So you’ve just booked your first flight. Probably in your 20-somethings planning a short trip to a foreign land; perhaps with your friends, perhaps alone, perhaps with your bae. For whatever reason it is you have set your mind on back packing around, moving from city to city and town to town.
You could go as far as saying that you’re ‘excited’ or ‘looking forward’ to this whole new experience. The crazy, wild adventures, all the new friends you will make, not having to follow some intense schedule set by a tour guide, and not to mention travelling on a budget always means you come back home feeling not all that guilty about the fun you’ve just had. Which is great — if you’re cool with living out of the same backpack for a week. Not to burst anyones bubble, but it’s called a backpacking trip for a reason. You can’t really drag along your 15-inch laptop, Ps4, 20 change of clothes, unnecessary amount of hair care products, 3 pairs of shoes, and your curling iron.
While this thought might cause some of us (mainly me), to change our minds about the trips we need to keep two things in mind: 1. There are no problems, only solutions. 2. Always take the scenic route. Which brings us to this; we travel because our lives are defined by our experiences. Just because we can’t afford that 24k magic lifestyle does not mean that we should let that hinder your chance at meeting you all the new friends you will make while you backpack across Cambodia. You just gotta know with precision what you’re going to need to take along with you.
Make Lists : Notebook & Memo Pad
Lists should honestly be the core, foundation, and all around back bone of any planning. Make a list of everything you need to bring. Heck, make sub-category lists of lists. If your list reads: clothes, tech, toiletries, etc., make a lists for the kind of clothes you’re going to take. I know this sounds like common sense and pretty straight forward but I am appalled at the number of people I know that take the gamble of packing without making lists.
When you pen things down and it’s physically on paper you are more conscious of the effect that needs to take place before packing. You sub-title “Clothes”, but what kind of clothes will you need; you ask yourself as you head on the internet and do more research of the place you’re about to visit. So now you know that Nepal isn’t only the home to the Bengal Tiger but it’s humidity peaks at 73% and you can pack light for the hot weather.
By making lists you are also less prone to forget something once you’re on the road. Forgetting something behind is the most heinous thing you can do. You end up spending money to get the thing you forgot, and chances are trying to get yourself a towel on the road isn’t going to be as easy.
This is your rule of thumb when packing for your backpacking trip. Heaviest of things goes on the bottom and it gets lighter as it goes on top. Make sure you fit everything in there like it’s a Tetris game and the fluidity of your future holiday depends on it.
Bottom of your backpack should take in refuge to bulky heavier items that you probably won’t really need until you’ve settled in for the night. Your middle zone can be home to your denser items such as jeans, clothes, etc. Right on the top of the pyramid is where your essentials will take place. This strategic planning will see that your backpack won’t be a complete mess when you’ve arrived at your destination and that you won’t be wasting another 20 minutes looking for something because all the contents in your bag decided to play Twister. Also, having all your essentials at the top just means that you can’t easily access them whenever you need without having to call in a search party just to look for your glasses case.
Yes, bringing along a novel might sound like a good idea but are you really going to read that. Most times we pack 2 pairs of shoes, “just in case” but spend the rest of the holiday in flip flops and all our time is spent exploring and socializing that leaves us no time to read. The key here is to be really honest with yourself about everything. Close your eyes and think: will you really need conditioner or are you going to just going to go with that Boho-beach look and not wash for 3 days?
Here are some tips before I sign off. You don’t need to buy everything, some things you can always borrow from a family or friend (just be sure to be a good friend and return it). Roll your clothes, it saves spaces. Don’t get a bag that’s too big. If you’re travelling somewhere cold, think layers instead of one big bulky parka. Lastly, don’t forget to pack your phone charger and powerbank.