Backpacking holidays are a great way to cover several countries without breaking the bank. It is also an independent way of travelling, often forcing you to think quickly on your feet and pack your belongings in the most effective way. With limited space, you will need to consider carefully on what to bring. Here are what we suggest:

  1. Toiletry bag and toiletries


Don’t expect complimentary soap, shampoo and toothpaste at every hostel. Bring along your own and make sure that you have enough to last you for at least a few days, and then look for resupply along the way.

  1. Water bottle


We cannot emphasise enough on the importance of keeping yourself hydrated. Bring along a handy water bottle to ensure that you have enough fluid to last you throughout the day. Use a bottle that keeps your drinks cold for long lasting hours, such as a Thermos® Sports Bottle.

  1. Reading materials

Reading materials

Find time to relax in a local café and enjoy some quiet moments with a book or a Kindle. Reading materials also come in handy when you are spending a lot of time on public transports such as bus or train.

  1. Power bank

Power bank

Always keep your phone charged because you never know when you might need it. Furthermore, sharing your travels on Instagram Stories and Facebook Live will use up a large amount of battery, which is why having a power bank is always a good idea.

  1. A large and small backpack


Have a large backpack to keep all your belongings, and use a smaller one when you are out sightseeing. In this way, you will not have to lug a large backpack everything you go (leave that in the hostel instead).

  1. Universal travel adaptor


A universal adaptor is essential if you are spending the gap year travelling across different countries. For example, China uses a different electrical socket from Singapore or South Africa.

  1. Mobile storage device

Storage device

Bring along a storage device to backup the photos that you take during your travels. Mobile storage devices like OTG USB flash drives are a great tool to help you store the photos from your mobile device, in case you lose or damage your phone.

  1. First aid kit

First aid

Make sure you have the basic medical supplies such as plasters, bandages, painkillers and anti-nausea pills. A nasty fall, a mild cold or a bumpy car ride can hinder your travel and affect your mood.

  1. A working lock


Protect your belongings with a trusty lock when you are overseas. Use it to secure your cupboard in a hostel or your backpack as you commute from one place to another.

  1. Money


It’s a no-brainer but make sure you research on where you will be going and have the currencies prepared before you leave. Not all places accept credit cards so it’s always good to be prepared. Use a travel document organizer to keep your local currencies, cards, and all your travel references in order such that you can find your items with ease.

Bonus tip: Always keep your family informed of your location

Send your family and friends a message whenever you are travelling to another place or city. In this way, they will be informed of your location and the next destination, making it easier to locate you should any undesirable circumstances arise.  

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Ingredients (serves 4):