Backpacking Travel Essentials: Your Ultimate Guide

Backpacking Travel Essentials: Your Ultimate Guide

Are you setting off on a backpacking adventure?

Whether you’re trekking across Europe, venturing through Asia, or exploring South America, taking the right backpacking travel essentials is a must. We’ve put together a comprehensive guide to what you should pack for a safer, more comfortable trip… and it all starts with choosing the perfect backpack.

Choosing the Perfect Backpack

Your backpack needs to be your most reliable companion. This should be number one on any list of backpacking travel essentials!


Chances are, you’ll be wearing your backpack a lot. Therefore, comfort should be a top priority when choosing the right backpack for your trip. That means padded straps, multiple fasteners across your waist and chest, and a soft, breathable backing.

Space planning

Many backpacks have inbuilt pockets and storage compartments. Others are more inclined to let you organise everything yourself, with a single large space. Pick a backpack that matches your packing style, whether that’s a little chaotic and free-for-all, or more organised. However, keep in mind that proper space planning means you’ll be able to fit a few more items in your backpack… and they’ll probably be easier to access!


Comfort and space are the most important considerations, but it’s also worth thinking about style. Go for neutral tones and colours that suit your personal taste. But remember, backpacks often get a little battered, so think about choosing colours that are ideal for hiding stains and marks!


There are a few essential electronics that you simply must pack.

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Travel adaptor

A travel adaptor is non-negotiable. If you’re travelling through a few different regions, opt for a multi-adaptor that can be used for various power plugs.

Power pack

A power pack is your backup option for when you don’t have access to a charger or a plug. This will provide enough juice to charge your phone and other devices until you reach safety.


Entertainment is a must for pleasure, or to help pass the time on a long journey.

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A book or an e-reader

If you’re a reader, a book or an e-reader is an essential item. Reading helps pass the time on long flights, bus rides, or train journeys. The good news is that if you’re flitting through hostels, many of them have free book exchanges. So when you finish your current novel, you can simply swap it for another.

Noise-cancelling headphones

A good set of headphones is a must when backpacking. Whether you’re wearing them on a long-distance bus trip or in your hostel dormitory, noise-cancelling is even better. Enjoy your journey or relaxation time in peace.

Films and TV series

Make sure you download a few films or TV series on your phone, laptop, or tablet. This will keep you entertained when resting or travelling in areas where WiFi or a mobile connection isn’t available.

Hygiene and Health

Feeling fresh and healthy on a backpacking trip is a must. Add these items to your backpack travel essentials list to make for a more comfortable adventure.

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Travel towel

A travel towel is a must-have. Many backpackers choose a microfibre towel because it is fast drying and folds up easily - super important when you’re trying to save on space!

Toiletry bag

Keeping your toiletries organised isn’t always easy. Therefore, it’s never a bad idea to invest in a quality toiletry bag.

A reusable water bottle

It can be hard to stay hydrated on the go, which is why a reusable water bottle is so important. Choose a bottle that’s sturdy but easy to wash.

Pocket tissues

A small packet of pocket tissues is a must! These will come in super handy if you end up with a runny nose, or just need to wipe your hands after washing.

Hand sanitiser

A small bottle of hand sanitiser is a must-have. Hygiene is more important than ever when you’re travelling, and hand sanitiser helps eliminate germs and bacteria.


Keeping yourself and your possessions safe while backpacking should be your number one priority.

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Small locks

Hostels aren’t exactly the safest places to leave your belongings… and things do go missing from time to time. Investing in some small, sturdy locks will help keep your possessions safe and secure within your backpack and give you peace of mind.

Passport pouch

A sturdy passport pouch will keep your passport safe and secure and in an easy-to-find location. It’s even better if this pouch includes a section for travel documents and insurance cards (if you’ve not stored them in your travel wallet).

Rest and relaxation

Sleep is incredibly important…  but it can be hard to come by on a backpacking trip, particularly if you’re staying in hostels. We’d definitely consider the following items as essentials for backpacking.

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Earplugs are a must if you’re sharing a room with other backpackers. The noise generated in a hostel is akin to that of a jumbo jet… but seriously, earplugs are one of the most important backpacking essentials for travel.

Sleep mask

A sleep mask is a must for blocking out light in dormitories, on planes and buses, and anywhere else you fancy a nap!

Travel pillow

Overnight bus rides or flights are a pretty common feature of a backpacking trip. To help maximise your chances of some sleep on these journeys, invest in a good quality travel pillow.

Most of all, enjoy your adventure!

If you’ve ticked off all the backpacking travel essentials on this list and more, you’re ready for your backpacking trip. Still looking for a backpack? Take a look at our full range right here.

Enjoy your adventure!