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What NOT to Pack for Your Backpacking Trip

2013 May 22

Courtesy of

You’ve saved up for your ticket, got your passport and are ready to go. But then you realize you have absolutely NO idea what to pack. What you can live with and what you can do without? You stare at your pack and wonder how you are going to fit everything you need inside.

But actually, it’s not as hard as it seems and often first timers over analyze what they need and panic about the lack of space. Here’s my list of what not to take, to help you pack efficiently:

A towel (unless it’s a quick dry one): Despite what your instinct tells you, when backpacking NEVER take a towel. You will use it to dry yourself off with and then be stuck with a heavy, damp item that needs to go back in your bag. If you put a wet towel in a plastic bag it begins to smell so that’s not a solution either. Many hostels rent towels out for this reason, or if you are desperate use your t shirt, and then wear it.

Laptops: Bulky, expensive and generally easy to damage, laptops are a no-no. Instead, bring a smartphone that you can use as everything from a communication device to electronic guidebook, or for playing games on at top sites like  while in transit.

Jeans: You may live in them at home, but jeans are not a clever backpacking choice. Denim is not suited to life on the road as it is thick, hot, heavy, chafing and very hard to dry. All-weather pants in a light, quick drying fabric are the best replacement to jeans when travelling.

Bars of soap and beauty products: Bars of soap should be banned from travel. They are slippery, slimy and require their own box in your bag. Replace with wet wipes or liquid soap instead. Beauty products are not essentials, if you cannot live without moisturizer then find sample sizes, but otherwise sun block is the only beauty product you will need.

There are so many surprising things people do take, that end up being too heavy or are stolen due to their high value. Downsize your bag and enjoy the experience without expensive jewellery or a hair straightener! Missing anything? Comment below!

One Response leave one →
  1. July 18, 2013

    Ciao! Thanks for sharing your tips and suggestions about packing. After having been backpacking for almost a year, I think though that there isn’t a perfect packing list and everybody should make sure have what they feel more comfortable with.
    For instance I cannot leave my jeans at home and I don’t carry a smart phone with me.

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