If you’re someone that’s used to struggling with a 20kg baggage allowance when going on holiday, the thought of leaving the country with only a backpack for your belongings can seem daunting: if not impossible. Whilst, yes, preparing for backpacking can be a bit of a struggle it is not impossible, and with a bit of organisation and some expert advice, you might be surprised about how easily you manage it.
1) Multi Purpose clothing
The easiest way to save space in your packing for backpacking is to pick clothing that you can double up as other things. Get a swimming costume that you can double up as a body suit for nights out, grab a sarong that you can also use as a blanket to sit on at the beach. Following from this, pick clothes that you can mix and match, make sure that pretty much all your bottoms and tops go together so you can maximise on outfit combinations with minimum items. Think denim, black and white or nude, neutral colours.
2) Extension cable
This might seem like a bulky thing for when you’re trying to pack light but it came in so handy whilst travelling. When you’re in a hostel, you’ll be lucky if you can get your hands on even one power outlet. If you’ve got to charge up a phone, camera, kindle and a drone, it would take forever going back and forth swapping everything out until it’s all charged up. An extension cable means that not only can you charge all your devices at once, but you can do it with one plug socket and one adapter, genius!
3) Packing cubes
This is an organisational life saver, especially if you’re backpacking. The worst thing is trying to pull out a pair of jeans from the bottom of your backpack only to have everything on top shift around, unfold and mess up your whole system. Packing cubes completely eliminates this issue by stacking neatly in the backpack and keeping your items organised into sections. Have one for each category of clothing: tops, bottoms, dresses/playsuits and underwear. You can just take out the cube containing the item you need and everything else stays nice and neatly folded.
4) Comfortable shoes
Backpacking holidays are not like normal holidays spent lounging around the pool all day. When you’re exploring a new city you’ll find yourself walking more than you ever have before, not even to mention if you plan on doing any guided tours and hikes. I can’t stress enough how important a good comfortable pair or shoes is, you don’t want sore feet and blisters bothering you through the entire trip.
5) Microfibre towel
These things are great, they fold up really tiny and are so handy to have for both day-trips and for hostels that don’t supply towels. You don’t want to be caught off guard without a towel or anywhere to buy one, makes showering pretty difficult.
6) 2,3 or 4 in 1’s
When it comes to beauty products, you don’t want to be lugging around loads of bottle and cans, they take up a lot of room and are super heavy. Chose minimal products and ones that you can use for several purposes, for example, a 2 in 1 shampoo and conditioner that you can also use as a shower gel; an eyeshadow that can also be used as a brow powder and coconut oil to use as a makeup remover, moisturiser and a hair mask.