This is a guide of what you will need in your bag when heading off travelling, whether it’s up and down the country or half way across the world. This guide is based on what I have in my travel bag, so yours may be slightly different to suit you but all in all quite similar.
Now most people think you need to take as much as you can possibly carry; all your clothes, shoes and stock up on toiletries. This is not the case. In my experience, take as little as you think you can and then take even less. Believe it or not this will help you in the long run.
Okay first thing you need to be asking yourself is what things do I need in-order to travel. E.g. if you’re travelling abroad, you will need your passport, I.D., insurance card and personal details. These are your crucial items, in other words without them you cannot travel.
Top tip – keep crucial items in a specific area of your bag or even in a fanny pack and if possible keep them in a waterproof case. This way there is less chance of them getting ruined or lost. It will also mean they are easily accessible when needed.
Secondly we will look at toiletries. The big question here is how much do I take?
Whilst it seems like a great way to save money stocking up on all your favourite deodorants, make up wipes, shampoos, conditioners and don’t forget about sunscreen. Believe it or not these things are sold most places around the word and at a much cheaper rate than in the UK. Buying them along the way is a great way of saving bag space.
Top tip – always buy travel size. This is for two reasons. Firstly, if at some point things don’t go to plan and you need to get a plane somewhere, you don’t want to have wasted your money when they get taken by customs for being over the size limit. The other reason is so that you can fit them all into a toiletries bag. You may think this is silly but you never know, a loose bottle of shampoo accidently gets sat on and all your clothes could be ruined until you have time to wash them.
Okay time for the big one now. Clothes. What the hell am I going to wear?
I find this is something you worry about much more than you need to. Like I said earlier with taking less than as little as you think, that definitely applies here. Depending on where you are going of course and more importantly the climate, your clothing will change.
Also, you must consider how often you are prepared to wash your clothes. If its every week, then take less but if its every two or three then you will of course need to take more.
My advice is to take a couple pairs of trousers/ jeans, a couple pairs of shorts, a jumper and something to swim in. After that just fill the remainder of bag space with tops and underwear. Of course, if you’re going somewhere cold you may need to add a few more jumpers or trousers.
As far as jacket choices, I would go with something warm and hooded. It doesn’t necessarily need to be waterproof but that would help.
Top tip- Don’t worry about your jacket fitting in your bag. It can always be tied around your waste or the strap of your bag to save space.
Shoes are probably the most important thing in a traveller’s world. This is because you are going to be on your feet a lot and I mean a lot. It is very important that your shoes are comfortable and sturdy. I would recommend taking at least two pairs of comfortable shoes. Also it isn’t vital that you take more than two pairs but if you need to take a nice pair or flip flops then you can.
What else will I need?
Okay so we’ve been through all the obvious things that you will need when travelling daily, but what else will you need?
A big one for me was a towel. Now I wouldn’t stress too much if you can’t fit a towel in your bag because you can always buy or borrow one from your hostel, hotel or another traveller. But if you have the space I recommend taking one.
I would also recommend taking a basic first aid kit, including plasters and bandages etc. One of these can be easily purchased off eBay or Amazon.
Don’t forget the little things!
You will be needing sunglasses, hair bobbles, plastic bags, a tooth brush and gloves, scarf and hat (depending on the weather). When it comes to accessories ty to cut down and be specific to you, e.g. if you’re a guy with short hair you won’t need hair bobbles or if you’re travelling through Spain in the summer, you won’t need a scarf or gloves.
Can I take my Laptop?
Now the rest of your items will be considered your luxuries. E.g. phone, camera, laptop, tablet, something to read, a diary or notebook (recommend this) and jewellery. Be smart with these items. If your phone has a good camera on it then you won’t need to take a second camera. Also, if you don’t need to take your laptop or tablet then don’t because it’s just one more thing to worry about.