Packing for travel has to be one of the most tedious tasks I know, especially when it involves a carry-on bag. We usually overthink what we need and underestimate the time it takes to pull everything together and organize it neatly inside an appropriately sized bag.
Even after so many trips, I still find myself making a new packing list each time. Granted, each destination involves different clothing, accessories, etc (i.e. a long weekend in Cancun vs. backpacking New Zealand).
Speaking of which, my trip to New Zealand and Australia is a little over a month away and I’ve been frantically searching for the perfect backpack and travel accessories to make this trip the best one yet. Despite the recent earthquake (read more about it on my favorite morning news source: TheSkimm), I couldn’t be more excited to explore this incredible island in the Southwest Pacific.
For a backpack, I decided on the Osprey Farpoint 55L bag. This lockable backpack has adjustable straps and a hip belt to distribute most weight around the hips. It also comes with a detachable 15L day-pack that can be removed and used instead of lugging the larger pack around. The bag completely unzips, allowing you to view and sort through packed items without emptying the entire bag (as you would with a rucksack or drawstring bag). It also has a laptop/tablet sleeve and lockable compartment.
A quick note on which size to buy: if you are a smaller individual, I would opt for the S/M size. I know girls who are around 5’8” and chose the M/L which worked fine for them; I myself am a few inches shorter and opted for the S/M. Also, you will notice different Osprey Farpoint sizes: 40L, 55L, 70L, etc. The 40L and 55L are notably the same pack size (at 40L); however, the 55L includes the 15L detachable pack (40L + 15L). The same goes for the 70L bag: it is a 55L bag + a 15L detachable day pack.
Quick dry towels are one of the most essential items when travelling abroad and moving place to place quickly. They are highly absorbent and fast drying. You can leave them in hostels overnight after a quick wash and they are ready to repack the next day. I opted for two of the MultiTowel Lite in XL. This towel measures around 54 x 25 inches and is just around the same size as a normal bath towel. These towels are extremely effective and practical when travelling, and I wouldn’t leave without one!
I was torn between a few different packing sets but opted for the Original Eagle Creek Starter Set. It comes with three different organizational pieces, with the largest holding around 8-12 shirts and pants. The best part about this set is that each opens all the way around, as opposed to Eagle Creeks newest packing cube set (The Pack-It Spectar Cube set) which does not have this feature and involves emptying the entire cube to reach what was packed at the bottom. I love the fact that these cubes are washable and odor-resistant making them perfect for a long backpacking trip!
I opted for the small version of the bag since I only travel with <4.0 ounce carry-on liquid bottles. However, there is a larger bag available here as well. I love that this bag has a hanging feature and find it very helpful in communal hostel showers. It is important that toiletry bags are made from water resistant fabric, and the Sea-to-Summit bag is just that!
I must note that I purchased all of the travel organizational accessories and the backpack itself through outdoor vendor REI. Of course, you can find these products and brands elsewhere, but REI is closest to my home and offers in-store pickup for last minute purchases (so you can avoid that pesky shipping fee!).
The backpack, cube organizers, toiletry kit, and quick dry towels are just some of the essential items you may need while travelling. I excluded writing about power converters, headlamps, locks, earplugs, etc. since these items are contingent upon whether or not you own them already and vary widely depending on what part of the world you are traveling in. I wanted to touch on the largest parts of travel packing necessities, hoping it will make packing for the smaller items (electronics, converters, etc.) more organized and easily accessible.
Good luck World Travelers!