Backpacking Trip Essentials

I've gotten a lot of questions while planning our trip and during the trip about how we managed to travel for weeks with one small backpack apiece. Well, by packing super light, rolling all of our clothes, and with a few helpful products and traveling essentials along the way. Here are some of the things we used that worked well, in case you're planning a trip of your own! (click the photos to buy anything)

1. Passport Travel Wallet
I used this throughout the trip and it worked quite well for fitting a passport, boarding passes, cards, and cash. It was thin and long so as not to be taking up too much space. But the perks of fitting everything in one spot was awesome.
Get it here:

2. Inflatable Neck Pillow
Not a huge neck pillow person in the past, but for a trip with so many flights, this was nice to have a few different times. Best thing about this one is that it's super soft and velvety, and also comes with a little carrying bag, eye mask, and ear plugs. It's super fast and easy to inflate and deflates in about 3 seconds flat with the push of a button.
Get it here:

3. Earbuds
I don't know about everyone else, but the little white plastic earbuds start to hurt me after like 10 minutes. But I couldn't take up the space of large headphones, so I got a pair of these and they work quite well, don't cost much, and don't hurt my ears.
Get it here:

4. Small padlocks
These were helpful for us. We hooked the two main zippers together with the little padlocks and I attached the keys to a stretchy hair tie that we could wear on our wrists. This might be a good idea if you're using backpacks in large cities and want a bit of extra theft protection.
Get it here:

5. Mesh Bags
These are great. I bought them partly for the trip and partly for real life. The set includes 5 of varying sizes. I used a small and a medium one for the trip. They're mesh so they weigh nothing and fold up to take up very little space. I used them to separate out dirty from clean clothes in my backpack, or to separate pants and shirts from pajamas and underwear. They're also great for bringing the beach.
Get it here:

6. Laundry Soap Sheets
This little pack comes with 50 sheets. We used a bunch of them to wash small items or extra items in places that didn't have a washing machine. If you need to wash clothes and won't have a machine, this is a good alternative. You'll need a couple sheets for a larger item and one or two for something small. Makes doing laundry in the sink faster and easier. Make sure you don't take them out with wet hands!
Get them here:

7. Backpack
This is the backpack I used! It fit the size limits for a personal item on all of the airlines we flew. It has a few pockets on the outside and an extra flap within the inside. It's super lightweight which helps reduce weight. It held up well to all of our travels, no rips or tears yet. The straps aren't too comfortable or padded, but they did the trick.
Get it here:

8. Fire Tablet
I used mine, which I already owned. It's quite a nice affordable tablet if you don't do a ton of stuff on it. Works well for downloading lots of ebooks, Netflix and Hulu, and some games or other apps. Perfect for traveling and keeping all of your entertainment on one small device.
Get it here:

9. Video Camera
This is the exact video camera I use and I love it. I've had it for a while and it's small, light, and great for taking on trips. One thing you'll need in addition is a good case. I improvised with a speaker case I had at my apartment. It has a lot of space and long battery life. There's also a button right on top to take a still photo as you're recording. Highly recommend this one if you need a video camera.
Get it here:

10. Host gifts!
We wanted to bring gifts to all of the families and people who were being wonderful enough to host us in their homes. We brought bags of candy to everyone (including Salted Nut Rolls, a Minnesota-born candy). We also brought towels like this for the families we stayed with. Something that we could use to point directly to where we live and show them a bit of Minnesota, as well as being a useable gift.
Get it here:

So these were some of my travel essentials, ones you can actually get for yourselves if you think they'll help on your upcoming travels! Hope this helps. 🙂


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