6 Things You Definitely Need & 5 Things You Should Leave Behind When Backpacking In Another Country

So you’ve booked your trip and waited for the day to arrive for you to finally set off.

Only thing left to do is pack.

If you’re anything like me, you want to bring everything. I tried this. It wasn’t my brightest idea.

The problem was that I didn’t do enough research before I left.

Killarney National Park

I traveled through Europe for 3 months, starting in Ireland and ending in Germany. And within this time, I was able to very quickly decide what I wanted to throw into the first garbage can I saw and what I really wish I had given more thought to.

Of course what you need depends on the time of year that you are going travelling and what exactly you will be doing, but I think this list is a great start to get you going.

M&M World – London, England

So here we go..

6 Things You Should DEFINITELY Bring

1 – Bandaids

Bandaids take the top spot as I’m quite certain they are the most important.

Trust me, I can tell you from experience that there is nothing, and I mean NOTHING, more inconvenient than when you are travelling and your shoes are giving you blisters.

Specifically in my case, I was hiking in Connemara National Park in Ireland. (read about my trip in Southern Ireland) I had only left Canada 1 week previous and my auntie had just bought me a pair of new hiking shoes. Of course I didn’t have time to break them in, so I hiked everywhere in them. By the end of the day I was almost in tears.

Hiking in Connemara National Park – Ireland

Bandaids! I can’t stress it enough. And take lots!

2 – Tissues

Everyone gets the sniffles from time to time. The worst time, however; is when you’re out hiking (yes I enjoy hiking) and the cold air has you feeling like you’ve been hit by the sniffles bus.

Every country I’ve been to sells tissues of course as well in local supermarket or convenience store, it’s just a lot easier to get what you want/know when you are in your home country.

3- Chapstick

A lot of people I know carry chapstick on them constantly. I’m one of these people. I do know however the feeling of running out of chapstick when travelling and not knowing where to buy some.

Just a little reminder to add this item to you travel packing list if you don’t already use it on the daily.

4 – Power Bank

You know that feeling when your phone dies and you feel completely lost.

Well imagine that feeling when you are in a new country.

Bringing a power bank can really save you a lot of stress and troubles.

5 – Electronic Adapter

On the topic of electronics, bringing a multi-country adapter when you are backpacking is an absolute must.

Also travelling with an adapter that has one or two USB ports on it is so helpful. I don’t know how many times I’ve had my tablet and my phone plugged in at the same time and needed a USB port as well as the actual plug.

6 – A Water Bottle

Last, but definitely not least. Either pack a water bottle for your travels, or buy a bottle of something when you arrive and don’t throw it away.

You will save yourself so much money by carrying a bottle with you when you are travelling to fill up wherever you can.

And aside from the saving money part, staying hydrated when you are travelling is mandatory. The last thing you want when you are in a foreign country, even if everyone speaks English, is to get sick. It’s expensive and EXTREMELY inconvenient to get sick when you are travelling.

From the top of the tallest church in the world – So much water was needed after this climb!
View from the top of Ulmer Münster (tallest church in the world) – Ulm, Germany

Stay hydrated folks and pack a bottle!

5 Things You Should Leave Behind

All these items I’m about to tell you to leave behind when you jet off, are my own experiences and why I bothered to write about them.

1 – Out of Season Clothes

The first time, I moved abroad was from a January to April to Germany – Winter/Spring months. I knew I was going to do a lot of travelling while I was there.

Well in my head, before I left, I decided to pack all my summer clothes to bring to Germany as well. I had these visions in my head that I was going on a vacation somewhere tropical I guess.

Skiing in Austria

Nope, I returned to Canada in April with clothes that I NEVER wore. Not even once.

No matter where you are planning to travel to, make sure you are packing clothes that you know will be in season.

2- Your Entire Makeup Collection

For any girl that likes to wear makeup, this can be a toughy. I’m not a huge makeup person, but I do enjoy wearing it. So this summer, I packed a bag with all my makeup for my 3 month adventure through Europe.

By two days in, I realized the only things I was actually wearing were Mascara and blush. The other stuff stayed in my bag for the rest of the trip.

And honestly some days, depending on the activities, I didn’t even wear those.

Attending Karneval in Cologne – definitely not looking like a movie star!!

Plus, when you are travelling, no one looks like a movie star. You will be the one who stands out like a sore thumb when you’re the one with a full face of makeup and everyone else is au naturel.

3 – More Than 3 Pairs Of Shoes

Hiking shoes, sneakers, and maybe sandals. This is all you need to pack for travelling. And if you’re not going to be doing any extensive hiking, maybe a pair of comfy running shoes.

I’m pretty sure the first time I had gone travelling, I packed 6 pairs of shoes – 2 pairs of sandals, hikers, runners, sneakers, and a pair of heels.

Big no no!

First of all the heels are COMPLETELY UNNECESSARY when you are travelling. Of course I wanted to bring them in the case of going out. But you can easily dressup a black dress (one you’d where anyway) with sneakers to go out. And to be honest, you’ll be a heck of a lot more comfortable in sneakers than in heels anyway. And no one cares that you don’t have heels, they probably don’t even notice!

My only pair of sandals still brought me to the center of Spain!

I’d say pack one pair of sandals, only if you know you will be wearing them – dependent if you are travelling to a beach or staying in a hostel and want some shower sandals.

 4 – Hairdryer

Packing a hairdryer is also completely unnecessary when you are travelling. Why? Because almost all hostels will lend you a hairdryer from the front desk and almost all Airbnbs offer a hair dryer in your room.

Although hairdryers are not super heavy, they take up a lot of space in your backpack or suitcase.

So ditch, the hairdryer on your packing list, you won’t need it on your travels.

5 – A Pile Of Books

The last one, can be a bit of a heartbreak to some who love reading, but at least with technology now, we can download our books to a Kindle or tablet.

But, unfortunately, packing a bunch of books when travelling is just such a terrible idea. They take up entirely too much space and are VERY heavy if you are storing them in your backpack.

I now bring a tablet, which fits in my purse, and read all my books on there. It has made a world of a difference.


So there you have it, all my best tips that I have gathered from all my own experiences.

I hope they help you out on your next travel adventure… to wherever that may be! 🙂

Top of Diamond Hill in Connemara National Park, Ireland

Happy travels, gute Reise, buen viaje, bon voyage! 🙂


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