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The Ultimate
Backpacking
Pack List

After backpacking for awhile you’ll quickly learn that the old adage “less is more” is very true when it comes to packing.

Lugging around a heavy backpack on buses and trains is not fun and soon you’ll be taking a long look at what you’ve packed and wondering “why on earth did I think I would need that?”

Here’s an in depth list of what you should bring for your trip…

Clothes

The clothes you pack depends greatly on where you’re heading to.  You’ll want to pack clothes that can be layered if you’re going somewhere cold.  On the opposite end, if you’re going somewhere hot, you’ll want clothes that are light and breathe well.

Socks
You should spend a little extra money to get some high quality socks for your travels.  Get 4 or 5 pairs of socks that are odor eliminating and quick drying as you can wear them multiple days which means you won’t have to pack as many for your trip.

Underwear
Once again, as with socks, you really need to spend some extra money to get 4 or 5 pairs of high quality underwear.  Backpackers the world over recommend ExOfficio travel underwear.  The underwear is comfortable, chafe free and odor free so you can wear them for a few days in a row.

T-shirts
If you read up online about what fabric your t-shirts should be made of you’ll be bombarded by all sorts of answers that contradict each other.

Stop worrying about it and and just bring 4 or 5 solid color t-shirts with you on your trip.  If you end up somewhere hot and find out your shirts just aren’t cutting it, just pick up some cheap t-shirts at the local store down the road.

Long sleeve shirts
You should pack 2 or 3 non-wrinkle long sleeve button-up shirts.  Get shirts that mix and match well with your t-shirts so you can have some fashion combinations while you travel.  The shirts don’t need to be fancy and should be versatile enough to wear to a museum during the day and out to a club at night.

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How To Choose The Right Backpack

More Clothes

Pants
There’s no need to get extra fancy “travel” pants that cost over $100.  Just bring 2 or 3 pairs of casual pants with you on your trip.  Get wrinkle-free pants made out of lighter materials and stay away from jeans as they take forever to dry.

Shorts & Swimsuit
If you’re going somewhere warmer, obviously you’ll want to pack some shorts and a swimsuit.  Don’t overdo it though – 2 or 3 pairs of shorts and one swimsuit is enough.

Jackets
You only need one jacket for your trip and unless you’re going somewhere cold where you’ll need a winter jacket, one good fleece jacket is all you need.  Remember, if it does get cold, you can always bundle up with layers.

Footwear
Most people only bring one pair of shoes for their trip.  That way, when you go from city to city you don’t have to pack them because you’ll be wearing them on your feet.

The shoes you buy should be sturdy enough to handle walking all day but also fashionable enough to take out for a night on the town.  Get a nice pair of leather sneakers in a color that can mix and match with your wardrobe.
You might also want to bring one pair of lightweight indoor shoes like slippers or flip flops to rest your feet in at the hostel.

Other clothes
This is really dependent on where you’re traveling to.  If you’re going somewhere cold, you’ll want to bring a beenie, scarf, gloves and maybe a sweater.  If you’re going to be spending alot of time out in the sun bring a sunhat and sunglasses.

Accessories

If you go to an outdoor or travel store you’ll be inundated with all sorts of “must have” travel accessories.  Truth be told, you don’t need many of them.  Here’s a list of some things you should definitely take with you on your trip:

Travel wallet
Pick up a good travel wallet which is more compact and travels better and leave your bulky leather wallet or purse at home.

Money belt
Another option to a wallet is to have a money belt that attaches to your body underneath your clothes.

TSA locks
Bring three locks and always make sure your bags are locked all the time.  TSA locks allow airport security to check your bag without having to destroy your lock.

Sleep mask
Good for when you want to sleep on a bus or train.  Also comes in handy if you had a late night and want to sleep during the day.

Rain cover
Comes in handy when you encounter the inevitable rainy travel day.  A rain cover will keep everything inside your pack nice and dry.

Ear plugs
A little protection from all the snorers you’ll encounter along the way.

Euro Trip Kit

As you’re out there shopping for gear for your trip, don’t forget to pickup a Euro Trip Kit.  It’s a fantastic way to begin planning and dreaming about your euro trip.

Inside you’ll find travel tips, a trip journal, adventure passport, language flashcards, inspiration and a whole lot more.

It’s perfect for everyone from first time travelers to those who are already out there living the backpack dream.

Helpful Items

There are lots of “helpful” travel items out there but there’s also alot of things out there you don’t need.  Don’t waste your money on things like sink stoppers, silk sleep liners, and sewing kits.  Instead get these items for your backpack.

Scissors
One of those things you’ll be glad you have when you actually need them.

Flashlight
For when you’re trying not to wake everyone up looking for something in the middle of the night.

Ziploc bags
Bring a few bags to store anything from extra food to small souvenirs.  You never know when they’ll come in handy

Travel pillow
Get a good quality compressible travel pillow to help you sleep when you’re traveling.

Insect repellent
Good for keeping the mosquitoes away but be aware that some airport security won’t allow you to have the spray cans in your bag so you might be better off buying it when you get there.

Playing cards
A great way to meet your fellow backpacker is by breaking out your deck of cards.

Toiletries

Get yourself a toiletry bag that you can hang up as most hostel bathrooms have limited shelf space.  As you're loading up your bag, you'll quickly figure out you're going to have to limit what you bring with you.  Only take the essentials and remember you're going backpacking not to the ball.
Towel
Hair brush
Face cloth
Soap
Shaving kit
Toothbrush
Toothpaste
Sunscreen
Shampoo
Conditioner
Wet Wipes
Deodorant

Gadgets and Gizmos

When you travel you should be out exploring the world and meeting new people.  Don’t be one of those people with their head down in front of a dimly lit screen.  Having said that, here’s a few things you should definitely have on your trip:

Digital Camera
Unless you’re a professional photographer and want to lug around a big camera, a point and shoot digital camera is all you need.  Don’t rely on your smartphone either as while it’s great for selfies back home, it just doesn’t cut it for photo quality when you’re traveling.  Oh, and bring along an extra battery and an extra memory card.

Smartphone
With a multitude of apps, a smartphone is a great gadget to have with you on your travels.  Yyou’ll have a map, a watch, an alarm clock and a music player with you all the time.  There are also alot of great phone apps for traveling that you can download.

Universal travel adapter
Wall outlets overseas are not the same as the ones you’re used to seeing back home.  If you want to plug in while you’re traveling you have to use a universal travel adapter.  Get one with multiple settings so you can use it in any country worldwide.

Extension cord
Power outlets are a hot commodity in most hostels.  Sometimes there might only be a couple in a room for eight people.  A simple extension cord will automatically triple the outlets available to you.

If you're blogging...
You’ll want to bring a laptop with you as well.  Bring something small and lightweight like a Netbook or ChromeBook that you can easily pack into your daybag or backpack.

Important Stuff

You're going to be traveling with important documents including your passport and travel insurance papers.  Keep your important stuff together in a little folder or envelope tucked away in your backpack.
Passport
Debit card
Credit card
Immunization Certificate
Flight Confirmations
Extra passport photos
Copies of Documents
US currency
Travel Insurance
Drivers License