Packing can be the bane of your life: but we’ve made the chore a little less tiresome for you and devised a COMPLETE packing list. Got a big trip coming up? Use this ultimate guide to remind you of useful essentials you need to buy for your travels whether it’s shower gel, socks, clothes or sunnies. Knowing how to pack a backpack for a long trip ain’t easy. But simply treat this as a packing checklist and tick off each item as you go. Of course, it really depends on what kind of trip you’re about to embark on whether it’s trekking a mountain or inter-railing Europe, so we’ve tried to include items that cater to every kind of trip!
When it comes to packing, the best way to pack a backpack is to save space. Our top tip is to fold your clothes efficiently. Remember Heavy stuff at the bottom, stuff that leaks go in plastic bags and things you’ll need as soon as you arrive at your destination (like toiletries) at the top. Roll your clothes up rather than folding them if it takes up less room.
The most important thing to pack for your travels is your passport. You won't get very far without it. If you're traveling within Europe as an EU citizen, sometimes all you need is your ID/Driver license to travel - but this often depends on your airline so we recommend keeping your passport on you at all times, just in case. Before you travel, make sure your passport is valid too. It's always good to have at least six months on your passport before it expires so always check your expiry date in good time so you can order a new one before the trip comes.
PHONE CHARGER/PORTABLE PHONE CHARGER
We all know the feeling when our phone runs out of battery on the road. So bring a portable phone charger so that you can give your phone some charge on the go. You don't want to have your phone die when you're lost in the city or miss out on amazing photo opportunities. One of our favorite affordable portable phone chargers is the Anker PowerCore 10000 Redux, a small power bank that never lets us down.
CLOTHES (INCLUDING PJ'S)
The hard part: clothes. Remember to take a mix of light layers and warm layers for your trip (depending on where you're going). It's always handy to look up the weather before you go and pack accordingly. Packing light is a form of art and with limited space in your backpack, it's good to be strict with yourself and only bring what you need.
Take into consideration what kind of activities you might be doing during your travels so that you're prepared with the right gear - whether you'll be hiking, snorkeling, partying, skiing or sightseeing around the city, you'll need appropriate attire. If you're going on a long trip, be sure to check the hostel has a laundry room so you can wash your things and wear clothes over again.
If you'll be doing a lot of walking or hiking then make sure to pack some good quality walking shoes. It’s usually best to wear your bulkiest shoes at the airport so that you can save space in your luggage. Mountain Warehouse is a good website to buy some affordable walking shoes that will last for a few years to come.
SLEEPING BAG LINER
A sleeping bag is always handy to have - especially if you're a bit of a germaphobe. They're light, they're easy to pack and they make for the perfect bed lining if you're sleeping in a tent or hostel. You won't need one at St Christopher's Inns hostels though as fresh bed linen is provided for every guest.
PAINKILLERS AND MEDICINE
It's always good to have some medication on the road. Painkillers or allergy tablets will come in handy for headaches, muscle aches, period pains, stomach aches - so keep some on you just in case. Always carry Imodium or Dioralyte too.