I am traveling full time for almost 8 months now. I know it might not seem like a long time but trust me, it is. Changing accommodation once every three days and being constantly on the move make me feel like I have been traveling for years.
I have seen and learnt more in these 8 months than in 2 years back at home and one of the things I’ve learnt the hard way is packing. See, when you’re constantly backpacking, you need to learn to be efficient. Every extra t-shirt or dress you carry will make you feel more tired and sweaty.
Read more about the things you need to do before full time travel here.
That doesn’t necessarily means that backpacking and style exclude each other. You just have to learn how to juggle with backpack space, fashion and some other additional items to make things work and I am here to teach you how!
When I left home my backpack was full. I couldn’t even fit another t-shirt in it. I was living under the illusion that I will need tons of stuff since I was planning to travel for a longer period of time. I couldn’t be more wrong. I just needed to be more efficient.
Read more about why I decided to travel full time here.
Without any further introduction, below are my must have items for full time traveling. I believe that every backpacker should have these items in his or hers backpack.
My full time travel survival kit
1. Dental Floss
What are you thinking? you might ask. Well, apart from using it for flossing your teeth – obviously, dental floss can be quite handy when bad things happen. Due to its indisputable strength, it can be used in various extreme situations. Let me give you an example when dental floss saved my life.
I was climbing one of the tallest mountains in Romania with my favorite pair of boots. I have been using these boots for years and never had any problem with them. Well, when it was time to descend the mountain, the shoe sole got loose.
It was getting so bad that after a few meters I just couldn’t walk without stumbling. This is when I got the idea to re-attach the loose sole to the shoe with dental floss. I made some knots and voila, I was able to continue my journey!
Words cannot describe how much I love my Bear Grylls ultimate multi-tool. This is one of those things you MUST have in your backpack. This things has actually 12 components in a single tool: needle nose pliers, 2 knives, a saw, a Phillips screwdriver, small and medium flat drivers, a lanyard ring, a bottle opener, a can opener, scissors, and wire cutters.
The fact that this tool was designed by Bear Grylls himself makes me love it even more. When you close all the tools, it actually folds down to 4 inches. I have used it many times: to cut different things, to unscrew broken camera pieces (this is a long story) and to open beer bottles.
Extra tip: make sure to always put this multi-tool in the checked-in luggage during your flight or else you will have to throw it away at the airport since you are not allowed with sharp objects on board.
3. Luggage tag
I’ve traveled a lot by bus around Southeast Asia and one thing shocked me: many people have the same backpack as me. Same color, same design, same everything. When the time comes to pick up my backpack from the bus, I almost always confuse it with other backpacks with the same design.
If you are wondering what backpack I’m using, I use this one from Quechua. I am super happy with it: it’s big enough, it has vertical zipper and it’s comfortable. Totally recommend it. 🙂
4. Hand sanitizer
Let’s talk about sanitary standards around the world. You might be used to having soap and water when using public toilets. Well, this is not the case all around the world.
I’ll be honest: out of all the toilets I’ve seen in Southeast Asia, only 10% had water and soap. That’s bad but I have the solution: hand saitizer!
I carry a small bottle everywhere with me. I use hand sanitizer before eating, when I injure myself and after using public toilets. It’s my best friend!
No full time travel survival kit is complete without earplugs. Trust me, you’ll need them. Even if you’ll always choose to stay at hotels, there will be noise from time to time (bad soundproofing, neighbors throwing parties or just loud thunders).
It’s better to be safe than sorry. Just bring a couple of earplugs with you. You’ll thank me later.
This is one of the things that I use daily. I like to keep my passport and money safe so I always put them in my money belt under my shirt. Honestly, I don’t care that much about money because I never have much with me but I guard my passport with the price of my life.
Being in a foreign country with no passport is one of my biggest nightmares. Click here to see which money belt I use.
You should never underestimate the power of water. I’ve learnt it the hard way when my camera screen broke down due to the rain. Ever since that incident, I always use a waterproof bag to keep my electronics.
Another reason why my waterproof bag is must have item in my backpack is because now I can take all my gear with me when I go rafting or exploring waterfalls.
This universal travel adapter covers 150 countries so you won’t have to worry about not being able to charge your phone anymore. It is also really small and easy to use.
If you are traveling on a budget and want to save money, chances are you will have to do your own laundry. The problem is that most of the hotels don’t have sink stoppers so washing your clothes in the sink is not an option.
This is why I love these portable sink stoppers. They are cheap, useful and easy to carry – perfect for full time traveling.
I just love these. I don’t like wasting shampoo or soap. Therefore, every time I have some left, I transfer it to these travel bottles. The good news is that you can take them with your in your hand luggage on the airplane.
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