Confession time, I’m actually an under packer. When I was getting ready to leave and figure out what I should be packing, there was only ever advice from the self-confessed over packers. But I needed to pack everything I needed for a semester abroad into a manageable backpack that I could wear whilst backpacking around for a month as well. I ended up leaving a lot of things out, but the end result was there was not a single thing I wished I hadn’t brought, and it was certainly a lot easier moving around compared to others who had 3-4 bags/suitcases of a similar size. Ok, so here are 5 not-so-obvious things that you shouldn’t leave behind when packing:
- All my technology. This may contradict the nature of free-living backpacking or whatever, but its the 21st century and its nice to have all these things with you. I had my iPhone, iPad, and laptop, which may seem excessive but you will want a computer for doing university work (yes don’t forget that’s technically what you’re here for). But the iPad was also so handy, I downloaded a lot of books onto it, and having that extra device after my phone was stolen was enormously helpful.
- Wrist watch. I almost forgot my little grandma wrist watch, but remembered it at the last-minute. Unlike your phone a watch doesn’t run out battery, or get taken from your wrist before you even realise it’s gone. Seriously, take a watch.
- Cheap fleece hoodie. This doesn’t seem like it would be an unlikely item to bring, I’ve only included it because I thought I wouldn’t need this while I backpacked through the European summer. However, it was so nice to have something warm and comfy for nights next to an open dorm window, or early morning walks to the train station. I was glad of it from day one, and even if you think its going to be warm the whole time, chuck a warm shirt in just in case.
- Day backpack. The little day backpack attached to my larger pack may have looked ridiculously daggy, but outside of Europe’s famous cities are great places for hiking and exploring. I’ve done so many hikes in places didn’t expect I would, and a handbag just wouldn’t have cut it.
- Panadol/other pain meds. There are heaps of pharmacies in every European city, but when you’re sick you definitely don’t want to be looking for them, then trying to communicate your needs in a foreign language. I actually very rarely take something for a headache/stomach pains etc, but travelling takes a toll on your body and this is something that is great to be able to just pull out from your bag
Ok, that’s it for my suggestions! Let me know other things you can’t travel without!