What’s In My Bag

 The first time you pack for a trip, the list of things to bring can seem daunting. There are so many items that it’s easy to get overwhelmed and forget something important. What should you pack? This blog will provide some guidelines for what should be in your backpack at all times. 

Some items are obvious things any traveler should have, while others may be less common.

The following is a list of the basic essential backpacker’s kit. It will get you through your travels with all the essentials to keep you safe and comfortable .

Things that are required :

1) Sleeping Bag

You will need your sleeping bag to ensure you have a comfortable sleep while on the road. They can be used in different climates and are lightweight so it is easy to pack.

2) Tent

A tent should also be in your backpack for travelers. This will give you somewhere comfortable to stay overnight but you should only use your tent in the summer months or for dry locations. It is not designed for wet or humid climates, which can cause mold and mildew, or dirtier environments.

3) Water Bottle

A lot of places on the road will have drinking water, but you shouldn’t rely on it to be clean. Check this out for more information:  Is tap water safe to drink?  It might not look appealing, so it’s best to stick with purchased water where possible. You can also get a filter or purification tablets. It’s up to you how much water you carry with you, but be sure to have some in your bag at all times.

4) Sleeping Mat  or Mattress

You can use this on the road or in hostels when it is not possible to sleep on a bed. It is great for camping trips and will provide extra cushion. You can buy them online or at a camping store according to your preferred thickness and size.

5) First Aid Kit

A first aid kit is an essential for any trip because you never know what will happen along the way. It’s important to carry antiseptic wipes, bandages, and antibacterial ointment with you at all times. You should look into it further to see what else you could include.

6) Food

Keeping yourself fed is an important part of your travels. There are lots of options to choose from when you’re deciding what food to take with you, so spend some time looking at your options before making your decision. Here are some suggestions:

– Bring packaged snacks or foods that do not melt for long trips in the car or on airplanes .

– For short trips, you can try taking dry cereals or oatmeal with you .

– Dried fruits are also good for shorter journeys because they will last.

– You can buy fruit at grocery stores during your travels to help you stay healthy.

Every traveler should also have the following with them for emergencies:

1)  Flashlight  / Torch  / Headlamp (with extra batteries)

A flashlight or headlight is especially useful in hostels or at night time when you don’t want to disturb others. You can also use it in case of electrical blackouts! It’s best to get both, but most people only bring a flashlight.

2) First Aid Guide

A first aid guide is important if you need to know how to treat an injury or illness. They provide step by step instructions for what to do in a variety of situations. You can find them online or at your local library.

3)  Map

You should be very familiar with the map of your location and know how to get from point A to point B. If you’re not sure, you could always use GPS apps on your phone instead! It is also a good idea to have a map in case your phone battery dies or the app loses signal.

4)  Basic Tools

Having some basic tools will help you get out of tight situations while on the road. Things like screwdrivers, pliers, tweezers, scissors, and cable ties can help with repairs on anything from doors to electronic devices, luggage locks to broken glasses.  It is easy to find tools that fit in your bag and will help you with daily issues.

5)  Matchboxes or Lighter

You can use these for many different things including starting fires for cooking, drying clothes, or getting firewood to burn. You should never depend on matches or a lighter for warmth or staying dry though!

6)  Candles and Condoms

These can be used to keep warm in the winter months. You should also not leave them unattended and put them out before you go to sleep. As an addition, condoms can be useful when staying at hostels with shared bathrooms. If you need to, it is also a good idea to bring wet wipes.

7)  Duct Tape

Having duct tape is a good idea because it can be used for so much. You can use it to patch up holes in things or seal them for waterproofing! It is also useful if something needs mending, you have superglue, or someone has nails that need taping up. This might just be one of the most versatile things to take on your trip, but it is important you remember not to use duct tape on electronics.

8)  Alarm Clock

You should always have an alarm clock with you because many hostels do not include them in their rooms. Even if they did, it would be a good idea to get one for your room because it can be noisy at hostels.

9)  Headphones

If you are staying in a shared dorm room, headphones are an essential part of your kit. You should have them on hand if you need to discuss something privately or for times where everyone is being loud at night! This way you won’t have to worry about waking other people up.

10)  Extra Bag / Backpack

If you are traveling to multiple destinations, having an extra bag will really help you out. You can use it for different purposes including as a laundry bag or place to store your snacks and drinks! Having something like this is also useful if the airline loses your luggage upon arrival.

11)  Power Strip

When staying at hostels, it is always a good idea to have a power strip so you can charge all of your devices at once! There are also other places where they may be useful such as libraries or cafes with too few outlets. You should probably not bring a big power strip though because it may be too bulky.

12)  Bags

Some people don’t really get why you would need bags, but they are always helpful. You should have them to carry loose items like shoes or dirty clothes separate from your actual backpack. This will make it much easier for you when moving around! They are also useful if your bag breaks or if you want to separate food from other things in your bag.

13)  Binoculars

This is a great item for people who like the outdoors and nature. It will allow you to see nature and wildlife up close and personal! Binoculars can be useful in many situations; hiking, bird watching, sports games, concerts, and more! They are especially useful if you enjoy hiking.

14)  Playing Cards / Travel Games

If you like board games or card games then consider bringing some with you on the road. If not, playing cards can be useful to play with locals on your trip and meet new people! Another thing you can bring is a travel guide for learning new board games.

15)  Bobby Pins

This item is very useful because it can be used as a clothespin, hair tie, or just to hold things together. You can also use them as a substitute for those situations when something breaks. This way you won’t have to worry about not having a back up.

The best time to pack for a backpacking trip is when you are not in the midst of it. You should plan ahead and make sure that your backpack is organized with all necessary items by listing them out. Consider what you’ll need based on where you’re going and how long you will be there, then add anything else that might come in handy. 

If we’ve missed something, let us know! We’d love to help customize an itinerary or share any other travel tips our team has gleaned from years of experience as seasoned backpackers.  If this article didn’t cover everything about packing for a first-time backpacker’s journey, don’t worry–we have plenty more blog posts available!

See you on my next blog!

Best Hostels in New Zealand

Best Hostels in New Zealand: Top 10

Some of the most exciting cities in New Zealand are located near beaches. When visiting cities like Auckland, Wellington, Nelson or Christchurch you should definitely consider sleeping at a hostel because the prices are usually quite affordable. The following list contains our personal top 12 Best Hostels in New Zealand after having reviewed many locations:

#1 The Attic Backpackers – Auckland

The biggest advantage of the Attic Backpackers Auckland is its fantastic location in Queenstown. The hostel is located just a few meters away from the Heart of Queenstown, which is the main hub for nightlife, shopping and dining in this area. 

#2 Nomads Capital – Wellington

The Nomads Capital is located right in the center of Wellington. The studio rooms are clean and quite affordable for a hostel. What we really liked about this place was the fact that there were no bunk beds, but real single or double beds with comfortable mattresses. At night you can easily walk to any entertainment location because everything is basically around the corner.

#3 Seabreeze Backpackers Hostel – Nelson

Nelson has become an increasingly popular destination for backpackers. Not only because of its great weather, but also because it offers stunning landscapes like the Abel Tasman National Park or the Golden Bay. The Seabreeze Backpackers Hostel offers clean rooms at attractive prices. In summer many visitors enjoy activities like surfing, hiking or whale watching.

#4 The Marion – Wellington

The Marion in Wellington is a hostel for travelers who like to meet and socialize with other people. If you stay here, your roommates will probably be from all corners of the world. The staff is helpful and friendly and you can find good kitchen facilities and a nice common room. 

#5 Juicy Snooze – Christchurch

The Juicy Snooze is a budget hostel located in a quiet street just a 10 minute walk from the City Center. It offers double rooms and dorms, which are equipped with bunk beds. Common areas include free WiFi, Sky TV, DVDs and board games.

#6 Absoloot Hostel QT – Queenstown

The hostel is located just a few meters away from the Skyline Gondola. There are various activities that you can do in Queenstown, like skiing or doing bungee jumping. The rooms are clean and comfortable, the staff is friendly and the atmosphere here is very relaxed. If you would like to meet other people you can spend your time in the kitchen or use one of the PCs with internet access to stay in contact with your friends.

#7 Funky Green Voyager – Rotorua 

Rotorua is located near the famous thermal hot pools and it offers a unique experience for backpackers. The Funky Green Voyager has an energetic hostel vibe and there are many fun activities that you can do here, like exploring geothermal areas, visiting Maori culture centers or relaxing in the hot pools.

#8 Hogwartz Backpackers and Studios – Dunedin 

Dunedin is a charming city with medieval architecture and fantastic natural surroundings.  It offers excellent views over the Pacific Ocean, vineyards and the Otago Peninsula. If you go here, don’t miss out on visiting Larnach Castle or the Moeraki Boulders. Hogwartz Backpackers and Studios is located in quiet surroundings just a 15 minute walk from the city center.

#9 Bridge Backpackers – Nelson

Nelson has some of the best wine in the world and is surrounded by beautiful landscapes. The Bridge Backpackers Hostel offers clean rooms, sun terrace with BBQ facilities, big kitchen and free WiFi Internet. The place is close to Nelson’s shops, cafes, restaurants and bars.

#10 Haka Lodge – Auckland

Located close to the Sky Tower, the Haka Lodge is a modern hostel with comfortable rooms and friendly staff. There are various activities that you can do in Auckland, including visiting the Auckland Museum or enjoying walks along Tamaki Drive.

The 10 Best Hostels in New Zealand have been listed above. If you are traveling to a city and need a place to stay, consider these options! 

We hope this blog has helped you find the perfect hostel for your travels. Have safe travels!


Backpacking With Kids

Backpacking With Kids for The First Time: Tips For Newbie Travelers

Every parent wants their kids to expand and experience the world. Having your children discover new things, meet new people and face new experiences is every parent’s dream.

All over the globe we come across many family friendly travel destinations such as Europe, America and Australia- all ideal places for first time backpackers with kids. Of course there are also some popular backpacker destinations that are not very child friendly, like South America or India.

It really is up to you on where you want to explore with your children, but no matter what there are always things to consider before traveling with kids for the first time. When it comes to backpacking with family for the first time, parents need to remember everyone’s safety.

To help parents with their concerns, here are some Tips For Newbie Travelers when backpacking with kids for the first time:

1) Be on the lookout for ticks! 

Ticks can appear in dark places like long grasses and forests so be sure to check your children’s bodies thoroughly after they go outdoors. Tick bites can leave children with fever, headache or rashes.

2) Let the kids have their dignity. 

An easy way to have fun with your children is to pack some games for them to play during the day when they get bored of sightseeing. Games like mini golf and cards are great ways to pass time when traveling with a family and to let your children maintain their identity and dignity.

3) Talk with other parents before the trip. 

The most important thing you can do when traveling is talk to parents who have traveled with kids before. They are great sources of information on how to best prepare for the situation at hand. Talking with other parents can keep you from making mistakes when backpacking with kids for the first time.

4) Keep track of your children! 

Kids can be easily distracted and this is a problem if you’re traveling in a foreign country where they don’t understand the language. Make sure to keep an eye on your little ones while exploring places because it would be terrible to lose them in a new city while sightseeing.

5) Have a basic understanding of the language before backpacking with kids for the first time. 

It is always best to have an idea of what’s going on even if you’re not able to fully understand it yet. This will keep your children from getting distracted by people around them who are talking too fast or too strange for them to understand.

6) Try new things. 

This is the perfect time to expose your children to new cultures and activities. This way they will have more experiences to remember when they grow up. It also makes the trip exciting for everyone!

7) Keep their stomachs strong. 

When packing food for the kids, always pack some antacids and water purifiers. Although your children may be used to a certain type of food in their own country, they will have a hard time adjusting in a different land. Antacids help soothe upset stomachs while water purifiers kill bacteria in tap water.

8) Make sure you have the right gear. 

When packing for your kids, make sure to bring clothing that they can use whenever it gets cold outside or if the weather suddenly changes while traveling. Also make sure you have enough clothes with you in case of any accidents. Bring some hand sanitizers too because you never know what kind of germs are out on the streets. Of course, these are just some recommendations for you to remember when traveling with kids for the first time. Remember that this is not a one-size fits all article so keep in mind that parental instincts are always right!

The tips we’ve provided in this article should help get your family ready to go out and explore new countries while maintaining everyone’s safety, dignity, stomachs strong, gear appropriate, and more! 

Backpacking Tips for Beginners

 How To Get Started!

Are you new to backpacking? Do you want to try it out but don’t know where to start, or maybe you are wondering what is involved? Here are some of the basic things that are important for getting started. This article will cover what kind of clothing and equipment are needed for a trip as well as trying to answer some basic questions about backpacking.

1) Backpacks

The backpack you choose is one of the most important pieces of equipment you will buy for this sport. You don’t want to skimp on your backpack because it is something that will be with you every step of the way and a good pack makes a huge difference in how much pleasure you get from your trip. 

A good backpack will be lightweight, comfortable, fit well and hold all of your gear with some room to spare. This is the type of pack you want to look for: internal frame 

Make sure that you try out any pack that you intend to buy before buying it. There are some packs that have adjustable suspension systems, these are usually very expensive but often worth the price if you intend to carry a heavy load.

2) Clothing

The right clothing also helps make the experience more enjoyable. As a beginner you don’t need to buy anything special, just go with what you have that offers good protection from the weather and provide good warmth in inclement conditions. 

As a rule of thumb it is a good idea to dress lighter than you think is necessary because if your clothes get wet then you will cool off and be too cold to enjoy yourself. You want to dress in layers:

* Underlayer: this is base layer which you next to your skin, it should wick moisture away from your body, so do not choose cotton as a fabric for any of these items. 

** Put on this layer next to your skin before putting on the other layers.

* Outer layer: this is probably a fleece or down jacket, it should be windproof and fairly waterproof (a good test to see if something is water proof is to blow up a balloon and put it inside your clothing). You should take off this outer layer when you get too hot or stop for a rest.

* Rain layer: this is for inclement weather. A good choice would be a waterproof/breathable jacket and pants, these are much more breathable than Gore-Tex which requires you to wear other layers underneath the rain gear. 

The right footwear is something that often gets overlooked but makes a big difference in your comfort level. It is important to have good boots for this sport, but you do not need to go out and buy a special backpacking boot just yet. 

A good pair of hiking boots with ankle support will work fine until you are ready to invest in that type of footwear. The most important thing about your shoes is that they be comfortable, because if they are not you won’t want to wear them.

3) Gear

The most important piece of gear that you will need for your first backpacking trip is the knowledge required to have a safe and enjoyable experience. You should take some time to learn about your equipment before heading out on the trail. Here are some things to think about:

** How do your boots fit? You should be able to wiggle your toes and they should not be crammed into the toe of the boot. 

** How does your backpack fit? It should feel like you are wearing a part of your body, it is very uncomfortable if it sits too high or too low on your back.

** Learn how to set up and take down your tent and know what all of its parts are called and what they do. 

** It is a good idea to test out some new gear at home before you head out on the trail, this will help you to make sure that you have packed the right clothes, food and equipment.

4) Planning for your Trip

Your trip will go a lot better if you plan ahead, this includes making sure that you have the right equipment, clothing and supplies. Some things to decide are: 

** How much food should I take? You can usually get by on between 2,000-3,000 calories per day. 

** How much water will I need? If you are hiking in hot weather you should plan on drinking up to 4 liters of water per day. 

** Where am I going to camp? You can camp pretty much anywhere except for Wilderness Areas (where camping is not allowed) and National Parks (where camping is only allowed in pre-designated campgrounds). 

Some other things that should be considered are: 

** What will the weather be like? This should be a major consideration as certain equipment works best under specific circumstances. For instance, water proof/breathable clothing should not be worn when it is raining since moisture will wick up through the fabric and soak your clothes underneath.

** What type of terrain will I be hiking on? If you are going to do some climbing and scrambling, then a sturdy pair of boots with ankle support would be more appropriate than lightweight trail running shoes. 

** How much time can I spend on the trail? You should ask yourself what is an acceptable amount of time that you can spend out on the trail, and then plan accordingly. For example, if you only have a weekend available than you should camp close to your car so that you will not have to hike as far each day.

5) Getting Started

There are many benefits of backpacking listed above such as building character and teaching focus. However, for most people the physical benefits of hiking far outweigh these other possible advantages. 

Hiking has been shown to reduce stress and lower blood pressure better than any medication prescribed by a doctor. Hiking is also a great way to lose weight as it takes more energy to carry your gear than it does to walk with it on your back.

6) Final Thoughts

Of course you should always be careful when backpacking, but it is a very safe sport if proper safety precautions are followed. The most important thing to remember is that no two trips are exactly alike, so just go out there and have fun!

Are you interested in backpacking? Have you ever considered how to start hiking or are you just looking for some new tips and tricks to make your next trip more enjoyable? If the answer is yes, then this blog post will provide a wealth of information that can help.  We’ve talked about what equipment is necessary, where best to camp out on the trail, as well as all of the benefits that come with it. 

Best Places For First Time Backpackers

There is so much to see and do around the world, it really makes you wonder what’s out there. One of the best ways to see things is by walking, more accurately; you’re backpacking! Let’s discuss the best places to go backpacking for the first time:

1) Australia

Australia is filled with things to see and do. There are large cities filled with beautiful people, but also places of nature that are untouched by humans. This is where you can really get away from it all! Australia does have some of the most poisonous spiders in the world, so you might want to bring your hiking shoes instead of flip-flops for this adventure!

2 ) New Zealand

This is a must visit place for anyone who is going to backpack. There are so many things waiting to be explored in this beautiful country, and the views alone will take your breath away. One of my favorite sights was a volcano that had been dormant since last year. Still being able to see the massive crater up close and personal was something I’ll never forget.

3) Nepal

This country is where I had the most fun as a backpacker. The people here are extremely friendly, which makes it easy to meet new friends and explore what they have to offer! Whether you’re going trekking or just getting away from it all on a beach, Nepal is the place for you!

4) Costa Rica

This country has everything: great people, amazing food and stunning beaches. Not to mention that it is home to some of the best wildlife I’ve seen in my life. You can surf like never before if you’re feeling sporty, or lounge around and drink tasty beverages. You really can’t go wrong with Costa Rica as a first time backpacker!

5) Zambia

Whether you’re going on a safari or just wandering through the beautiful country, Zambia is a must see for backpackers. The people will welcome you into their home and show you what they have to offer. I’m not the most domestic cook, but they made me feel like an expert! This country holds many different opportunities for you as a backpacker.

6) Brazil

Brazil is one of those countries that will blow your mind away. Whether you’re looking to surf the beaches or play with capybaras, Brazil will not disappoint! The people are incredibly welcoming and will make any fear you have of going out into the world disappear.

7) Belize

Belize is a country rich in history, but also a country that offers many ways to explore what the locals offer. There are ancient ruins waiting for you to discover them and beautiful beaches for you to relax on.

8) Cambodia

Cambodia is a beautiful country full of interesting things to see. There are many great activities that will keep you busy for weeks! Whether you’re hitting the beaches or exploring the ruins, Cambodia offers endless entertainment for backpackers.

Hopefully these countries will inspire you to go backpacking for the first time! By seeing what else is out there, you may find a new favorite spot or even meet someone who becomes your best travel buddy. Things won’t always go as planned, but that’s why it makes them so memorable! Go backpack now!

Youth Hostels in Australia


Best Youth Hostels in Australia: For First Time Backpackers

Planning a backpacking trip to Australia? You’ve come to the right place! In this article, we’re going to provide you with a list of some of the best youth hostels in Australia, as well as how to find them, where they are located, and some of the best activities you can do there.

Top 10 Youth Hostels in Australia:

1) Scotty’s Mission Beach YHA – Mission Beach, Queensland

Scotty’s Mission Beach YHA is one of the most affordable Australian hostels you can find, located just on the shore of the Coral Sea. The beach is just a short walk away from everyone staying here, so there are plenty of opportunities to relax by the beach or go for some fun in the sun.

2) Base Magnetic Island – Magnetic Island, Queensland 

Base Magnetic Island is one of the most popular hostels in Australia not only for backpackers but also for families. This is because they can provide accommodation to everyone, regardless of their age or situation. For backpackers who are looking to save money, they have affordable rooms that are quite simple in terms of facilities, making them great value for money.

3) Southern Cross Backpackers – Agnes Water, Queensland

Southern Cross Backpackers is located at the heart of Agnes Water, making it a great place to meet other backpackers and start your Australian adventure. It’s so close to the beach that you can even hear the waves crashing against the shore when you go outside your room! 

4) Gilligan’s – Cairns, Queensland 

If you are looking for fun in the sun, then Gilligan’s Beach Backpackers is definitely one of the hostels you should check out when planning your backpacking trip to Australia. Cairns is blessed with many beautiful beaches, and this hostel even provides free boat rides to some of its most famous ones, making it easy for backpackers to enjoy themselves.

5) Bounce Sydney – Sydney, New South Wales

If you are looking for something unique, then Bounce Sydney is one of the best hostels you can find in Australia. It’s not really a standard hostel since it just looks like your typical apartment building on first glance, which makes it great for backpackers who look for more privacy than what other Australian hostels provide.

6) United Backpackers – Melbourne, Victoria

United Backpackers is one of the best hostels in Australia not only for backpackers but also for students. This is because it provides you with the same atmosphere that university dormitories provide, which makes it an ideal place to meet new people and make friends. It’s conveniently located near train stations and bus terminals too, making it easy for you to go wherever you like.

7) Brisbane City YHA – Brisbane, Queensland

Brisbane City YHA is one of the most popular hostels in Australia, mainly because it’s located right in the heart of Brisbane. It has great facilities that are well maintained, making all its guests feel comfortable and safe during their stay.

8) The Nunnery – Melbourne, Victoria 

The Nunnery is one of the most popular hostels in Australia, not only because it provides comfortable accommodation but also because it happens to be located near some of the most famous destinations in Melbourne like its Federation Square and Argus Cinema.

9) Bunk – Brisbane, Queensland

Bunk is one of the best hostels in Australia, not only because it has all the basic amenities that backpackers look for but also because it provides facilities suited to specific age groups. It has a bar at its rooftop deck where you can enjoy your drinks while watching the sunset over Brisbane’s skyline, making it an ideal spot for backpackers who want to enjoy a drink or two.

10) Travellers Oasis – Sydney, New South Wales 

Travellers Oasis is one of the most popular hostels in Australia not only because it has all the basic amenities that backpackers look for but also because it offers some unique services like free wifi and live music events. It’s located near the Central Station as well, making it easy for you to commute from this hostel to popular spots in Sydney.

Choosing the best backpackers in Australia is challenging because there are so many to choose from. However, we’ve provided you with 10 of the most popular hostels that can accommodate everyone regardless if they are looking for budget accommodations or more luxurious facilities. 

We hope this list helps you find your perfect match!

The Ultimate Guide for Newbie Travelers

You’ve always wanted to travel but you don’t know where to start. You want to go on a vacation and enjoy the best of what other countries have to offer, not just their tourist attractions. But how do you even get started? 

How can you make sure that your first time traveling is as enjoyable as possible without any hiccups or surprises? Well, it turns out that there are many things that could potentially go wrong during a trip – from lost baggage, getting mugged by locals at night, running into an old flame who still has feelings for you – and these happenings can really put a damper on your experience. Luckily for all newbie travelers out there who would rather be safe than sorry, this guide will talk you through some of the essentials that have been tried and tested by other first-timers before.

Before You Touch Your Bag…

There are certain things that you need to prepare before you leave for your trip. It’s always wise to know how much money you need to take with you (or if it is absolutely necessary to bring any cash at all). Another important thing to plan in advance would be your accommodation; do you want to stay in a hotel, or camp at one of the world’s most scenic destinations? It is also important to know how much and what kind of luggage you will need. You don’t want too little or too much baggage as both can easily throw off your itinerary.

The Do’s and Don’ts of Traveling

You have your bag packed, your ticket booked and you’ve got enough cash to last until the end of the trip. The only thing that’s left is to check out travel websites that will give you an idea on what you should or shouldn’t do when visiting a certain place. For example, don’t wear shorts and flip-flops in Europe (even in the summer) and put your valuables in a money belt. Aside from that, be courteous to the locals; don’t overcharge taxi drivers who already have enough tourists ripping them off. Be friendly with strangers and offer to take their pictures when they want a snap with that incredibly photogenic cat on the street.

It’s time to Go!

Once everything is prepared, you can now start packing your things up and finding some travel buddies who would like to go on this adventure with you. It’s always fun to have someone share the experience of your first trip with (just make sure to keep your group small). But before you get on the plane, don’t forget to check out the current warnings about your destination. Some countries are more dangerous than others; make sure that you bring enough anti-malarials if you’re visiting an area where malaria is prevalent.

It can be pretty overwhelming trying to prepare for your first trip because there are just so many things you have to think about, but once you get into the groove, it’ll be like second nature. All that’s left is to enjoy yourself and take in all the sights!

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Things To Bring When Traveling: Newbie Essentials

Whether it’s your first time or you’ve been on the road a million times, packing for a trip is always a hassle. Sometimes you need to be practical, other times you just want to impress someone with silly gifts. This list is for travel items that are awesome, but not the silly gifts. Check this list before your next trip and I promise that you’ll have more space in your bag for things like souvenirs.

1. Portable Charger

Do you know how many times I’ve forgotten this crucial item? Too many to count. As an avid blogger, my phone battery drains at an alarming rate, but no worries! Just sneak your portable charger into your bag and there you go; hours of additional charge on the go. Be sure it is compact, though; I’ve seen bulky chargers that try to double as a tablet and phone charger. Those aren’t convenient at all.

2. First Aid Kit

This is a big one! No matter where you are going, it’s always smart to have a first aid kit in your bag or backpack just in case of a minor injury. I remember a time when I was biking in Sicily and it started to pour, so a nice a friendly Italian man let me dry off in his apartment before he gave me a ride home. The rain left my skin with strange red patches, but thanks to my first aid kit, I knew exactly what each medicine did. Having this knowledge prevents you from using the wrong medicine and wasting valuable hours waiting for the situation to improve.

3. Universal Plug Adapter

This is another item that I always forget, but it’s so important! Ask any time traveler and they will tell you how annoying it is to be stuck in a foreign country with your electronic devices and no way to recharge them. This travel adapter can be used in 150 countries and has an impressive 4 USB ports for all your charging needs.

4. Spare Set of Clothes & Shoes

The best way to explain why you should bring spare clothes is by telling you a horror story; once upon a time I was traveling in Spain during the winter months. I couldn’t wait to wear my new jeans, but when it got cold enough for me to wear them I discovered that I had forgotten to pack underwear. The rest will remain nameless….

5. Travel Journal & Pen

It doesn’t really matter if you are an aspiring novelist or just someone who wants to keep a diary; bring a travel journal with you on your trips. It’s fun to look back at your travels and see how far you’ve come since your first adventure. Also, writing about each experience immediately after returning home helps reduce the chance of memories mixing up or fading away. On that same note I think it is crucial to bring a pen. You’ll definitely want to take notes while traveling and trust me, you don’t want to be searching for a pen in your bag when inspiration hits!

6. Documents & ID

Traveling with only your phone is convenient, but it isn’t always safe. Did you know that you could lose your phone at any time while traveling? It’s true! Be safe and keep some documents in your bag. They can be copies of your passport, plane tickets, hotel reservations and anything else that has important information. A fun tip for keeping these items organized is to put them in airtight plastic bags which you can write the date on so you can easily access everything.

7. Money Pouch

No matter how expensive or cheap your trip is, you’ll always be carrying cash so it makes sense to store it in something other than your wallet. There are hundreds of different styles out there, but I like ones that can be attached to my belt loop so they’re hard to lose. No one wants to worry about losing their money or even worse, getting it stolen.

8. Food & Water Bottle

What would a travel first aid kit be without food and water? I’m not talking about an entire box of cereal, but rather small snacks like granola bars and nuts that last all day while also filling you up. It’s a lot easier to travel if you can hold off on meals while exploring a new city, but I’ve never been one to skip a meal so these snacks come in handy.

9. Small Backpack

This is an item that I think everyone should have whether or not they are traveling. It’s perfect for bringing things with you on the go, but it’s also versatile enough to use as a pillow. All you have to do is fill it with clothes to turn it into a makeshift neck pillow.

10. Bonus Item: A Scarf or Sarong

This is another item that I think everyone should have, but it’s especially great for newbie travelers. It is always good to have something that can double as a bag and a pillow when needed. In some countries, they even use scarves to cover their heads so the added bonus of having a thin scarf on you isn’t lost.

Well there’s my list! I hope you find the perfect things that you need for your next trip.

By Christine Tang @christinescosetos

Photo by Giselle Koyangi @gkissnga

I’m a law student in my third year at De La Salle University in Manila, Philippines with an interest in writing. I write mostly about travel

Things You Need to Know about Backpacking




 First Time Backpackers

Backpacking is great. It can be hard though, especially if you are new to it. There are some things that every first timer should know before heading out on the trail. This article is going to cover those things, so you have a better chance of succeeding.

1) It is an expensive hobby.

First, you need to know that if you don’t already have it, gear is expensive. You can find some deals here and there, but in general it’s going to cost a lot of money . Make sure that you do your research before buying anything because most likely what you buy will not be best for your body type. 

2) The gear does wear out.

Your pack is going to get dirty, worn out, and smelly over time too. Also, not everyone has the best sense of smell so you may walk into camp one day smelling like a skunk if you don’t clean your tent each week. Check all of your seams for holes before leaving on a trip and test out your backpack too because something could break on the trail.

3) You need to start planning before you go.

Are you going to be hiking in National Parks or State Parks? Are you going solo, with a group, backpacking with your significant other, kids , pets , or just the dog ? Your plans need to be finalized before you go or else people will get mad that they aren’t going with you, and then your trip will suck.

In general, plan out your trip at least three months in advance if not more. This way you have all the time you need to either find a friend to go with or plan an awesome solo experience . This also ensures that you have time to save money, make a list of what gear you need, and get ready.

4) During your trip it will be super hard to find water sometimes.

Here is a tip for those who haven’t been on the trail before: don’t drink ALL of your water supply at once because there may not be a reliable source for the rest of your trip. I know you want to save weight and space in your pack, but you can refill your water at most camping stores, ranger stations , or visitor centers .

5) Don’t bring too much food unless you are going on an over-night hike with a car waiting to pick you up.

Understand that you are going to have to carry your food while hiking. You can bring munchies for trail side snacking, but don’t go overboard with the bulk of it because there are usually places on the trail where you can resupply. Be mindful of what you eat too because some foods may not work well on the trail.

6) Everyone poops, but everyone doesn’t bury it.

You can find a great deal of literature on this topic all over the internet. I have personally buried my waste several times by digging a hole six inches deep and covering it with dirt after using bathroom tissue or wads of toilet paper to lay down on top of the ground . This is not the proper way to do things because it leaves a big smelly mess for everyone else. Bury your waste in cat holes six inches deep and double bag toilet paper. Then when you get back to civilization you can properly dispose of them properly with chemicals and “other” devices that deal with disease and microorganisms.

7) There are different types of hiking.

There are day hikes, over-night hikes , backpacking trips with gear, and then there is section hiking which is basically where you hike on one trail for multiple days by using resupply points on it . You need to know what type of hiker you are so that you can plan appropriately for water, food, and shelter.

8) You will run into some wildlife on your hike.

The animals are out there, but there are some things you can do to avoid being attacked. First of all know that if you see the animal first it is probably scared of you so don’t frighten it off by hollering or throwing rocks at it. Also, leave the wildlife alone if you see them feeding on an animal carcass because they do not want to share their food with you.

9) Don’t just carry one hatchet unless you are cutting down trees for your camp site family living project.

You need a hatchet or axe that is lightweight for chopping wood but also has an edge that is good for carving, scraping, and digging. You also need to know how to use it in case you get lost or need to be rescued .

10) When you’re out in the woods adaptability is your best friend.

Make sure you have quick dry clothes because when it rains everything gets wet, including your clothes. The same thing goes for when it gets cold, so be prepared for this by having extra clothes that are adaptable to change in temperature.

11) Don’t forget about safety on your hike.

Don’t go alone if you aren’t comfortable with hiking alone because you never know what could happen out there. Wild animals can attack you, people can mug you, and the terrain can be overwhelming. Be prepared to survive out there.

13) Get a good pair of boots and break them in before setting foot on the trail because your feet will hurt otherwise.

You don’t want to get blisters while hiking! This means that you can’t wear comfortable old tennis shoes or your feet will pay the price for it.

14) Take a course at your local outdoor shop to learn how to use your gear.

You don’t want to set up your tent wrong and then have everyone in your party get rained or snowed on because you didn’t know what you were doing. You should also take a navigation course to learn how to read maps and use certain devices.

15) Be confident in your abilities before you start.

You should know what type of hiker you are, know how to navigate with a map, know proper first aid techniques, know about the dangers that exist out there, know about which animals pose harm to you , and have the confidence to do it. If you are not confident in your abilities there is a good chance that you will die on the trail because something bad will happen, so be prepared.

16) You should always Hike with someone else, but know when it’s appropriate.

If you go hiking with multiple people don’t split up if it isn’t necessary. When you are hiking alone or with one other person, know when it is appropriate to hike together and when it isn’t depending on the situation at hand.

The first time you backpack can be an overwhelming experience. The good news is that if you do your research and put in the effort, it may not be as challenging as you think. 

This blog was written to help first-time backpackers learn some things they need to know before setting out on their journey into nature. When you’re packing for a backpacking trip, don’t forget about safety! 

If this article has helped prepare anyone for their upcoming backpacking adventure we’d love to hear from them in the comments section below–don’t hesitate!