices. So my 4 Port charger means I don’t hog the points and I can charge up to 4 devices at a time as everything is USB these days right! Also people will like you!
Neck rest – overnight buses, long haul flights, flimsy pillows are all things backpacking comes with but to make it more comfy a neck rest solves this. I have a pink memory foam one and it’s a dream.
A nice necklace – jazzes up any outfit to instantly go from day to night! When you don’t have many choices a necklace always helps.
Lipstick – similar concept to the necklace, pop on some lipstick and you’ll instantly feel ready for a night out, even if you are wearing your denims and converse!
The whole of home bargains – you never know what is gonna happen when you are away (TRUST ME) so bring as many different types of medicines with you as chances are you might need them and it’s cheaper in the UK! I’m talking – ibrufoen, cold and flu tablets, eye drops, lemsip, toothache gel, upset stomach, painkillers, antihistamine! Always good to be prepared.
A shopper bag – so handy if you have a shared bathroom, you can put your clothes and toiletries in it without having to put your stuff on the floor and it getting soaked. Winner.
A torch – I always keep a torch in my handbag because I love a sunset and it gets very dark very quickly when the sun goes down, and if you’ve done a special walk to get somewhere to view sunset then don’t forget you’ll be walking down too! And that can be tricky in the dark of your phone is dead!
A power bank – speaking of dead phones, which is so common, cheers apple. I always take my power bank and charger with me if I know it’s gonna be a long day out!
Things I shouldn’t have bought:
A playsuit that I’ve never worn before – stupid idea
An old pair of denim shorts that I didn’t like
Things I wish I bought:
One nice going out dress – I had to buy one!
Shoes that aren’t trainers or thongs – would have been nice to get a variation!
A Hairdrier – not essential but wet hair isn’t a good look sometimes!
A laptop – would have been annoying to lug around but useful for cvs, job hunting and blogging!
My knee brace – this might have come in handy when I dislocated my knee!!
Hope all of these are useful for when you are packing for your trip! All of these things have been soooooo handy and I’m so glad I bought them with me!