TRAVEL HACKS FOR: BACKPACKING
Step up your travel game! In this episode of the Travel Hacking series, I share what has successfully worked for me when I backpacked - which is 70% of my travel time - solo and with friends. Backpacking, as well as long-term trips, usually comes with travelling light, high mobility, and at times lack of comfort in its general sense. While it is definitely my favourite way of travelling, there have been moments when things were not exactly that great just because I was not prepared enough. Some of the things I wish I had known from the very beginning include but are not limited to, these:
Get a hand sanitiser. Although you can buy them nearly everywhere, it is a good idea to have it packed from day 1 because airports, train and bus stations, and public transport are pretty nasty places, to be completely honest.
Vacuum bags and luggage organisers do magic. They do exactly what they are supposed to, that is, shrink your backpack and keep your stuff in - as I like to call it - an organised mess. Travelling very light is something that might take many, many trips to learn, but these things will definitely make your life on the road easier. I use these ones.
Portable chargers can potentially be lifesavers. Ok, I might be a tad bit reaching with this statement, but such a charger be extremely convenient when your phone, tablet, etc die. Combine with a multi-device charge cable (like this one), and you are good to go.
Get an inflatable water bottle. Dehydration is dangerous, so there is no need to stress the importance of having water available at all times. Inflatable water bottles are extremely convenient as they take up no room in your bag (they are flat), airport-friendly, and light. I have one of these and could write odes about it. Good stuff.
Pack a piece of scarf-like cloth. It can be an actual scarf or sarong, but a long piece of fabric can do as well. There is nearly a gazillion ways of using it: to use as a pillow, to cover valuables up, bandage, to keep warm, eye mask, etc. I once had to use mine to cover face up because I was going down a crater with sulfuric gases that are bad for our lungs. Seriously, you just never know when you'll need it but there will definitely be multiple occasions.
Foldable bags are great. Same as with scarves, it is just convenient to have one on you - and I am not talking about Longchamp bags here.
Travel bed sheets/sleeping bags are necessary if you plan on going off the beaten path. If you happen to go to places in the middle of nowhere and have very limited accommodation options, one of these things will be more than just handy. In other cases, you will want to have one while staying at hostels or guesthouses that are not the cleanest or as a bed bug precaution - although large travel towels (those ones that are ultralight, ultrathin, and dry up in mere minutes) also work here.
If you once happen to be on an uninhabited island, you will wish you'd packed a flask of rum (or whatever you fancy) so you could be like Jack Sparrow. Not like there are tons of uninhabited islands in the world you might randomly end up on, but who knows right?
What travel hacks do you use? Share your tips in the comments below!