Whether I’m away for two days or two weeks, I only need my 38L backpack. I also bring roughly the same amount of stuff. After packing, reassess what you ACTUALLY need. If you will only use it once on the whole trip, turf it. Your pack might feel light now but you will feel the weight in 6 hours.
- Travel towel (thin, super absorbent microfiber towel)
- Scanned copy of passport
- collapsable water bottle
- travel sized Toothbrush, deoderant, toothpaste, soaps (under 100ml)
- Portable battery and European charger with usb plugin
- Selfie stick (haters gonna hate)
- Gopro and extra battery AND/OR bullet journal
- Travel neck pillow
- Day pack (10L should suffice)
- vacuum sealed bags
- plastic bags (for dirty laundry, wet shoes, who knows!)
- Tea bags (hot water is free but you can also use them to absorb **smells***)
- Basic groceries if where you’re going is more expensive than where you are currently
If staying at a hostel
- Shower flip flops
- Tiny flashlight
- Eye mask and ear plugs (seems extreme but trust me. People are inconsiderate)
Put it in the bag
The important thing to remember is to put all your liquids (including toothpaste and peanut butter) in a clear plastic bag and pack them at the top if flying. You will be asked to take them out at every layover when you re-enter security. The same goes for electronics. Pro-tip: use vacuum sealed bags to fit more clothes while leaving room for other items like food or souvenirs along the way. Oh, and pack what you don’t often need at the bottom. Duh.
Don’t be a fashionista. Keep in mind this is all going on your back and you may have to carry it for long periods of time. My first few trips I packed too many clothes and either didn’t wear everything or only wore garments once. Make sure almost any top can match any bottom which means keeping the colour palette basic (greys, whites, navy blue, black). Furthermore, change the look with accessories like scarves. My big blanket scarf doubled as a blanket on the bus and a pillow at night. Underneath I am guilty of wearing the same white t-shirt for days at a time.