A peek inside the backpack of a traveler who has been all over the globe.
It’s hard to imagine a packing situation more challenging than assembling and loading luggage that will travel with you quite literally around the world. Every trip is different, but destinations and dates aside, some items are universally beloved by backpackers all over the map. Read on for Eagle Creek’s list of must-packs for your next globetrotting adventure.
1. The Backpack
There is no single packing decision for an around-the-world trip more critical than choosing the right travel backpack. This one item will become your constant companion for the duration of your travels! So look for something lightweight, durable, and secure. Ideally, find a pack that is both top loading and front loading, which will allow you full access to everything you pack without tearing apart the entire bag. And to keep things lightweight and organized within, use Pack-It Specter.
Reading a few guidebooks is a great way to get background information on a new destination, information on the local culture, daydream-worthy inspiration for places to go, and practical transportation tips, among other things. On an around-the-world trip, you may be visiting too many destinations to be able to sensibly bring one guidebook for each. If you are going somewhere where you can charge your electronics, consider downloadable versions and travel apps. Also, there are tomes such as Lonely Planet’s Southeast Asia on a Shoestring, which consolidates a major region into one book, and Rough Guides’ The Rough Guide to First Time Around the World, which offers information on visas, insurance, vaccinations and more — no matter where your international travels take you. Book swaps on the road mean that as you finish one guidebook you can pay it forward and give it to a traveler who is just entering the region — and hopefully pick one up for the area you’re headed to.
3. Security Essentials
A TSA-Approved Lock can be used not only to secure your backpack on travel days, but also to secure the lockers that are commonly available in hostel dorm rooms. All of Eagle Creek’s locks are TSA-approved so that it won’t be clipped off by airport security before you even leave the country. When you’re traveling with a computer and want to leave it in a hotel or hostel while exploring, a Kensington Laptop Lock can provide extra peace of mind. If you’re visiting areas infamous for pickpockets, it pays to buy products that will help you hide any valuables that you carry on you. For women, The Silk Undercover™ Bra Stash snaps discretely over a bra strap and holds credit cards, cash, and even room keys in a place where you will certainly notice prying fingers. For both genders, the Undercover™ Neck Wallet slips under a t-shirt and holds travel documents and valuables.
4. Hostel Must-Haves
Circumnavigating the globe is usually done on a shoestring budget, meaning more nights are spent saving cash by staying in hostels than splurging on hotels. Their social atmosphere and frugal-friendliness make hostels beyond worthwhile, but some special packing considerations are required. It’s rare for a hostel to provide you with a towel, so make sure to pack a travel towel. Look for one that is equal parts bacteria resistant, super absorbent, and quick drying. When it comes time to get some shut-eye, an eye mask and earplugs will guarantee a full night of sleep even as your new roommates come in and out of the room at all hours, potentially making noise and turning on lights.
5. Memory Makers
It’s the trip of a lifetime, so you’re going to want to remember it! Writing down your thoughts in a travel journal will preserve memories that will be cherished for years to come. But you know what they say — a photo is worth a thousand words. A Canon G Series camera is the perfect hybrid between the fantastic image quality of a DSLR and the compact size and affordable pricing of a point-and-shoot. Or you can always use your iPhone.
What do you pack when you set off on a trip around the world? Did we forget any of your travel must-haves? Fill us in by sharing a comment below!
Alexandra Baackes is a traveling writer, designer, and underwater videographer. She is currently in her second year of living as a full-time nomad.