There are so many things to consider when packing for a trip – long or short – that you are bound to forget a few things. These are the items we’ll never leave without that have saved us from many a sticky situation.
Some people believe that a Swiss Army knife or Leatherman are far and away the best travel item ever, but considering the only tool besides the knife we’ve ever found a use for was the bottle opener, we’re of the thought that a plain old knife is just as useful.
From spontaneous picnics on the beach to cutting up string to tie your worn-out shoes together, you’ll be surprised how often it comes in handy. Just remember not to leave it in your carry-on luggage.
For navigating those tiny villages at night where electricity hasn’t quite made it yet or finding your way to that perfect squat spot when out in nature, a head torch is something you only realise you need when it’s already too late.
Take a set of spare batteries just in case.
It’s hot, you’re sweaty and you just can’t find a tap anywhere. Staying hydrated on the road is crucial and one of the main reasons we become ill while travelling.
Having your own bottle means you can purify the stuff you can’t drink and are always able to fill up with the stuff you can. Plus you won’t be wasting a load of plastic buying a new bottle every other day.
If you plan on taking overnight buses or staying in hostels, having your own padlock is a must. If you have a habit of losing small, shiny objects then a combination lock is the most reliable. Click it on your backpack or locker for a little peace of mind.
So many people we met on the road did not carry even the most basic medications to the point that the majority of our stuff was used on other travellers.
From scrapes and sprains to headaches and hayfever, take at least a basic kit with a few essentials, because it doesn’t matter what they say, you might not always be able to pop to the shop when something happens… or if you’re nursing one killer of a hangover you’ll wish those pain killers were within easy reach. Hydration salts are our most used item – for those days you lost half your body weight in sweat or spent a little too much time getting acquainted with the toilet.
One half of The Sandy Feet takes their backpack organisation very, very seriously. The other just kind of chucks it all in any which way and is done with it, even if it takes half an hour to find anything.
Whether you like a tidy pack or not, having somewhere to keep that spider’s web of loose cables and all those random bits-and-pieces that just don’t have a home will make travelling with a backpack a whole lot easier.
Ziploc bags are a popular choice but we prefer fabric pouches which cut out that annoying sound of crunching of plastic bags that is the bane of hostel dwellers everywhere.
Large canvas bags are also perfect for every trip to the shops, mean you can avoid collecting plastic bags and roll up nice and small when not being used.