A travel backpack is essential for any trip, whether you’re just going on a weekend getaway or an around-the-world adventure. To ensure you have everything you need for your trip, we’ve put together a list of the seven things you should always pack in your travel backpack. The last thing you want is to be caught without some essential items that could make or break your trip.
1. A Quality Travel Kit Bag
A compact travel kit bag is one of the first things to pack in your travel backpack. It should be big enough to fit all your essentials, such as your toiletries and documents, but not too big or bulky that it becomes a nuisance to carry around inside your backpack. A good travel kit bag should also have multiple compartments and pockets to help you keep everything organized.
Getting a compact travel kit bag that fits inside your backpack helps you keep all your small items in one place and easily grab them when you need them. Kit bags with compartments are ideal for storing electronics safely too. If you’re bringing a laptop or tablet on your trip, ensure it’s well protected inside its own compartment inside your travel kit bag or backpack.
When buying a travel kit bag, opt for these features:
- Rugged material and design (canvas is ideal)
- Convenient carry handle
- Easily accessible zipper
- Lined interior for protection
2. A Map, Travel Guidebook, and Journal
No matter where you’re traveling, it’s always a good idea to bring along a map of the area. A physical map helps you get your bearings when exploring a new place and can be marked with notes and highlights. If you’re planning on doing any day trips or hikes while on your trip, make sure also to pack a detailed map of the area. If you’re more of a digital traveler, you can download maps or traveling apps onto your phone or tablet before you leave.
In addition to a map, it’s also helpful to bring along a travel guidebook. Travel guidebooks provide valuable information about a destination, including history, attractions, restaurants, and hotels. They can be an invaluable resource when planning your trip and help you make the most of your time in a new place.
To remember all the amazing places you visit on your trip, pack a journal. A travel journal is a perfect place to jot down your thoughts, impressions, and memories of your trip. You can also use it to record useful information such as addresses and phone numbers. Not only will a travel journal help you keep track of your trip, but it also makes for a great keepsake to look back on in the future.
3. A Camera and Extra Batteries
If you’re a photography enthusiast, then you’ll definitely want to pack a camera in your travel backpack. But even if you’re not a professional photographer, having a camera with you on your trip can be incredibly useful. A camera helps capture memories and moments you’ll cherish long after your trip. Invest in a good quality camera bag for protection too.
If you’re traveling to a remote destination with limited power outlets, it’s even more important to have extra batteries on hand or a portable power bank for your camera. Nothing is worse than having your camera die right when you’re about to take that perfect photo. Also, learn some basic photography tips before your trip to make the most of your camera.
If you don’t want to lug around a heavy DSLR camera, consider packing a small point-and-shoot camera or your smartphone instead. Smartphones have come a long way in recent years and now offer amazing photo quality. Plus, they’re much more convenient to carry around.
4. Comfortable Slip-On Shoes
One of the most important things to pack for travel is comfortable shoes. You’ll be doing a lot of walking, whether exploring a new city, a coastal town, local attractions, or hiking mountain trails. So it’s essential to have a good pair of shoes that won’t give you blisters or leave your feet feeling sore at the end of the day.
A pair of slip-on shoes is a must-have for any traveler. They’re easy to take on and off, can be worn with socks or no socks, easily fit into your backpack without taking up much space, and can serve as a general-purpose shoe when you need a change of shoes if your luggage is lost, stolen, or delayed. If you’re traveling in warm weather, a pair of comfortable, sturdy sandals or flip-flops may also be ideal.
5. Toiletries and Medications
Don’t forget to pack your travel essentials like toiletries, toothpaste, shampoo, and medication. These items can be hard to find when you’re traveling, so bring them with you from home. When packing toiletries, stick to travel-sized containers to save space in your backpack. Regarding medications, it’s always a good idea to bring along any prescription drugs you take and over-the-counter medicines for common ailments like headaches and stomachaches.
6. An Extra Set of Lightweight Clothes and a Hat
If you’re traveling to a hot and humid destination, it’s a good idea to pack an extra set of lightweight clothes. This way, if your clothes get wet from sweating or swimming, you have something else to change into. A hat is also essential for protecting your head and face from the sun. Here are some lightweight clothing options:
- For women – Jumpsuits & rompers, sundresses, and crop tops
- For men – Shorts, linen shirts, and tank tops
- For both – Lightweight swimwear, sun hats, and sunglasses
Packing light is key when it comes to travel backpacks. So be sure to choose clothes that are easy to wash and won’t take up too much space in your bag.
7. Water Bottle and Snack Pack
A water bottle and snack pack are essential for any traveler, especially if you’re going to be walking around a lot. Dehydration is one of the most common travel ailments, so staying hydrated is important by drinking plenty of water throughout the day. A reusable water bottle is perfect as you can fill it up whenever you need to.
As for snacks, pack some energy-boosting foods like nuts, granola bars, or fruit that will keep you going until your next meal. Don’t overdo it, though, as you don’t want your backpack to be too heavy. You can also carry extras like a small coffee-making kit, tea bags, or instant soup mix if you need a quick pick-me-up. While at it, learn how to make great coffee while traveling.
Other Essential Items
Apart from these seven essentials, there are more items that you can add to your travel backpack: a small first-aid kit, a flashlight, an insect repellent for tropical destinations, and sunscreen. With these items, you’ll be prepared for anything that comes your way on your travels without having to carry too much weight on your back. So, next time you’re packing for a trip, keep these items in mind.
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-All photos as credited. Cover photo by Rachel Claire on Pexels.