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A backpacking adventure around the world is one of the most carefree and exciting things to do. But before you set off on your travels, you need to think about the practical side of things too — such as how to stick to your travel budget, and what you’re going to take with you.
Packing the right stuff in your bag will ensure that your trip goes as smoothly as possible. Of course, you’ll remember the obvious stuff, like your passport and money, but there will definitely be items that you won’t have thought about that will make your life much, much easier.
Read on for some of the key travel essentials you’re going to need as a female backpacker:
There are some travel essentials that you might not have thought about, such as period products. If you’re traveling to certain countries or more remote regions (such as some areas of Asia and South America), then buying your usual period products like tampons can be a lot harder — or if you do manage to find them, much more expensive.
In some areas of Asia in particular, tampons are very difficult to find. Sanitary towels are easier to get hold of, but they tend to be bigger and bulkier than the slim pads that you’d find at home.
If you’re going to be on your period while you’re away, then it’s a good idea to pack your own supplies so that you won’t get caught out when you’re in a remote area.
Whether it’s too-tight bras with uncomfortable wiring, scratchy synthetic panties that make you fidget on long Bolivian bus journeys, or underwear that leaves you soaked in sweat when you’re hiking through the jungle in Thailand, wearing the wrong underwear when you’re traveling is no fun.
Instead, go for underwear that is comfortable and practical. You want underwear that dries as quickly possible in case your hostel doesn’t have a tumble dryer — and to stop you from feeling sweaty and uncomfortable in hot countries.
Period underwear that is moisture-wicking and leakproof — like this bikini underwear from Knix — is also good at keeping you protected against any surprise appearances from your period when you’re traveling!
Invest in a decent sports bra too; you want one that is breathable, moisture-wicking and dries quickly. This will help you to feel more comfortable and less sticky when you’re backpacking around.
A travel safety kit
Bringing your own portable safety kit is a must — especially if you’re the sort of adventurer who likes roaming off the beaten track and into the wilderness…
There are plenty of items that you can pack into your safety kit that won’t take up much room but will make a huge difference when you need them, such first aid items (like bandaids, sickness tablets, antiseptic wipes, painkillers, etc) and practical items like a torch and water-purifying tablets.
You also need to think about any region-specific items that you might need; be sure to research the countries you’ll be traveling to so that you get an idea of any risks and dangers.
Here are some essentials that you might need to add to your safety kit, depending on where you’re traveling to:
- A mosquito net (a must-have in some areas of Latin America, Africa, and Asia)
- Anti-malaria tablets (you may need to start the course before traveling, depending on when you’re going to an area with risk of malaria)
- Snakebite and spider bite kits (a good idea for Australia travel)
Make sure you also bring medical documents and enough medication if you have an existing condition that will need treating while you are away.
As much as you imagine traveling as just lounging around tropical beaches all day in your bikini sipping coconuts, this isn’t all you’re going to be getting up to (although if it is, no judgment!).
Bringing multi-functional clothing means that you’re prepped for all sorts of different scenarios — after all, you’re on an adventure and you don’t know what’s going to happen next!
Loose-fitting trousers, flowing skirts and boho dresses are a good way to cover up and stay cool in the hot sun, but will also keep you warm when the temperatures drop in the evening. Plus, they’ll help you to avoid any irritating mosquito bites.
In certain places, you may have to dress more conservatively and be sensitive to what is culturally appropriate and what isn’t. For example, if you want to get some culture and visit a temple, religious site, or even a town center, it’s a good idea to pack suitable, more modest clothing.
A scarf can help you to quickly cover up if you need to (you may need to cover your legs, shoulders, or head), and help you to show your respect for the culture of the country you’re visiting.
These are just some of the travel essentials you’ll need as a female backpacker which will make your life easier when you’re traveling around. The rest is up to you and depends on your trip itinerary — but if in doubt, remember to make a list, and you won’t go too far wrong.