If you are reading this you have probably decided to go on that interrail through Europe or maybe a longer vacation in Australia or Indonesia. Or you just want to know how to pack right for backpacking, which is a good skill to have!

After going on an interrail some years ago I learned that packing right was extremely important in order to have a pleasant experience. You are already giving up on so much of your comfort, don’t let this be another thing to get irritated by. Pack light and pack smart.


Pack light

A friend gave me the advice to first pack everything you thought you needed. Then get rid of half. I didn’t quite follow her advice since I thought I had already packed light to begin with. Turned out I was carrying around with too much stuff. You will probably wear the same clothes over and over again and wash them in a basin somewhere with detergent you (of course) remembered to bring.

If you still want to look your best (but also believe me when I say backpacking isn’t for the vain), try neutral colors that you can match in different ways. If you want to glam up for potential party-nights, go with accessories instead of bringing too many outfits you will only wear once, if at all. Shoes are another thing to keep in mind, which ones do you REALLY need?

Pack smart

  • Make a list, it’s less stress for you and you know what you brought with you each time you are leaving a destination.
  • Roll your clothes to get them as small as possible.
  • Remember to pack clothes for all weather (it always gets cold in the night). Layering is a great method!
  • Pack things in plastic bags that you then place in your backpack. During the trip, place all dirty clothes in one plastic bag so the others doesn’t start stinking.
  • Place things that are worth stealing in another small backpack that you carry in the front, or hide it deep inside your packing.
  • Place heavy stuff in the middle of the backpack and closest to your back. This way you will keep balance even with a large bag.
  • If you are traveling with a friend – share things like shampoo. Otherwise, buy travel sizes.
  • If you will be going to the beach, pack two towels so that you don’t need to deal with sand everytime you go in the shower.
  • Bring reusable and durable cutlery, bowl, and water bottle. You will save a lot of money on not eating out all the time.
  • Go for comfortable rather than fashionable clothes if you have to choose.
  • Bring moist towels and disinfection. It won’t always be clean where you travel so come prepared.
  • Bring a basic health kit with at least band-aids, painkillers, and sun screen.
  • This isn’t so much about packing, but learn how to carry your backpack properly. This will save you so much frustration along the way.

Do you have any additional tips on how to pack for backpacking that are life savers?