Don’t know what travel gear you should use for your backpacking trip? You are not the only one who might spend hours thinking of what the ultimate travel packing list should include. It can be overwhelming and a hassle to think about everything you need to pack into your backpack.
Always remember that you need to carry your stuff all the time with you. If your luggage is too heavy it can be a big pain. Many little things can be bought everywhere, even if you are in a remote location.
For long-term travelling and backpacking it is essential that you don’t pack too much, but still having all the necessary travel gear with you for all kind of weather or medical emergencies.
Therefore, I made the ultimate travel packing list with all the necessary things and travel gear you need for your next adventure.
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Ultimate travel packing list
General packing tips for your documents and valuables
3 x Credit Cards
My advice is to have credit cards from different companies (Visa, Mastercard, …) and from different providers (on example different banks from your home country). Keep the cards in different places/bags. One in your big backpack, one in your daypack and the 3rd one in another bag or pocket.
I was at many places when only either Visa or Mastercard was working. As a backup I have as well an American Express credit card with me.
2 x Debit cards (Maestro, Cirrus)
I recommend to have two debit cards from different banks and keep them in different places/bags.
Money saving tip: When you withdraw cash from an ATM, always select no if the ATM ask if you want to use their banks conversation rate!
Your passport is of course the most important document while you are on the road. Keep it always in a safe place.
Have always a physical copy of your passport in your daypack and in your pocket.
In case your passport get stolen, you can at least identify yourself. To enter nightclubs it is as well a good idea to bring your national identity card so you don’t need to bring your passport with you.
National and International driver’s license
In many countries you don’t need an international driver’s license, officially. But in some Asian countries the police has asked me for it. If I had not shown it, I would have gotten a fine.
To enter some countries it is required to have your vaccination card with you.
Health insurance card
Important if you need to go to a hospital or doctor. Take as well a special proof of international health insurance in english with you!
8 x passport pictures
To obtain a visa or visa-on-arrival you need to hand in a passport picture in some countries.
100 USD backup money in cash in a safe place
I highly recommend to have always ateast $100 USD backup money in a safe place. In case all your cards are not working, you can change US Dollars everywhere. Additionally, you can use it in case you have no more cash for the visa or entrance fee into a new country.
Receipts from your expensive travel gear
In case your things get stolen, you can hand in the receipts to your travel insurance and it can save you a lot of problems and money.
Scan all your important documents before you leave for your trip and upload them to dropbox or any other cloud storage or email them to yourself. In case your belongings get stolen you have at least access to the documents online.
- National identification card
- Receipts from your expensive travel gear
- Health and Travel insurance documents
- Vaccination certificate
- Driver license and international driving license
- Power of Attorney (if you did some, which I highly recommend if you travel long-term)
- Student card (if you have one)
- If you feel save enough: Credit and Debit Card information or at least write down the phone number from the credit card institute.
- PADI diving certificate
- Flight and Hotel bookings (in case you have any)
Packing List & Travel Gear
Samsung Galaxy S9 Mobile Phone – unlocked!
I am in love with the speed and camera from the Galaxy S8 and now Galaxy S9. I can highly recommend the Samsung Galaxy S9 for travelling. If you are not a professional photographer, the camera from the S9 and the quality of the pictures are amazing.
Especially if you follow my how to take better pictures with your phone steps.
Spare mobile phone
My phone got stolen a few times, so it’s a good advice to have a spare phone with you.
Indispensable when you travel long-term, researching a lot of stuff for your travel, writing blog posts, editing photos. It’s the perfect mix of size, speed, capacity and costs. I started my travel with the Microsoft Surface 3, but now I recommend the newest generation of the Surface.
Microsoft Surface Keyboard
A keyboard is essential, otherwise you can only use it as a “tablet”. And the keyboard protects your screen as well.
Microsoft Surface screen protector
Good to have a special protection for you screen. Specially while travelling and using it close to the beach at the sand.
Microsoft Surface Case (Tucano Tessera Case)
Important to have a case that your Surface is protected from dust, dirt and also from rain drops. Furthermore it’s easy to carry it around in your hand.
SD Card 128GB for Surface (SanDisk microSDXC)
Don’t buy a cheap one! Fast read/write speed is all you need. I use the SD card for saving (a copy) of my pictures/videos on it.
SD Card 200GB for phone/camera (SanDisk microSDXC)
Don’t buy a cheap one! Fast read/write speed is what you need from an SD card. Otherwise you can have problems taking HD videos on example.
USB-Stick / external Hard Disk 512GB (Kingston DataTraveler)
Important to save a copy of your pictures/videos. Keep the USB-Stick always in a different place/bag than your notebook and phone. Additionally all my pictures are saved to the Cloud.
PowerBank – xtorm 15000mAh 3x5V 3A
A power bank can “safe your life”. I almost use the Power Bank daily. Is it while just laying at the beach, for long bus rides, flights or when you are on deserted islands or placed without electricity. With the xtorm power bank you can charge 3 devices at the same time.
Skross World Travel Adapter MUV USB (1x 2-pole devices & 2 x USB port)
I use the Skross World Travel Adapter literally every day for charging my electronic devices. A travel adapter is essential if you carry along electronic devices. With this travel adapter you can charge 3 devices at the same time! It has two USB ports and one 2-pole entrance. I simply love it.
MP3 Player or Apple iPod Nano 16GB
Without music I’m basically dead. Therefore, I carry a separate and especially small-sized MP3 player with me, so I’m not dependent on my phone, if I just want to hang out on the beach.
GoPro is the photo and video gear you must have for taking all kind of videos, action shots and underwater photos.
Underwater Cam – Canon PowerShot
If you don’t have a GoPro, the Canon PowerShot is the perfect (underwater) cam for travelling.
Noise Cancelling Headphones
Noise Cancelling Headphones are perfect for all kind of situation like flights, noisy bus rides, laying at the beach or falling asleep in the dorm room. I recommend the Bose Quiet Comfort 20 Acoustic Noise (In-Ear).
A Kindle is for all the bookworms out there a must. Additionally it’s the best option for reading in the bright sun.
Headphones for mobile phone
Normal headphones for your phone and tablet with a microphone.
Backup SIM Card
In case you need your national SIM card for receiving text messages (e.g. login to your online backing) I highly recommend to take a backup SIM card with you which you can activate online with your provider.
Backpacks and Bags
Daypack – Dakine Phoenix 33L
As a daypack I use a Dakine backpack. Dakine backpacks have a good quality. This one has an extra compartment inside for your tablet and three outside. One outside which is isolated to protect your things from the heat.
Dry Bag for your backpack and daypack
Buy a dry bag for your backpacks, if available. It’s very useful for wet boat rides, when you are walking in the rain or when you check-in your bag for a flight.
Silk Sleeping Bag
A silk sleeping bag is super thin and light, it will protect you from dirt and dust on (not so clean) beds.
Dry Bag for the Beach and Boats Packsack UltraSil Nano Dry Sack
A waterproof drybag is another must have. It will protect your things (electronic devices, towel, new clothes) from water. You can even swim with it in the water! Especially useful if you are doing day and boat trips.
Zip Packs Ultralight Exped S
Those ultralight zip packs are perfect to have in your daypack. One for all your electronic equipment and another one for your medication pills.
Zip Packs Ultralight Exped XL
The biggest zip pack I use for my dirty clothes.
For your passport or other small things.
Vacuum Pack – Eagle Creek – Pack-It Compressor
With vacuum packs for your clothes you can safe space and it keeps them dry.
Clear Waterproof bags
For your documents.
Travel Microfiber Beach Towel XXL (150×90 cm)
A must have! The microfiber towels are lightweight and they dry super-fast.
Travel Microfiber Shower Towel
I highly recommend to have two microfiber towels, one big one for the beach and a smaller one for showering. You don’t want to dry yourself after a shower with your beach towel which is full of sand and sunscreen.
TSA Number Locks – 2x Style 1
I recommend to have 2 TSA number locks. For the big backpack and the small daypack.
TSA Number Locks – 1x Style 2
A different style of TSA lock for the locker in the dorm rooms.
Steel cable/chain with a lock
A little and light steel cable/chain to lock the backpack to a pole or something when you are alone but want to go somewhere for a short time.
Always useable! For camping, in the dorm room or at night at the beach or jungle.
Swiss Army Knife
Pocket knife with all kind of gadgets inside. Remember to put it always in the check-in luggage when you take a flight!
Eagle Creek – All Terrain Money Belt
Belt to protect your valuables against theft.
To hang-up your clothes after washing
You are maybe laughing, but believe me, you will thank me later if you always carry some toilet paper in your daypack or shorts.
The must have if you are a light sleeper. Especially if you sleep in dorm rooms, planes or buses.
Travel Mosquito net
Especially if you go to a Malaria region
Lonely Planet Guides
For the times without internet, Lonely Planet guides are useful for long bus rides or flights.
Toothbrush and toothpaste
Deodorant and maybe perfume 😉
Thermometer (To check if you have high fever, especially in Malaria regions!)
Hand washing detergent
Tweezers (if you don’t have a pocket knife)
2 Swimming shorts
1 Sweater – As well if you only go to warm countries but for night bus or flights you are happy to have one with you.
3 Sleeveless shirts
1 Sport shirt
3 Polo Shirts
1 Button up shirt – For nightclubs or fancy rooftop bars
1 Flip Flops
1 Rain jacket
1 Soft shell jacket
Mosquito repellent with a high DEET % ⇒ Prevention of mosquitos bites
Imodium & Bioflorin ⇒ Diarrhea
Motion sickness pills ⇒ Travel and motion sickness
Motilium ⇒ Nausea, vomiting, constipation
Ibuprofen ⇒ Pain and fever
Dafalgan 1g ⇒ Strong pain killers
Malarone (Malaria-Instant) ⇒ Malaria prevention pills
Micropur forte (aqua tabs) ⇒ Makes dirty water clean and drinkable
AfterBite ⇒ After mosquitos bites
Octenisept Wound Disinfectant Spray ⇒ Clean wounds and scarfs
Aspirin ⇒ Pain killer for headache
Antibiotics ⇒ Several illnesses
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- Check out as well my personal recommendation for the ultimate backpack for travelling.