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Experienced Backpackers Share Their Travel Necessities

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Experienced Backpackers Share Their Travel Necessities

You’ve been saving up to travel around Europe while freelancing, because why not work from somewhere incredible for a summer? The big question is, how do you pack for multiple months of traveling when your backpack can't weigh more than 20 lbs to fly cheap European airlines, and temperatures will range from 83°F (Spain) to 40°F (Iceland)? Well, we pulled together a packing list of essentials for you, including a few items recommended by frequent freelancing backpackers!

1. Osprey Porter 46 Backpack

Speaking from experience, this backpack is a lifesaver. It’s the largest backpacking bag you can find that is still the perfect size for a carry-on (meaning you won’t be charged any surprise fees by cheap European airlines). The straps are soft and form to your shoulders for comfort. Every pocket and clasp seems to be perfectly thought out to meet your many spontaneous needs. Oh, and did I mention that I dragged mine through camping trips and subway stations for about a year and it still looks brand new?

2. World Travel Adapter Kit

This isn’t a glamorous item, but if you plan to work remote, it’s definitely a necessary one. This world adapter kit easily changes to the 4 most common plug configurations used in over 150 countries. If you plan to travel to more than one country in your life, this world adapter is worth the $30 one time investment.

3. Skyroam Mobile Hotspot: Global WiFi

This tiny, pay-as-you-go hotspot can be turned on for quick wifi access if you find yourself in need of an internet connection while out in the middle of nowhere. It’s incredibly convenient, but should be used sparingly if you are a budget traveler, because you pay a fee each day that you turn it on.

4. Patagonia Rainshadow Jacket

You’re going to want a waterproof jacket for unexpected downpours. This Patagonia Rainshadow jacket became my best friend when I found myself in the pouring rain in Rome, 4 miles from my Airbnb, with no umbrella and no money for a cab. It’s created to be lightweight but extremely warm, and packs up into a tiny bag that fit into a day bag or purse without a problem.

5. Klean Kanteen Classic 27oz Water Bottle


Easy hydration is extremely important while traveling, and if you plan to just buy dozens of plastic water bottles, I will come slap you in the face. This popular water bottle is lightweight, can loop to your belt or backpack, keep drinks cold or hot, and has an electro-polished interior doesn't retain or impart flavors, thank goodness!

6. KMASHI Portable Power Bank

Since phones are now useful for translation, travel tips, maps, and even restaurant reviews, your battery is going to drain very quickly while traveling! Don’t ever worry about getting lost with a dead phone battery with this portable power bank as backup. It slips into a small pocket of your purse or day bag, just waiting to save the day. 

7. Compact Microfiber Towel 


This towel is a magic towel, no lie. It’s thin and tiny, but somehow soaks up 3 times its weight. Because of its small size, it drys quickly when hung up on a line.

And lastly, here are the other necessities not pictured above:

+ Day pack (For the days you don’t want carry your large backpacking bag)

+ Toiletries in clear carry-on toiletry bag (TSA will love you!)

+ Sunglasses

+ Money belt (For hiding your money, important paperwork, and passport on your body)

Earbuds (Necessary for train rides and shared hostels!)

Clothing: minimal socks and underwear, 1 lightweight pant, 1 warmer pant (doubles as pajamas), 1 sweater, 5 shirts, and a swimsuit.

Happy traveling!

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