Not sure what to pack? Always pack too much? Worried you will forget that essential items? We've been busy pulling together a list of all the essentials that you might need. Why not print off the list below and add your own items at the bottom.
First of all in the packing list are the essentials. Make sure you have got these well in advanced. Without these, no trip…
- PASSPORT! – Never, never forget your passport. If you don't trust a hostel to keep your passport then keep it on you
- Currency & credit/debit cards –take approximately $200 with you as universal currency. It will help you out in tricky situations and pay for border visas
- Emergency contact details for credit card, bank & mobile phone provider
- Prescription medicines (if you take any)
- A spare pair of glasses and contact lenses (if you wear them)
It's important to keep multiple copies of all your documents; keep one set in your day bag and one set in your backpack. That way you're covered if you lose your bag!
- Health and travel insurance documents
- Photocopies of passport
- International drivers license – can be obtained from any Post Office
- Student card – you'll be surprised how many tourist attractions offer student discount. You'll kick yourself if you don't have it
Some people love taking lots of clothes, while some people don't. Whatever you choose from your wardrobe, remember choose wisely. Actually you're going to be seeing a lot of them! And then you may buy more during your trip.
- Jacket (suitable to climate)
- Trousers/Jeans (suitable to climate)
- Shirts (and cufflinks if required)
- Dress shoes
- Casual shoes
Toiletries will take up a lot of room in your bag so decide on what you can't live without.
- Soap or shower gel
- Hair styling products
- Shaving supplies
- Contact lenses and Saline solution
- Nail file/clippers
- Make up
- Make up remover
A good medical kit is really important. Try and get a needle - you never know when you might need a sterile needle. It's a good idea to have a few plasters on you at all times, in your wallet or purse, and they're essential on this packing list.
- Safety pins
- A needle
- Antiseptic wipes
- Antiseptic handwash
- Antiseptic cream (Savlon)
- Antidiarrhoeas (Imodium)
- Antacid (for indigestion)
- Ibuprofen / paracetamol
- Antihistamines (hayfever can be a big problem abroad)
- Inhaler (only if you're asthmatic - pointless otherwise)
- Oral rehydration sachets (guarenteed you'll need these at one point)
- Baby wipes (these babies come in handy everyday)
Gizmos and Gadgets
A lot of people say that their camera and iPod are the two most important items when travelling. Netbooks (mini-laptops) are becoming more and more popular too.
- ipod / MP3 player
- Camera/video camera (+ batteries, 8GB memory card, films, cables, tripod)
- Mobile phone
- Spare batteries (rechargeable are best for long termers)
- Solar chargers (for batteries, phones, etc)
- External HD
- USB stick (8GB)
- Plug adapter (check which type you need beforehand)
- Torch / head torch
- Rape alarm (for men and women)
- Alarm clock
- Cheap digital watch (casio)
The best of the rest... some of these little gems can really make your trip - they come highly recommended on our packing list.
- Hat (cap / bandanna/beanie)
- Buff (for all situations)
- Travel towel
- Sleeping bag liner (for the occasional dirty bed)
- Eye mask
- Ear plugs
- Travel pillow / squishtie pillow
- Book / magazine
- Playing cards
- Safety pin / sewing kit
- Leatherman / Swiss army knife (a man needs a knife, ok?)
- Duct tape (for minor to major repairs)
- Bin liner (for wet clothes or as an emergency rain cover)
- Pen and paper
- Diary / journal (you never know if you're going to be the next Che Guevara)
- Travel wallet/money belt
- Waterproof cover for bag
- Tea bags (a taste of home...)
- Marmite (only if you love it...)
Additional items (use this space to jot down items personal to you)
You must want to say that it looks like a huge list. Well, it is really a huge list. But this packing list is just for a guideline only. So, don't blame us if you've forgotten something!
Follow this packing list, but you don't need to pack everything. You just have to make sure you have got everything you need. Maybe it's a good idea to over pack at first, and in your first week get rid of unwanted items. As eco-tourists don't just throw your clothes away or leave them in your hostel room - go out and donate them.
Try to make your home away from home as comfortable as possible. It is called ‘backpacking' after all...