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backpack travel

Are you travelling for the first time and don’t know what to pack?
Are you a keen traveller but always bring unnecessary stuff you never use?


Here is my list of 10 essential items that cannot be missed in my backpack.

I must be honest, I’ve not been always a good packing person. This is a skill I developed during my travels, analysing each time what I had brought extra that turned out to be useless and trying to pack lighter the following trip.

It makes me laugh to think of my first suitcase that, as for any good Italian, was a big red sturdy Samsonite-like one. Problem was, that the suitcase itself weighted 6,5 kg, which left not much space once the low-cost restrictions came into force.
That’s when I abandoned my big trolley in favour of a soft bag I could carry on with me on any Ryanair flight. This was good enough for short trips like the ones I used to do during my university time, but once I moved abroad and started travelling the world for longer periods, I soon switched to a backpack where I could fit everything I needed.

Still, I was often tempted to bring too many things that I hardly used so, with time, I’ve learnt to leave the you-never-know things behind and make the most of the space (and weight), especially when I travel on the road and have to carry my backpack around the whole day.
First of all, I’ve drastically reduced the amount of clothes, taking with me just enough underwear, socks and t-shirts to get changed for a week also when I am travelling for more days, in which case I just do my washing up, so important to choose fast-drying materials.

washing up on travel

Secondly, I leave behind everything I can easily buy directly on the destination such as sunscreen or repellent.
Also, I’ve got used to “abandon” something in the destination such as old clothes or shoes. I’ve dropped so many flip flops and birkenstocks the last day of my trips, that it has become almost a ritual when I travel.

There are certain things though that cannot be missed in my backpack.

Below is the list of my 10 essential items:

1- My 40 litres backpack and a smaller backpack for day tours.

2- Camera: I am not a good photographer, but I still prefer to take pictures with my Canon EOS even though today’s phones have excellent resolution.

3- Woody and scarf: to fight the deadly a/c on planes and airports. The scarf can also be adapted to cover up your shoulder when entering a temple or sacred site.

4- Pen and paper: to note down thoughts on travel, info/contacts about the itinerary, daily expenses.

5- A “light” book: light both for its actual weight and for the content. I usually buy my travelling book at the airport where I can find original language editions.

6- Tea tree oil: my pharmacy at hand! You can treat so many different things with this magic oil from sore throat to mosquito bites, a cold nose or an herpes, thanks to its excellent disinfectant properties.

7- First aid kit: few tablets of paracetamol, imodium and universal anti-biotic in case you fall ill in a remote destination or during a transfer. If hiking is concerned, I also bring along some arnica and a bandage for ankle/knee.

8- Small purse: to keep local currency separated from your home currency, so that you can bring around and show only a small amount of money when you pay, it’s always recommended to be discreet.

9- Universal plug adaptor: mine has different plugs into one so I don’t need to buy or borrow one for each destination.

10- Bikini and quick-dry towel: there is always a swimming pool, a waterfall or a hot pool where to take a dip 🙂

Before each travel I am used to write down my packing list and check everything more than once. However, am I the only person that on departure I get that feeling as if I have forgotten something major? 🙂

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