Packing & Prep
They call it "backpacking" for a reason. DON'T be the guy with a huge rolling suitcase and 6 other bags carrying your entire life with you. You’ll need one backpack and a day pack (May be included with your back pack depending on what product you buy). I have one cross body white leather bag that I use for short day tours and walking around markets, etc.
There must be ample preparation in packing, but this is an easy list to follow so you can remember what you will need to bring and how to pack while preparing for any upcoming trip.
Carry On/Day Bag
A day pack is going to be one of the most important things to have when traveling. Most airlines allow one carry on and one personal item. This is my backpack (day pack) and my cross body bag. For my most recent trip, my camera equipment had doubled, so I used my backpack for most of my electronic equipment.
Keep In mind when packing your carry on vs. your checked bag. Make sure you DON'T check any camera equipment or important electronics, especially items with a battery.
I had an airline confiscate a brand new power bank from my checked luggage. So, I make sure moving forward, to have all of my electronics in my carry on bag!
My day bag is obviously going to differ from your day bag, and depending on a variety of other circumstances, the contents of your bag will differ. If my circumstances changed and I wasn't a travel vlogger, just someone looking to travel for upwards of 2-4 months, my rule of thumb is to treat my carry on as if the airline was going to lose my checked luggage.
What Goes In My
Electronic Accessory Holder
Rode VideoMic Pro & Deadcat
2 WD External Hard Drives
DJI OSMO Mobile Gimble
Canon EOS Rebel T5i
SD Cards & Case
Toothbrush & Toothpaste
Copies of Passport & Credit Cards
Notebook & Pen
Your Everyday Bag
Along with a carry on bag, you're going to need a bag for every day use. This could be the same bag you use for your carry on, or something smaller like a crossbody bag or a fanny pack. Keep in mind you want it to be very secure, so no tote bags or bags someone can easily reach into or grab off your shoulder. A decent crossbody bag, just big enough to fit all of your daily essentials, would be perfect. Just make sure it zips closed and can be worn closely and tightly to your body.
I use two everyday bags. I use my LifeProof GOA 22L Backpack for day trips where I'll need to carry a light sweater, water bottle, maybe some camera equipment and more bulky items. Once I arrive to my hostel, or wherever I am staying in that destination, I will empty out the unnecessary items from my carry on bag into my locker and use my LifeProof backpack for the day.
I also have a small leather crossbody bag for short trips such as going to the market, or for a night out. In both of these bags at ALL TIMES, I will pack the items below!
Passport & ID - You're going to want to carry your passport on you when traveling between destinations. However, once you arrive at your destination, I suggest keeping it in a locker or safe at your accommodation. This is just my personal preference. I feel it is safer there.
Wallet - You're going to want a simple wallet that meets all of your needs but doesn't cost too much in case it gets lost or stolen. My suggestion would be an international travel wallet with RFID blocking to avoid anyone stealing the information off your cards as you walk by. You don’t want to bring any expensive designer luggage, wallets or bags... It would suck to have your wallet taken. It would be worse if it was Versace.
You can check out my wallet suggestions;
External Battery Pack & Charging Cable - You'll want to make sure you pickup reliable, good quality, long-lasting external battery chargers to keep your phone alive at all times. You don’t realize how long you are out during the day. This will be super handy.
For an external charger and charging cord, I HIGHLY suggest these two LifeProof products. I've Linked them below for you.
Not only do they make an insanely long lasting charging pack, but they make a lanyard to attach to it that DOUBLES as a charging cord.
Coin bag - A small coin holder is a must. Many countries use coins as a main form of currency! I’d recommend getting a two or three pocket bag because as you travel, sometimes the form of currency will change. This way you can sort it out in the different pockets. You can find some you may like HERE
A Little Black Notebook & Pen - This is important to me, but may not be to everyone. A picture is worth 1000 words, but translating the experience into your own words, to remember forever, is priceless. I write about EVERYTHING. In every airplane terminal, every bus station, every train platform, I write about the places I visit, the people I meet, and what I was feeling at the time. We can only remember so much, and it's great to be able to go back and really re-live it and bring back memories and feelings from that moment.
Headphones - A must for all of your journeys. Don’t you want to be able to put together your own Spotify playlist of all the songs you discover on your trip? It’ll bring you back every time you hear that song. I always bring two different pairs with me, my JBL Live 500 BT Around-Ear Wireless Headphones and my Powerbeats3 Wireless Earphones. My around the ear wireless is for editing, music, relaxing, etc. and my Powerbeats is for getting in a workout during my travels!
CASH - ALWAYS carry cash on you! My biggest tip for carrying cash is - treat it like an easter egg hunt. Have cash dispersed everywhere, in your luggage and on your person. For example, let’s say I had 100 Euros. I would put 40 in my wallet, 20 in the zip side pocket of my crossbody bag, 20 in one of the zip pockets of my backpack, and I'd throw 20 in the bottom of my shoe. Point being, if you’re going to get robbed, odds are
you’re not going to know it, and they most likely will only take money from one of the many spots you have your cash stowed.
In Your Luggage
Copies of Passport/ID’s/Credit Cards/ Insurance Policy - This is so important. You’re going to want to make a copy of all of your personal information, credit cards, insurance policies and emergency contact information, along with your passport and photo ID and keep it safely in your luggage. I also keep all of this documentation scanned into my computer. I e-mail myself copies so I can access them on any computer I log onto, and print out if need be. This is better than keeping photos on your phone, because, once its uploaded into an E-mail database, you can access it anywhere, in the case you lose your phone.
Locks - You're going to use a lock mainly when you stay in hostels. I use a Masterlock Combination Lock, and I've used this lock over the course of all my travels. I haven't run into a situation where it doesn't work with a locker from one of the hostels.
Universal Charger - Try to purchase a universal charger with multiple plug switch outs. This enables you to maximize your purchase, and carry one charger that can work in various different countries. Get my recommended universal charger HERE
First Aid kit - You can get a tiny 4”x 3” first aid kit. It will come with the basics, but it will come in handy with the little things.
Packing Cubes - This is a necessary purchase! I read a lot of backpacking forums and have seen these mentioned several times. They are typically sold in sets of varying size increments and choice of materials. My cubes are broken down as follows: the large holds all my shirts and pants, the medium holds all of my undergarments, and the small holds all of my toiletries. These really free up space and make packing SOO Easy.
Get Yours HERE
Laundry Bag - Laundry bags are important for obvious reasons. They keep your clean, separate from your dirty. They are also helpful to take the trip to clean your laundry, or handing it off to the person who will be doing your laundry! A good suggestions HERE
Flip Flops and a Towel - For the showers in the hostel. Some of the showers are top notch hotel status, but some of them are like summer camp, or college dorms. So just take note.