What Should I Pack For A Backpacking Holiday?

When you decide to go on a backpacking holiday, you often have to think about how heavy your bag is going to be because you will be carrying it around a lot of the time. Also if you're going by plane, there is usually a 15 or 20kg weight limit to think about. If you're going somewhere that's hot, carrying a heavy rucksack is not ideal because you're going to sweat. When you pack your bag, make sure you pack it sensibly. Put heavy bits in the bottom and lighter stuff that you might need as you travel at the top.

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When you go on a backpacking holiday you really need to think about the weight of the clothes, not just for the carrying weight but also because you will need to wash clothes as you travel and the lightweight clothes will wash and drier quicker. Darker clothes don't show up dirt so much but they can make you feel too hot in a warm climate. Pack some loose fitting and flowing clothes, these are better for travelling as you will feel more comfortable and also if you wear loose fitting clothes to travel, then you can hide your purse or small handbag under your clothes. Clothes with pockets are handy too because you can put money and things in them - zipped pockets are better!

Think about what you're packing, jeans are heavy and you could easily pack a couple of pairs of lightweight trousers or leggings in their place. Try not to wear controversial clothes like camouflage style wear, it can offend some people. Cycle shorts are small and perfect for backpacking. Take a long dress or skirt in case you visit religious buildings or traditional towns or cities. I went to Istanbul recently and wore shoes and t-shirt, but it wasn't taken very well. T-shirts are lightweight and wash easily. I usually take about 5 different ones. I normally pack strappy tops and t-shirts that cover my shoulders (again for visiting religious buildings).  Also, pack a large scarf or sarong - I always take one with me because you can use it as a skirt or dress instead of taking a skirt, but you can also use it as a picnic blanket or as a cover-up for places that mean you can't wear shorts and t-shirts. I always take two cardigans or jumpers. One heavy one and one lightweight one, the reason for taking two is that you can wash one and let it dry whilst wearing the other one. Also, nights can get cold whilst your travelling. Don't forget your underwear, a swimsuit and socks.


Buy mini sizes as they are easier to carry and you can always buy more as you go on. A can of dry shampoo is a good idea incase you can't get a shower and wash your hair. Toothbrush, toothpaste, hairbrush, shampoo and sun cream are a must take. Also, take a small first aid kit with antiseptic in it and plasters etc, you never know when you might need one. Paracetamol and ibuprofen are usually cheaper if you buy them in the UK, I always take a pack of each with me and some child pain relief for Tilly too. Also take tampons if you will need them, in some countries they are so expensive. I carry anti histamine in case of an allergic reaction whilst we are away.

Other Bits

I always take a portable phone charger with me because you can charge your phone up on long journeys. Also, don't forget your foreign plugs, and they're different in other countries so check what you need before you go. We went to Switzerland and didn't realise we couldn't use a European plug, and had to buy a Swiss one instead. Sunglasses and hats will protect you from the sun. I always carry a pack of baby wipes because I can use them to clean myself with or wipe downsides on transport or accommodation. For comfort as you sleep on long journeys, you might want a blow-up pillow, eye mask and earplugs. A pack of cards for long journeys and maybe an iPod, you can use your phone for music but it takes up a lot of memory on your phone and you might want that memory for photos instead. Take a pen and a small writing book, you can make notes of places that you want to visit and also keep a copy of your emergency contacts in case of an accident. Take a couple of carrier bags in case you get caught in the rain, these will keep your stuff dry and also good for putting dirty laundry in.

Money and Documents.

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Don't forget your passports/visas/driving license as you will need these to travel and hire a car. You need cash, I always carry a little bit of each currency for the countries that I am going to and then put the rest on travel cash cards or take your debit/credit cards. Take photocopies of your documents in case they get lost or stolen and print off for the accommodations and travel that you will need. Keep your tickets safe as you don't want to lose them.

Do you have any other tips?