THE BEST BACKPACK FOR TRAVELING
There is no perfect packing list to travel the world but what I can help you with is which backpack to go for.
FIRST RULE IS NEVER TAKE A SUITCASE TO AFRICA, SOUTH AMERICA OR ASIA
If your trips are short, between 1 and 2 weeks and within a few countries then a suitcase is more than adequate and saves on a tonne of effort. However, if you are travelling longer term around various countries and regions then it almost always makes sense to bring a backpack. Not only will it be easier to travel with but it will reduce the chances of you over packing as you will be aware that you have to carry it around.
TICKING THE BOXES
Anytime I buy a new bag, I search high and low and only settle if I know it ticks all the boxes I need. First and foremost you need to ask yourself if you want hand luggage or something larger. If possible I tend to travel with hand luggage as I want to be able to keep it with me at all times. It also means less baggage fees and reduces the chances of your bag going awol! Unfortunately I’ve fallen foul of an airline losing my bag in the middle of my 2 year trip around the world! So I’d like to think I’ve learned my lesson.
OTHER THINGS TO CONSIDER:
- Suitcase or backpack
- Do you need plenty of pockets
- Open top or side open
- Supportive, secure and sturdy
Now that you have either chosen hold luggage or hand luggage it’s time to figure out how much space you actually need. We are all guilty of over packing – me too. I tend to fall for a favourite pair of shorts and a few t’s and everything almost gets forgotten about. So what I do now is write a list when I get home of the things I actually wore and just take them on the next trip. It’s amazing how little you can get away with packing. Not to mention your back with be thankful!
SUITCASE OR BACKPACK
Suitcase is 100 times easier when it makes sense to bring one. Any long weekends I’ll always bring a small suitcase but for those trips through Asia, South America and Africa only a backpack makes sense.
DO YOU NEED PLENTY OF POCKETS
You can’t have enough pockets – inside and out! It makes life so much easier when everything is organised and in their own place. Can you tell I’ve got OCD?! Just be careful not to put valuables in those pockets you aren’t going to lock up – Having a padlock for each pocket is never going to make sense!
OPEN TOP OR SIDE OPEN
Back 15 years ago, side open backpacks didn’t exist so if you wanted something at the bottom of your bag, then everything else had to be thrown out and piut back in. Side open backpacks have the zip the entire way around the bag (similar to a suitcase) meaning you have access to pretty much anything without the need to unpack and pack just to get a fresh pair of undies.
SUPPORTIVE, SECURE AND STURDY
There’s no point in buying something that ticks all the boxes but then falls apart midway through your trip. Buying a back from a reputable manufacture or reading reviews will tell you a lot about the quality. Also, making sure that the back is going to be good to your back with thick shoulder and waist straps. Most backpacks are adjustable so it’s always a good idea to get the bag properly fitted before setting off.
My bag is the Osprey Farpoint 40L which is one of the most popular hand luggage backpacks on the market and it’s easy to see why. It is durable, hard wearing and has plenty of compartments. It’s straps are well padded and comes with a waist belt for extra support. Another feature I love is that you can open the entire backpack as opposed to a top access like most other backpacks offer.
So the next time you are heading off somewhere nice or buying a new bag for that next big trip, take your time into researching what’s right for you
SAFE TRAVELS, DS x
This post is part of my Travel Tips Series, click for more posts like this.
- Do you prefer a suitcase or a backpack?
- What bag do you use?
Let me know in the comments below . . .