15 Handy items for Backpacking/Travelling

As an experienced traveller, I thought I’d throw together a list of the 15 items I always take travelling or backpacking with me! 

Whether you are new to travelling/backpacking or just looking for some handy items to add to your packing list – this list has something for everyone. 

These items include things that are handy in everyday life, for electronics, toiletries and much more. 

Continue reading to find out my top 15 handy items for travelling and backpacking! 

This post contains affiliate links, I may receive a small compensation if you use them. Don’t worry there is no extra cost to you! Thank you for your support. 

1. Ear Plugs

I take ear plugs with me everywhere I travel. Whether that be staying in hostels or hotels, hiking, or camping. Ear plugs will be your best friend when staying in hostels, as sometimes (unfortunately) the other guests may not be very considerate of others, making noise at ridiculous hours. Also, as you are in a communal space, you are very likely to get a few snorers here and there. 

Ear plugs are also very good for reducing noise on airplanes while sleeping. I highly recommend the LOOP earplugs. 

  • They have multiple sizes so you can find your perfect fit. 
  • They are very comfortable to wear and sleep in.
  • They are reusable, simply wash and wear again! 
  • They come in a travel container. 
  • They block out heaps of noise. 
handy items for backpacking

Loop Ear Plugs

2. Collapsible Water Bottle (or filtered) 

A collapsible water bottle is very convenient to travel with. They fold up small, take up little space and are easy to clean. The other option is a filtered water bottle. I opted for a filtered water bottle for my world tour as I plan on doing a fair bit of hiking and wanted those extra precautions for bacteria/parasites.  

The cons to a filtered water bottle is that they are a bigger than collapsible water bottles. However, this can be easily fixed by attaching your water bottle to your backpack. 

Collapsible Water Bottle

handy items for backpacking

Life Straw Filtered Water bottle

3. Micro Fibre Towels

These are not the most comfortable items to dry yourself with, but they are perfect for backpacking. A lot of hostels don’t offer towels with your accommodation booking, so carrying a towel with you just in case is always handy. 

Micro Fibre towels fold up extremely small, dry very quickly and absorb water quickly. I take two towels with me, one for the beach/pool and one for regular showers. 

Sea-to-Summit Airlite Towel

4. Net Bags 

I take two net bags with me. Why? They are extremely versatile. I use these for grocery bags, laundry bags (they expend heaps), beach bags and much more! They are very affordable and take up little to no space and weight in your backpack. 

handy items for backpacking

Net Bags

5. Portable Safe

This isn’t an item a lot of backpackers would use, but if you carry a lot of expensive items with you and want that extra protection. This is something to research.  

This portable safe from PACSAFE is made up of cut resistant materials and surrounded in mesh. It is also lockable and can be attached to anything. You can get ones which will fit just your phone and other small personal items. Or ones which are big enough for laptops and larger items. 

If you are worried about your personal items in dorm rooms, this may be something to look into. 

handy items for backpacking

PACSAFE Portable Safe

6. Bag Scales 

If you are prone to over packing or over buying while on holiday, a bag scale will be your best friend. This will save you the stress and anxiety of guessing the weight of your bag at the airport and reducing your chance of paying overweight fees. 

They are small, cheap, and worth adding to your packing list. 

Portable Bag Scales

7. Compressible Packing Cubes

Once I started using these for travelling, I have never turned back. They save heaps of room in your backpack or suitcase. For those who don’t know what a compressible packing cube is, they are like normal packing cubes, but compress your clothes down – creating more space. 

I have two types of packing cubes, which I’ve listed below. These brands are good quality and hold a lot of items. 

handy items for backpacking

BeeNesting Compression Packing Cubes

Cipway Compression Packing Cubes

8. Universal Travel Adaptor

If you are travelling to multiple countries, I recommend one of these. This means you will only have to take one adaptor with you on your travels. Which again saves a lot of room! The travel adaptor I have recommended comes with. 

  •  An EU, UK, AUS and US adaptor. 
  • USB Points 
  • Type C points 
handy items for backpacking

EPICKA Universal Travel Adaptor

9. RDIF Blocking Bum-Bag

These are great for everyday use and in the airport. They can be worn on top of your clothes or underneath. An RDIF blocking bum bag helps against identity theft of your personal information and money. 

A bum bag is also extremely handy for travelling any country, as it keeps your personal items close to you. They are also a lot harder to steal then regular handbags (especially if your get the slash proof ones!) 


10. Any Form of Solid Toiletry Block

These are a backpacker’s best friend while travelling! Especially if you are travelling only with carry-on luggage. Why? Cause they aren’t included in your liquids amounts for carry on!  

I take a shampoo/conditioner, soap, deodorant, and makeup remover block when I travel. I highly recommend the products from Ethique. Having a sensitive scalp, and these are one of the only products which don’t irate my scalp! They also have the largest range for any hair type. 

Ethique Solid Blocks

11. Teva Sandals 

When you are backpacking you don’t want to take unnecessary items with you, that includes shoes. Teva’s are great because they are extremely versatile. Great for everyday use, beach use, showers and even hiking! Although I wouldn’t recommend you go on any major hikes with these sandals. 

Teva Hurricane Sandals

12. Toothbrush Covers

Instead of taking a bulky toothbrush case (trust me all space counts when backpacking!), take a toothbrush cover instead. Undoubtably, there will be a moment where your toothbrush is floating around your backpack, this item will help keep it clean and hygienic. 

handy items for backpacking

Toothbrush Covers

13. Hanging Toiletry Bag 

A hanging toiletry bag is the best type of backpacking. It allows you to keep your items off the very much used benches and floors is hostels. It also allows you to see all your items much more clearly and better organisation. 

If you only plan on taking carry-on luggage with you, I recommend looking into the clear cases which I’ve linked below. They are carryon TSA approved.

Hanging Toiletry Bag

handy items for backpacking

Procase TSA approved Clear Case

14. Pad Locks

Always take pad locks with you when travelling! Some hostels don’t offer locks for their lockers, and you will need to bring your own. It’s also just handy to have more in case one goes missing or breaks. 

TSA Approved Luggage Locks

15. Eye Mask 

Like ear plugs, this will be your best friend while in hostels. They are also great for the plane or travelling on trains, buses etc. Trust me one will come in handy! 

handy items for backpacking

Cotton Eye Sleeping Mask

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