What not to forget to pack!
Everyone knows when you’re going away to pack the basics: clothes, toilettres etc, but there are some things that you wouldn’t think of that can make your trip a lot easier.
1. Adapter(s) and charger(s)
This seems obvious, but always pack an extra adapter than you think you will need. There’s always a risk that you will leave is in the power point one morning when checking out of a hostel early, or if you’re unlucky, someone takes it thinking it’s theirs.
Following on from this, always take an extra charger for your phone or most used electronic. It’s a hard habit to get into to take your whole charger out of the wall after you use it each time (after all you don’t do this at home)
If you’re going away for a while, it’s super handy to have all your important documents on a USB, for example of copy of your passport, insurance, glasses prescription and any tickets you’ve bought. If you lose any hard copies you can always re print them, and it also saves space. It’s also good to use as a back up for your photos when you can find a computer along the way.
3. Email your passwords to yourself
While you’re away you’re inevitably going to be logging onto all sorts of accounts like banking, Hostelworld, railway websites etc. If you’re anything like me and can’t keep track of all my usernames and passwords, type them up and email them to yourself. This way you can always find them when you forget, but they’re not lying around in your wallet with a risk of someone exploiting them if stolen.
4. A spare pair of headphones
There is nothing worse than the unexpected event of your headphones breaking and the crippling silence that follows as you struggle to fix them, realising they are long gone. Then you have to wait until you get to the next town and find an electrical store before you can listen to music again. Avoid this drama and emotional turmoil by packing an extra pair (they don’t take up much space).
5. A copy of your confirmations
Print out your conformations of flights and accommodation. This sounds pedantic but trust me it saves so much time and effort to just go through your emails, print everything and put it in a plastic sleeve. You avoid finding a convenience store with printing facilities, or forking out a ridiculous amount to print one page at your hostel.
Also, when you arrive at a new hostel or to check in to an airport, you don’t have to flick through your phone finding an email to try to desperately prove to them you are meant to be there.
6. An old phone
Take one of your old phones and unlock it so you can put any sim card into it. When you are somewhere that having a phone is risky such as at a festival, out at nightclubs, or on the beach, swap your sim card to your old phone. This way you can still take some photos and be contactable, but if anything happens to the phone you won’t be as worried.
7. Pens and a notebook!
This sounds like something your mum will tell you to bring, but it’s soo useful! There will be heaps of times when you meet some people and you want to write down their name or number to add them on Facebook later (when you find wifi), the name of a good hostel, or directions to a place. Without a pen, you definitely won’t remember it.
8. Way more undies than you think you need
If there’s any clothes you over pack with, make it undies. Unlike t-shirts and jeans, they are the one thing that you don’t want to be wearing dirty. You never know when the next affordable laundry will pop up, and you will probably lose a few on the way (don’t ask how)!
9. Portable speaker
This is a great idea for all social settings. You will often have pre drinks or hang with friends in hostels or people you meet along the way, and its a great way to chill out. You can buy a bluetooth speaker for $20 and they are pocket sized. This means you can still be using your phone without interrupting the partay.
10. A microfibre towel
These can be bought by Kathmandu and most outdoor stores and are worth the price. They compress and zip into a small bag so they don’t take up much space in your luggage. Also, this saves a lot of money renting them at every hostel you stay. It’s also way more convenient just having your own (as some places don’t have them available to guests).
11. Sleeping bag or liner
If you’re travelling in summer, take a sleeping bag liner. This is a thin layer that is intended to go inside your sleeping bag, but provides a lot of warmth on its own. This takes up a tiny amount of space and is great if you want to separate you and the shady mattresses in hostels.
If you’re travelling in winter, take a sleeping bag. This gives you options to camp if, as well as providing some personal warmth in hostels (and not have to rent linen). You can buy compression cases that turn your lumpy bag into a small package.