As my newest adventure is just around the corner, I thought I would share with you what my top backpacking essentials are that I have to have with me on the road to help make my life that little bit easier and more comfortable.
The ‘girly’ girls guide:
1. Packing cells
Packing cells can be bought at any outdoor equipment store or online. I got mine from Kathmandu. Living out of a backpack really frustrates me. There’s nothing worse than rummaging through all your belongings to find a certain thing and then having to re fold/re roll all your clothes again. Packing cells provide you with order and tidiness. I have one for tops, one for bottoms, one for dresses/skirts/jackets and one for pj’s/socks/underwear/bikinis and I also have a smaller one to keep all my chargers/cables in.
2. Dry shampoo
I wouldn’t use dry shampoo in my regular day to day life, but when I’m travelling it’s my best friend. You don’t always have time to wash your hair when it needs it, so a quick spray of this will leave your hair looking and feeling fresh.
3. A Concealment shirt
This to me is like a new age, more fashionable version of a money belt. When I was in South America I found wearing a money belt impractical and uncomfortable. I found this great range of clothing online at The clever travel companion. I have the tank top and my partner has the boxers. They are perfect to wear on travel days when you have to have all your important documents on you all at once. It perfectly fits my passport, bank cards and money and can be worn discreetly under another shirt.
4. A First aid kit
I can’t stress this enough, you should always, always have a first aid kit on you whilst travelling. Most places have easy access to pharmacies but you never know when you are going to be off the beaten track where you can’t find one and you need some medication. If you had a little peak into my first aid kit you would find some things such as; band aides, pain killers, antiseptic cream, anti diaheera medication, motion sickness tablets, hydralyte, cold and flu tablets and bug spray. Also don’t forget to bring sunscreen, in some countries (ie. Peru) it’s seen as a ‘tourist thing’ and they charge you ridiculous prices for it.
5. A hair dyer
Yep! You read that correctly. A hair dryer is a travel essential for me. When I was backpacking around South America, I quickly learned that I seemed to be the only girl who bought a hair dryer along. It might seem a little ridiculous to most people to take up space with something like a hair dryer but when you have hair like mine that takes hours to dry, it’s impractical to let it air dry in cooler climates. Just because I’m backpacking doesn’t mean I can’t look nice. If my hair looks nice then I feel good about myself. I found this great travel hair dryer from Conair that has a foldable handle and a retractable cord.
6. A universal plug
This is pretty self explanatory. Different countries have different electrical plugs so instead of buying all sorts of different ones each time you travel you can just buy one that you can change to suit your needs. I bought mine from a market in Argentina but you can get yours at any travel or outdoor store.
7. A small mirror
If you’re like me and wear contact lenses or like to wear a little bit of makeup when you are traveling, then a small portable mirror is a great thing to bring along with you. Not all hostels have mirrors and you also don’t want to be that asshole taking ages in the bathroom getting ready when other people are waiting to use it. This way you can get ready from the comfort of your own bunk bed.
It’s not a very attractive way to sleep but wearing an eye mask and ear plugs is one of the only ways I can get a sound sleep in a busy dorm room. People are always coming and going, talking loudly and turning on lights when you are trying to sleep but with these two things, you shouldn’t have a problem.
Have you ever been on vacation to a beach destination and then realised you don’t have a beach then have to be that awkward person using your bath towel? I have and it’s not fun. A sarong is the perfect solution to this problem. It’s light weight and can fold up well. It’s also really easy to shake the sand off it at the end of the day and it dries quickly. To top it all off you can wear it as a dress or a skirt over your bikinis to and from the beach. Perfect!
Let’s face it, you are going to be doing a lot of walking on your trip. There’s nothing worse than having sore feet and blisters to hinder your day of sight seeing. Comfortable shoes are a must have. For me, I wear my Nike frees or my converse and I can walk all day no problems.
So there you have it, my very girly list of essential items for the road. What are some of your essential travel items? I’d love to hear!