treavel gear essentials

Essential Travel Items for Backpackers

A list of must-have travel or backpacking accessories to make your life easier on a round-the-world trip.

After our first three months of travel, we were so glad we did our research and bought along these items that we wanted to share a list with you guys. We have personally used each one of these items and so can give them our thumbs up for travel!

Travel Item - wallet

Tiger Tough Document Wallet

Perfect for storing all of your important travel documents. We used ours to keep our insurance and visa documents safe. Extremely robust and surprisingly resistant to water.

Price: £1.98

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Travel Items - packing cubes

Packing cubes (3pc set)

Living out of a suitcase can get frustrating, but using these packing cubes allow you to pack more efficiently and find the items your looking for in a heartbeat. Great as a space saver, too!

Price: £24.99 £17.99

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Top Tip!

Carry photocopies of your passport at all times. You’re required to carry it in many countries, but with a copy you wont need to worry about losing it or having it stolen.

Travel Items - stuff pack

Small Stuff Pack / Waterproof Roll Bag

These little bags have so many uses it’s unbelievable. We’ve used ours as waterproof bags for wet hikes or boat trips, storage for clothing and at times a laundry bag. Good for gadgets and even better for keeping a lot of clothes in a tiny space.

Price: £8.50

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Travel Item - wash bag

Hanging Travel Wash Bag

In hostel dorms space is often at premium so being able to hang up your wash bag makes life a lot easier. You can also take all your belongings into the baño and hang them up somewhere easy. Honestly a great travel hack!

Price: £8.97

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Top Tip!.

Carry a decoy wallet (as well as a money belt) containing expired credit cards and a few notes of local money. It should be enough to satisfy any muggers quickly and without incident.

Travel Item - Microfiber TowelMicrofibre Travel Towel

Small when folded, large when opened out, dries well and weighs almost nothing. No brainer! The only down side is the Bodhi doesn’t perform too well on the beach, but for backpackers it’s a great option.

Price: £24.99 £14.99

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Travel Item - Waterproof Camera

Olympus Tough Camera – Waterproof, Freezeproof and Dustproof

We were looking for a decent all-rounder with good picture quality and video capability without spending too much money. We also wanted something robust enough to survive life on the road. Our Olympus Tough has been to deserts, glaciers and jungles and it’s still going strong!

Price: £229.99 £192.29

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Travel Items - ear plugs

Lightweight Ear Plugs (x20)

Who doesn’t like sleep? Hostels are noisy; even in those that aren’t party hostels you’ll still find yourself getting woken up just because people all go to bed at different times. These earplugs can be the difference between a good night’s sleep and a shitty one. Also great for on night buses and aeroplanes. A single pair doesn’t last forever though, so take a couple of sets.

Price: £2.89

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Travel items - money belt

Travel Money Belt

We don’t need to tell you the danger of carrying money with you in many foreign countries. Be it pick-pockets or more forceful thieves, keeping your money in a money belt can save you a lot of trouble.

For extra-security think about carrying a decoy wallet, too.

Price: £11.09

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Travel Item -SPF Sun Stick

Sun Block Stick

These little sun-block sticks are useful no matter where you go. If the weather is in anyway extreme, they will look after your face. Good for hot sun, strong winds or dry, arid environments.

Price: £8.49

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Travel Item - waterproof watch

Casio Waterproof Watch / Alarm

You don’t need a watch while you’re relaxing on holiday, right? Wrong! Think how many early starts you’ll have for flights and buses. A lightweight watch with an alarm is a godsend, and waterproof for peace of mind on the beach!

Price: £8.80

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Travel Item - eReader

Nook SimpleTouch eReader

Downtime is important when you’re on the move a lot, so for me a lightweight eReader was a must. The Kindle Peperwhite will do the job too, but I went for the Nook as it was a little cheaper. Turned out to be a great purchase.

Price: £62.99

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Travel Items - head torch

Head Torch

Easy to forget, but an absolute game-changer for backpackers. Perfect for any hikes which start at dawn or last into the night, getting into bed in a dorm without switching the light on or even reading on a dark bus. An absolute must have!

The Pathfinder Head Torch is a best seller on Amazon.
Price: £20.49 £10.00

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This list is by no means conclusive, just our favourite pick. Let us know in the comments if you think there is a another travel must-have which we should add to the list!

If you liked this post, you might also like our collection of Top Travel Tips!

Disclaimer: In the spirit of full disclosure, the above contains affiliate links, which means that I may get a commission if you decide to make a purchase through these links, which helps to pay for this blog. Although I only recommend products that I use and love myself, I do not sell them myself and hold no liability under any circumstances.


Paddy likes cold beers, wide landscapes and ancient ruins - sometimes all at the same time. "Not all those who wander are lost".

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