There’s nothing more exciting than deciding to pack all your troubles in your old kit bag and set off to parts unknown for a few months - or longer. But it’s what you put in your old kit bag that can really make the difference between a good trip and a great trip… so thinking about what you need and what you absolutely can live without is wise.
A number of intrepid global adventurers have just spoken to The Travel website about what they really regret taking with them on their backpacking holidays… and you might like to heed their words of wisdom if you’re planning a similar trip in the near future.
One backpacker, for example, advised people to make sure that they only take their most enduring and comfortable shoes when off on your travels. Sneakers and flip-flops can make their way into your bag if necessary - but don’t take anything glamorous with you or you’ll find yourself regretting it.
Ditching the guidebook was also suggested by one backpacker, who reminded everyone that the internet is available everywhere and anywhere, so you can simply look everything up online - and won’t have to worry about the added weight of a hefty tome of information.
And speaking of technology, another backpacker advised you to leave your laptop behind unless you know you’re going to be working remotely. It could get stolen, can be awkward to pack and you’re unlikely to use it all that much.
A smartphone with long battery life, however, would be a much better choice - although try to stay offline as much as you can to conserve the battery.
Also don’t be tempted to choose a really big bag. It might seem like a good idea at the time, since a bigger bag means you’ll be able to fit more of what you think you’ll need inside, but you’re going to be carrying that bag around with you a lot - so the smaller and lighter, the better.
When it comes to actually packing your bag, you can save space by rolling your clothes up! And you’d be wise to include a few plastic bags in there so you have somewhere to put your wet bathers, dirty shoes and so on. If they’re clear plastic bags, you’ll be able to see what’s in them so can stay organised with ease.
In terms of absolute backpacking essentials, gaffer tape should be at the top of your list. This will come in handy in all sorts of ways, whether that’s fixing a hole in your backpack itself or waterproofing a shoe that has an inconvenient hole in it.
And, of course, you should always make sure you’ve got the best cheap backpacker travel insurance policy in place before you travel so you don’t have to worry if something happens.