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Backpack Essentials: Your Ultimate Packing Guide

Backpack Essentials: Your Ultimate Packing Guide

Looking for some tips to help you pack well and bring the essentials? We’re sure even the most seasoned of travellers can find some tips in our guide!

Packing can often be the most stressful parts of travel, so that’s why we’ve created the ultimate Backpack Essentials guide! When living out of a backpack for a while, you can become flustered at the realisation that not everything is as comfy as you’re used to. And sometimes you only realise upon arrival that you might have forgotten to pack some pretty useful items. We want to help you avoid those situations and make the most out of your adventure. Before jetting off on the trip of your dreams, read our Backpack Essentials guide to help you pack like a pro!

Backpack Essentials: Your Ultimate Packing Guide. Porto, Portugal

Porto, Portugal – Backpack Essentials: Your Ultimate Packing Guide

Backpack Essentials: The Basics

So we probably don’t have to tell you to pack your socks and underwear, but we can give you tips to help you make sure you don’t miss anything. In order to ensure you don’t overpack and make as much use of your luggage space as possible, we have some handy tips for you.

First, select all the items you would like to bring and lay them out. Look for versatile and durable items, as you might not be able to do laundry as often as usual. Then choose the items you want to bring, and roll them up to pack. We recommend only 4-5 shirts, 1 sweater, and 3 bottoms (shorts and trousers). As for shoes, bring something that’s comfortable! Everything else is entirely up to you!

And what about luggage? Well, since this a post about backpack essentials, we recommend a travel backpack. If you don’t have one and are wondering about brands, click here for a guide to the best travel backpacks.

Copenhagen, Denmark - Backpack Essentials: Your Ultimate Packing Guide

Copenhagen, Denmark – Backpack Essentials: Your Ultimate Packing Guide

Notebook & a Pen

Maybe this sounds old school, but this is a really great tip in our backpack essentials guide! A notebook can help you stay organised, and can be a place to keep important information, postcards, and of course, a travel diary. You should have copies and photos of everything on your phone, but if it breaks or you lose it on a night out, it’s nice to know not all your information isn’t lost.

Day Backpack

Bringing a day backpack will help you carry all your items while touring around whatever city you’re in. We cannot stress how much of a backpack essential this is!

Power Bank

A power bank will help you avoid any dead phone or electronics situations. If you rely on navigation to get around, and take photos and videos all day, your battery will drain quickly. Save yourself the stress and be sure you bring one!

Interlaken, Switzerland - Backpack Essentials: Your Ultimate Packing Guide

Interlaken, Switzerland – Backpack Essentials: Your Ultimate Packing Guide

Travel Adaptor

A travel adaptor with built in USB slots will come in handy if you need to charge multiple things at once without taking over all the outlets in your room or common area. Pro tip: mark or tag all of your cables and electronic goods you might use in communal areas, as people can sometimes mistake them for their own.

Bluetooth Speaker

If you end up travelling in warmer months, you’ll probably end up spending some of your time chilling in some of Europe’s best parks. If you want to enjoy the atmosphere to the beat of your own drum, be sure to pack a bluetooth speaker!

Phone Tripod

This is a great backpack essential whether you’re travelling solo or with friends. Rather than have to ask strangers to take photos for you, or leave one of your travel buddies out, bring a phone tripod to capture all your travel memories!

Marseille, France - Backpack Essentials: Your Ultimate Packing Guide

Marseille, France – Backpack Essentials: Your Ultimate Packing Guide

Hard Drive or SD Card

Some form of data storage device is never a bad thing to have with you. You can keep important files such as copies of your passport, health insurance, tickets, and pdfs of your accommodation confirmations. This can also come in handy if you take a digital camera or drone with you and want to back your photos up immediately.

A Microfibre Towel

These are light, quick drying, take up little room in your luggage, and is a true backpacking essential. While some hostels only charge a deposit for towels, others charge a rental fee, so packing a microfiber towel is also a great way to save money.  It can also be used as a travel pillow, beach towel, and a privacy wall in your dorm bed.


Never, and we mean NEVER, forget to bring earplugs. Getting a good night’s rest is essential for your health and sanity on your travels and there’ll always be that one snorer….

Warsaw, Poland - Backpack Essentials: Your Ultimate Packing Guide

Warsaw, Poland – Backpack Essentials: Your Ultimate Packing Guide

Reusable water bottle

Tap water is safe to drink in most European countries, but you can always check at reception if you want to be sure. Bringing a reusable water bottle will save you money, and you’ll avoid contributing to the plastic problem. We can all do our part to save the planet!

Metal or Bamboo straw

Straws aren’t all that necessary, but they can be convenient and helpful for some, so we suggest packing a metal or bamboo straw for your travels!

Canvas Tote Bag

The last item on our backpack essentials guide is a canvas tote bag. You’ll likely do a bit of shopping on your travels, and this will come in handy! While many shops no longer have plastic bags, paper ones are available, but for a price. Save your money and bring a canvas bag.

Malaga, Spain - Backpack Essentials: Your Ultimate Packing Guide

Malaga, Spain – Backpack Essentials: Your Ultimate Packing Guide

Where to Stay in Europe

Europe’s Famous Hostels is a network of some of the best hostels in Europe. Their hostels are top rated, offer incredible amenities, and a comfortable bed to rest your head at night. From the Scottish Highlands to Jerusalem, Europe’s Famous Hostels can be found in 36 amazing destinations, waiting to be discovered. Additionally, Interrail and Eurail pass holders are entitled to a 10% discount at all locations on advanced bookings. Click here for more info!

City Backpackers Hostel in Stockholm, Sweden

Backpack Essentials: Your Ultimate Packing Guide

We hope you enjoyed our Backpack Essentials guide and it helps you avoid any backpacking nightmares on your adventure. And even if you manage to forget an item or two, you might be able to find someone along your travels who can help you out!

If you need more information to help you plan your vacation, click here for a range of helpful tips, city guides, food guides, and more. For all the latest news at Famous Hostels, follow us or subscribe on InstagramFacebook, Pinterest, and Youtube.

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