Tuesday, April 23, 2013

My Top 5 Travel Items (For Backpaking)

Every month Wonderly, (the blog I contribute to on Tuesdays) has a different theme to encourage the different contributors. This months theme is 'curate', and I have interpreted this as a favourites list! With this in mind, I thought I'd come up with a list of my 5 favourite things I like to have when I go backpacking.

1. Toiletries Bags That can Fit Inside Each Other
Having an organized toiletries system for traveling has saved me lots of space in my backpack, and annoyance when looking for an item. I should point out that I rarely put my bag under the plane, so my toiletries bag is quite small. (The current rules state that you must have less than 1L total of liquids, and each individual item must be less than 100ml). Even with larger toiletries though, I would absolutely recommend getting a system where all of your smaller items (in their own bags) can fit into your main toiletries bag. I have my q-tips and cotton pads in the red case, and my tampons etc. in the small white case, and both of these fit easily in to my blue water resistant larger toiletries bag. When travelling out of a backpack, almost anything that can help to keep you organized will be something worth having!

2. Large Multi-Season Scarf
For the winter cold, or the cool summer evenings, I love having a big scarf along. You can use it as a shawl or a proper scarf depending on the weather or the look you are going for. They can also come in handy if you are on the beach and need to get some protection from the sun. Additionally, if you are planning to visit any Muslim or Sikh places of worship you will likely need something to cover your head. They can even be used as a pillow if you are in a bind! They’re just so very useful!

3. Ear plugs and Eye mask (A Perfect Pair!)
I used to think people who owned eye masks were a bit high-maintenance, but that was before I started staying in hostels. I often suffer from Canadian politeness, and don't want to turn off the lights in the hostel if people are still up (even if it's quite late). But having an eye mask and a pair of ear plugs, I can easily block out the light and noise of people still awake in the room. These two things have come in handy many-a-evening. For ear plus, I would recommend getting a pair of plastic ones from the drug store (should be less than $10). I find them to be more effective than the squishy disposable orange ones.

4. Head Lamp
If you are staying in a Hostel, having a head lamp is key! If someone else in the room wants to go to bed a bit early, generally that means the lights go out. If you want to read or write in a journal, having a head lamp makes it easy to do so without having to turn the lights on and bother the other people in the room. Another bonus with using a head lamp is that if you are staying on a bottom bunk you can wrap the head strap around the bunk above you to make the lamp hang down (I find this a bit more comfy then actually wearing it on my head).

5. Journal
As I mentioned above I like to write in a journal in the evenings. If you are like me, your memory isn't perfect, but you probably want to remember what you're doing when you travel. I have had so much fun going back to read some of my old travel journals! They can bring you right back to where you were. Whether it’s just a list of things you saw in the day, or a long entry about things you are learning about yourself that you don't want to forget, I highly recommend bringing a journal.

Find this post also on the Wonderly Blog!


  1. Even after traveling a lot this list was super helpful! Haven't always had these along but they are a must from now on! Thanks for the tips