The Ultimate Travel Checklist

Print it out and put it on your wall. Cross it off as you go. Don’t go until it’s all crossed off, or at least make sure you have a good go at it. This is your guide to packing your backpack before you go backpacking.

First up, essentials and nonessentials for the ladies

Essentials

  • Passport/Visa: secured on your person when in use, locked up tight at all other times.
  • Travel Insurance Documents: It’s always a good idea to have a printed copy of the claims info accessible, in case you don’t have internet access when/if shit happens.
  • Copies of your passport: This is fairly important. In the unfortunate event that you lose your passport, having copies on hand will make it heaps easier to getting it replaced and getting you back on your carefree way.
  • Sunglasses
  • Daypack/handbag

Clothing

You don’t need as much clothing as you think. You can easily wear the same things more than once (like you do back home) and laundromats are cheap and easily accessible. Also, most small cities have a plethora of stores where you can buy cheap, hot basics, like H&M, Zara, Mango, etc.

  • Shirts (5-7): ranging from basic tees to cute tops, as desired.
  • Pants (2-3): no jeans, you’re best off with some leggings and/or lightweight pants.
  • Shorts (3-4): again, avoid jeans as much as possible. Bulky is not our friend.
  • Playsuits/Rompers: ladies, (well men too, if you like) feel free to substitute a playsuit for any number of outfits. Not only do they make figuring out what to wear a breeze, they also take up less space win/win!  
  • One nice outfit for going out: No you don’t need more than one, the likelihood of you going out with the same people more than once is pretty low and even if it does happen, no one actually gives a damn.
  • PJs: two comfortable bottoms max, maybe one shorts and one pants depending on the season.
  • Bras: one nude, one black, one sports bra (or none, it’s your prerogative).
  • Underwear (6): (or none, it’s your prerogative)
  • Swimsuit (1)
  • Socks (6): thicker, longer socks for winter, lightweight socks for warmer climates.
  • Shoes (3): one pair for walking/hiking, one pair of sandals/flip flops, one nice pair for going out (pack the two smallest pairs and wear your bulkiest for maximum space saving).
  • Raincoat/poncho: regardless of where or when you’re travelling, chances are you’re going to be caught in a rainstorm at some point. Lightweight and folds down to pocket sized is ideal.
  • Winter wear: if traveling during the winter or through northern Europe, where it’s often cold year around, bring a pair of boots, gloves, hat, scarf, and a thick, waterproof jacket.

Toiletries

Note: if you’re not checking your luggage then make sure all liquids are under 100 milliliters/three ounces. Chances are you’re coming from afar and that means you’ll have plenty of checked luggage allowance and therefore plenty of space to bring your fave toiletries from home. Here’s a brief list of the essentials:”

  • Toothbrush
  • Toothpaste
  • Soap (preferably bar soap, as that tends to last much longer than liquid)
  • Shampoo and conditioner and hair products
  • Makeup
  • Makeup remover
  • Moisturizer
  • Coconut oil: works great as makeup remover, hair product, moisturizer.
  • Deodorant
  • Sunblock
  • Wet wipes
  • Towel (preferably microfiber, they dry fast and are super thin)
  • Razor
  • Hair ties
  • Basic first aid kit (super basic, as in a few band-aids, pain killers, and maybe some disinfectant, anything beyond that you can get at a pharmacy on practically every corner in Europe).
  • Packing cubes or compression bags: everyone has their preference, but both options are a godsend for space saving.
  • Empty water bottle: with all that walking you’re going to be doing and free water fountains everywhere and restaurants charging for water, this lifehack is primo.

Absolutely non essentials (leave this shit at home)

These are the things that you think you need, because you’re getting all romantic about the upcoming adventure, but that you totally do not need.  

  • DSLR and other expensive bulky camera equipment: seriously, you’re not going to lug that shit around and actually use it unless you’re a professional photographer on a business trip, which if you are, how the fuck did you end up here? Besides do you really want to risk losing (getting stolen from a hostel) all that precious (expensive af) gear? Trust me, leave it at home and thank me later.
  • Phrasebooks: they’re bulky, not easily searchable, and there’s the internet/wifi everywhere. Screenshot essential info for offline access, download a translate app, and make life easier on yourself.
  • Airplane pillow: another useless bulky item you’ll regret bringing the second you flop it around your neck and find it’s utter ineffectiveness.

That’s it, that’s all you’ll ever need in a backpack! It may seem unbelievable, but trust us, we’re professionals!

Europe Packing List For Guys

Ed’s note: here’s the same packing list, but for guys. We’re all for equality between the sexes, but generally we have very, very different packing needs.

Essentials

  • Passport, like duh,
  • Copies of your passport,
  • Credit card, for booking cars, travel debit card, for draining your savings.
  • Mobile phone, unlocked.

Clothing

This is the bare minimum. You can bring more, if you’ve got space. Don’t forget that you can buy plenty of stuff on the road. You want to look great with minimum effort. Make sure you roll everything so to save space and avoid creasing.

  • Two pairs of walk shorts: grey and navy,
  • Three tees: white, black, whatever. Avoid light grey as it shows sweat. Avoid logos and slogans because you don’t want to be a kook. Just go plain.
  • Long-sleeved, collared shirt: because you’re in Europe, and sometimes in Europe we’ve just got to wear long-sleeved collared shirts.
  • Party shirt: Hawaiian,
  • Jeans: black, light, one pair. Wash when they smell.
  • Shoes: keep them simple so they can multi-purpose. Something black to walk in/wear out. Sports shoes are good. Something low cut that you can wear with socks. Some thongs.
  • Light coat: waterproof,rolls up to next to nothing.
  • Sweater: a shirt, sweater and light coat should get you through most weather. If you’re here for winter, bring a coat or get one immediately on arrival.
  • Socks: the more you bring the less often you’ll have to wash them. The same goes for,
  • Underwear.

Toiletries

Again, you can get everything in Europe for next to nothing, but to set up a basic kit:

  • Bodywash
  • Deodorant
  • Face moisturiser with sunscreen
  • Actual sunscreen
  • Anti-dandruff shampoo
  • Toothbrush
  • Toothpaste
  • Nail clippers
  • Bandages, pain killers,
  • Optional additions include: electrolytes for dehydration, charcoal for diarrhea, Beroca – basically anything that helps you conquer hangovers.  

The other stuff

  • Books are great for entertainment and make you appear smart/cultured,
  • A light laptop will allow you to work, if needed, and be the guru when it comes to chilled nights in watching movies,
  • Hard-drive loaded with movies and series,
  • AUX cable for car rides,
  • Portable speaker to attract attention on the beach and in the hostel,
  • Cards for long travels and longer layovers,
  • Notebook and pen to scribble down your thoughts.

That’s not everything you might want, but it’s all that you’ll need. Happy packing!

 

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