One of the biggest challenges when backpacking round the world is deciding what you should and shouldn’t pack. Everyone will have personal preferences about what is essential and what isn’t but here are some quick tips:
1. Make sure you main bag weighs less than 15kgs. Many internal flights have a strict 15kg baggage allowance, compared to the standard 23-30kg you get on international flights. Our bags for our 224 day 2017 trip started at 14.4kg and 12.1kg and even then we decided to lighten the load after our first night, disposing of a further 3kgs of clothes and non-essentials.
2. If your backpacking in a pair or as a couple, work out what items you can share, or split the load. You only need one pot of hair gel, or deodorant to start with as most items can be replaced easily in most towns.
3. Take plenty of socks and underwear – we’ve packed 10 pairs of socks and 14 pairs of underwear each. Most other clothing can be worn two or three times before you become anti-social, but clean under garments are a must.
4. A roll up wash bag is a great way to organise all your toiletries and save space. We’ve clipped a caribeener to ours meaning they can be hung anywhere!
5. There’s a huge selection of travel towels and lightweight camping equipment available – I’d suggest doing plenty of research before spending too much money. Every hotel we’ve stayed at to date has had towels but our first hotel in Kolkata didn’t have a blanket or duvet – so our XXL beach towel made a good blanket for the night.
6. Basic safety equipment, such as a lightweight bicycle chain are really useful when using public transport or hotels that don’t have an in room safe. More expensive options include the Safepac travel safe – which we have brought with us – at £69.00 isn’t cheap and in our first week we haven’t had any need for it.
7. Travel vacuum storage bags are an amazing and essential space saving tip – so long as you don’t mind creased clothes.
8. Hygiene products such as hand sanitiser, bin bags and toilet roll are a must when travelling in developing countries.
9. Most important of all is a good back pack – we’ll review some of the top options in a future blog!
Remember when travelling to leave some space in your backpack for wardrobe changes. Leaving the UK in January in full winter gear, meant that when we arrived in tropical Kolkata all those clothes had to go into our back packs in the space left by shorts and t-shirts!