Preparations for a backpacking trip

Vaccinations

Make sure you have seen a travel doctor at least 3-6months before your trip as with a lot of vaccinations you need them over three courses with a month’s gap in-between.

Remember to take your vaccination book with you travelling as it may be needed as there are different types of vaccines for different diseases so if the worst was to happen the doctors will know what you have had.

Backpack

You will need a good quality backpack for your trip. About 60 litres should be sufficient as you do not want your pack to be too large as you do have to have this with you constantly and if it is too big you will have problems when getting on buses and trains etc.

Along with your backpack you will also need to take a day pack. This is a very useful piece of equipment. If you have any valuables you can keep them in your daypack whilst on bus/train journeys and know that they are safer with you than hidden away with your backpack.

They are also very handy when out for the day to put any purchases in and for general items you always like to have to hand.

Clothing

T-Shirts – 2/3 will be enough. You will get bored of wearing these very quickly if you’re on a long trip but these will wear out but you can always find cheap replacements wherever you are in the world.

Shorts – Shorts are essential if you’re going to warmer climates. Again only around 2 pairs will be fine as you do not want to overload your backpack. Boy’s the best thing for you is just to have swimming shorts then you’re always ready to take a dip wherever you are.

Trousers – 1 or 2 pairs of lightweight trousers is recommended. They are good for the evenings to protect yourself from mosquitoes and if it does get a little chilly outside. Jeans are a good idea if you’re going to go to colder climates as they keep you warm and are hard wearing.

Swim wear – A couple of pairs of swimming shorts for the boys will be fine and a couple of bikinis for the girls – but remember where you are girls. Touristy areas of South East Asia are fine for bikinis but only on the beach; cover up when going into town.

Waterproof jacket – A lightweight waterproof jacket is always recommended. When you get caught in a monsoon you will soon realise why.

Sandals/Flip Flops/Thongs – I find that this is all I wear when I’m away as it’s usually so hot. Take a couple pairs incase of breakages or if they get stolen which they tend to do in SE Asia.

Trainers – Take a good pair of trainers, if you’ve got a day of walking round a city or temples a nice pair of comfy trainers will be of great help.

Hiking boots – If you are going to go hiking then taking your own pair maybe beneficial. A good pair which will last in the tropical forests and monsoons will be ideal.

Towels – I also think to take 2 towels. One for the Beach and one for showers. You can never rely on your hostel/guesthouse to supply a towel so it’s best to have your own. Try to get lightweight ones that should dry quickly. You don’t want a wet towel in your backpack with all your other clothes.

Essentials

First aid Kit – A good well stocked first aid kit is essential for any trip. You never know when you may need this. Also some needles and syringes would be good to have as you know that in case you need an injection that the needles will be clean.

Deet/Mosquito Spray – Keep them mozzies away with some repellent.

Mosquito net – You may not use it very often but trust me when you do need it you will be happy as Larry that you brought one.

Toiletries – Shampoo, deodorant etc, you can by these when you are travelling but it’s good to bring some with you to start.

Recommended

Passport sized photos – when crossing borders and obtaining visas you usually always need at least 2 passport photos. Take a good supply with you as it will save you searching around to try and find somewhere last minute.

Camera – Obviously a camera is great to take along so you can keep a memory of your trip forever. Also put them on your fave social website to show off and make your friends and family jealous.

Money belt – For security its best to wear a money belt to keep your money, bank cards and passport safe and away from sneaky hands.

Alarm Clock – You will need one of these to help you get up for your bus or train as well as if you need to go on a tour and meet at a certain time.

MP3 Player – Always good on long journeys. Good to get a lot of music on it before you go as you will get bored of your music quite quickly.

Playing Cards – Good at all times, for passing time of long journeys or rainy days. Also good for drinking games with your new found friends.

Torch – Depending where you go electricity might be a commodity that is in short supply. Also good for finding your way back to you hostel or to the toilet in the dead of night.

Reading books – Like with the MP3 player a book is a good way to pass time on long journeys and relaxing down the beach. Once you’re finished with it you can swap it with other backpackers you meet.

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