Update: I would NOT take the cheapest ones you can find. After 2 months, the cheap ones I got fell apart and I had to replace them. I guess I always packed them too heavily. Anyway, now I found a better solution.
When it comes to the right backpack, well, that’s a huge topic. We recommend getting a backpack of 55l max.
It’s simple, because…
You’ll use the space you have
meaning: if the backpack itself is big, you WILL chronically over-pack.
You can take it as a carry-on for your flight
You never need as many things as you think you do…
A popular choice for a backpack is the famous Osprey Backpack. Once you start hitting the road, you’ll realize how many travelers out there already use their products.
There’s a good reason for this.
The backpack is designed by travelers who really understand what we all need on the road. The bag is comfy and resistant at the same time. It also comes with an extra day-bag, which makes it even better.
Personally, we chose a different model. And we love it!
Nomatic Backpack: With a minimalist squared design, Nomatic backpack is a functional 45L backpack which feels more like a 45-50L. It is perfect for traveling with a laptop and thanks to the different pockets, it is perfect to manage your luggage.
We wrote up a huge review about Nomatic Backpack and the Backpacking Kit for Starters.
The backpack is part of the Starter Backpacking Kit, including packing cubes, padlock, day bag, power bank, multilevel adapter.
A padlock is an absolute must-have for your backpacking packing list. Small, light, super useful, cheap!
It does not matter if you are staying in hostels or not. When you travel, you will need a padlock. For instance, to close your day bag when wandering through the city. Or for the transport like a in bus or train.
Important: Pack a padlock that fits every hostel locker in the world. Avoid the thick ones.
A good padlock fits following criteria:
combination lock with 4 digits (just so you don’t need to carry a key with you at the risk losing it!)
Safe, strong and durable (not some plastic-wannabe lock!)
Again, this isn’t intended to scare you. Like we said, most hostel guests really are nice, normal people (we promise!). But when you stay in a hostel, you’ll be sharing space with people you don’t know.
Be sensible and don’t leave your stuff lying around. It is not a hostel requirement, but common sense.
If you’re traveling with something you don’t want to lose (like that passport we reminded you to take – you’ve still got it, right?), then it’s a good idea to keep it locked up somewhere safe.
And not just that. These micro-fibre towels will not start to smell after 2-3 days in use. A big advantage in case you don’t come across a laundry machine. Regular towels made of cotton become smelly after 2 days max. We stopped traveling with cotton towels, they really do not make sense.
100% viscose bamboo. Super soft. Unlike cotton or microfiber, this towel is luxuriously soft to the touch and feels great against your skin. There are different types of bamboo travel towels, have a look here.
My best tip: Get a travel towel that is:
9. Travel-sized toiletries
Unlike at a hotel, hostels usually don’t provide toiletries. Okay, many of the 5 Star Hostels do, but in general hostel don’t offer them.
This mirrorless digital camera weights just 400 grams and is smaller. It’s wonderful and light to travel with.
It was recommended by a friend, a professional photographer.
BTW: We meet many travelers who only bring their old, low-quality camera. Personally, we love awesome travel shots. It’s always amazing to see the photos afterwards and travel back in time. Make sure you take care of your belongings and don’t weigh yourself down. Yet, I’d bring a good camera!
Okay, it is quite obvious you’re going to need to pack clothes. There’s no generic rule about how much clothing you should pack.
Every trip is different, and it depends on the weather, time of year, destination, …
Here is one my many funny packing quotes:
The golden rule for packing light is simple: Pack your backpack…and then remove 50%. That will be all you need!
But this one is a good idea: pack clothes you can layer!
You never know what sort of weather you might run into when traveling – is something you might have heard before the invention of smartphones!
But even the almighty Apple can be sorely mistaken about the weather.
Take clothes that are easy to layer just in case.
If your are traveling in a specific area for a while, check out Mr. Google and type in “packing list” + your destination.
For example, if you are a girl traveling to India, include a big scarf or Sarong on your list. It will serve you to cover your shoulders or head. Really useful if you are planning to visit temples.
Very likely someone has already put together a specified packing list.
This list however can be applied to your packing list for Europe, Asia and South America. Take it as a basic! For more tips on packing light, check out this ultimate packing list. It is more for weekend travelers, but some rules can be applied to long-term travel too.
Don’t let your footwear get in the way of having fun.
Anyway, nobody cares how nerdy you look. You might never see any of these people again!
(This item was brought to you by your parents. Listen to their advice more often – it’s good!)
But seriously: Pack some comfy shoes!
When you need to buy new shoes for your trip, shop well in advance. Start to wear your new shoes around the house so your feet get used to them! If not, well, let’s say you’ll have an urgent need for painkillers.
Physically write down the address of where you’re staying. Like, on a piece of paper.
There are two reasons for that.
If your phone runs out of battery and you can’t find a place to charge it (god forbid!), you’ll still know where you’re going. Or at least be able to show the address to someone when you inevitably get lost and have to ask for directions.
Talking about showing someone the address: In some destinations you don’t want to show your brand new smart phone to a stranger. It could be gone very quickly.
20. Photocopies AND digital copies of your documents
Making a copy of your documents is a very, very good idea! If you haven’t done this yet, DO IT NOW!
Lots of travel sites recommend photocopying your important documents, and keeping the photocopies and the originals separate. That’s because in case your passport gets stolen or something, having a photocopy of it on hand makes it way easier to replace.
Also, snap a photo of the document on your phone and e-mail it to yourself.
This way you can access it whenever you want.
A laptop or USB stick can break.
But you can access your emails from anywhere, right?
Also, really recommended – get a cover for your passport. It helps protect it from daily usage and even water, with the right cover.
Whether you need to check emails, update your travel blog, Skype with your family, or simply plan your next adventure….a laptop or tablet is always more comfortable for more complex things to do with the latest travel technology.
We only share the greatest hostels in the place. This is perfect for everyone looking for quality hostels, especially for female solo travellers.
If you do not care about the quality of a hostel, and only need a place to crash, this guide might not be for you.
When talking about hostels, you will come across the topic of bed bugs really fast. This is nasty, really. Nobody wants them. And we are lucky enough that we never had any in our hostels we stayed.
*knocking 3 times on wood*
A simple rule to avoid bed bugs is: Stay in quality hostels!
There is one thing you should know though about bed bugs in hostels: Most of the time (if not always) it is NOT the hostels fault.
Think about it. Travelers come and go. Some of the travelers stay in dirty places, camp sites, whatever. It is usually the traveler that brings the bed bugs to the hostel. They can be in the backpack, the clothing, well, everywhere.
Really nasty beasts!!
So, when a hostel had a guest with bed bugs, the hostel won’t even realize there is these insects until someone complains. That is because these little bullies are inside the mattress; and not in the bed linen.