Another huge advantage of travel towels is the smell. Or should we say: NOT the smell. Towels made of cotton can become smelly pretty easily, after using them 3-4-5 times. The travel towels will not smell, are light and small.
Of course, we are not saying you will never need to wash it. Obviously, you need to. Yet, they are super helpful! Thanks us later!
When you’re staying somewhere with a beach, you’ll want one towel for showering and one towel for the beach.
A single towel will get grimy pretty fast, and you’ll end up being covered in sand after every shower.
Not nice – and we speak from itchy, uncomfortable experience.
We recommend this one here. Just make sure, it is a light one; not a bulky, heavy one!
Good to know: When planning to stay in campsites, backpacker hostels, it is worth it to bring the silk sleeping bag. Especially in Vietnam, Thailand and Sri Lanka we met many travelers carrying their own light silk sleeping bar.
Bottom line: don’t waste valuable packing space on sheets.
Along similar lines to the bedding, you DO NOT need to bring your own bulky, heavy sleeping bag to stay at a hostel. You know, this huge sleeping bag you have since you are 10 and used for your first camping experience.
It’ll take up a bunch of space and hostels have bedding anyway.
And you might not even be allowed to use your sleeping bag anyway!
Yep, you may be surprised to learn that lots of hostels don’t let you use sleeping bags. This always depends on the hostel.
In our opinion: A quality hostel does not allow sleeping bags, because they can be full of bed bugs and become big problems for the hostel itself and the guests.
Don’t lug your sleeping bag all the way to hostel only to have to leave it in a plastic bag at the front desk!
If you do want to pack something in case you end up in unclean hotels, homestay, or hostels, get a thin silk sleeping bag. We already mentioned this in #2, scroll up.
Good to know: There are exceptions. There are still hostels encouraging travelers to bring their sleeping bag, such as one of the best hostels in Reykjavik.
A lot of top travel sites recommend carrying your own personal laundry detergent with you.
We don’t agree – either buy it at your destination and split the cost with your hostel buddies, or carry a couple of packets of powder designed for washing clothes in the sink.
You may be having too much fun to wash your clothes anyway. We mean, seriously, why should you carry laundry detergent with you?! Keep it simple.
You do not want to carry around half a kilo of laundry detergent to save 50 cents.
Good to know: In areas like South East Asia you can give your laundry to a service or the hostel can take of it. It costs something between $2 and $8 for a full laundry machine. We usually paid $6 for two laundries.
5. Lots of Toiletries
Get a few refillable travel-sized bottles and make good use of them.
There’s no sense in lugging around a giant bottle of shampoo during your travels.
Plus, sometimes people leave behind toiletries when they leave a hostel, leaving them free for the next guests to use.
Score for you!
Always check and make sure your travel bottles are 100ml or smaller.
Some travelers want to pack an entire library of guidebooks with them when they travel.
But there’s no sense on taking three versions of a very similar thing.
Take the time to look through your guidebook before your trip. If there’s a suggestion you simply can’t miss out on, snap a photo of it with your phone.
Remember that the hostel staff are often like walking guidebooks themselves. Ask them for tips for things to do. They’ll almost certainly be happy to help you and, as an added bonus, will have cooler suggestions.
Think about what sort of bag is going to be most practical for your stay.
If you can avoid it, don’t bring anything bigger than a carry-on. Some hostels are a little tight on space, and you’ll probably be sharing that space with other travelers.
By the way, if this is the size of your suitcase, you may be doing something wrong. Or moving to another city.
You might also consider the sort of place you’re staying in.
Dragging a wheeled suitcase around a charmingly cobblestoned historic city may be more trouble than it’s worth. Or imagine carrying your suitcase along a beach. That is more fun to watch than carrying.