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Top tips for packing a travel backpack


Whether you’re camping for a week, or travelling the world on a gap year, packing a travel backpack is difficult. Here are some tips to help you out. 

  • Make a list
  • Pockets, pockets, pockets
  • Be versatile 
  • Roll your clothes
  • Toiletries at the top
  • Don’t forget a plastic bag
  • Make sure it’s waterproof
  • Weight distribution
  • Make your bag distinctive
  • Lock it up

Make a list 

Before you even begin packing you need to write a list. Write down everything that you need- clothes, shoes, underwear, toiletries, etc. Writing a list will help you to visualise exactly what you will need to fit in your backpack and can help you eliminate the unnecessary items. Additionally, writing down what you will need could help you to think of essentials that you may have forgotten about. Once you have made your list, you can then begin to think about the space that your backpack provides you and how everything is going to fit into it. 

Pockets, pockets, pockets

You may have noticed that your travel backpack has an abundance of pockets. You need to utilise the space that these pockets provide. They are perfect for separating your clothes, storing important items, such as money and your passport, and even storing your water bottle in an accessible place. Take note of the location of these pockets and, before you begin packing, evaluate what items will be best to put in them.

Be versatile 

When it comes to the clothing that you pack be as versatile as possible. You don’t have a lot of room, so you need to be smart about the clothing you choose. You need to pack suitable clothing for the climate that you are travelling to, that can be worn on multiple occasions. Remember, whilst your travelling you may not always have access to cleaning facilities, so think about investing in easily washable, and stain-resistant clothing. 

Roll your clothes

Once you have made a list and decided on your items, you can begin packing. It’s important to always be conscious of the amount of space that you have in your backpack. To conserve as much space as possible, roll your clothes rather than fold them. Not only will this conserve space, but it will also prevent your clothes from becoming overly wrinkled

Image by WordRidden

Toiletries at the top

It’s always best to leave your toiletries until last so that they rest at the top of your backpack. As you are travelling there will be times when you want to quickly freshen up, maybe after a long hike or particularly gruelling plane ride, and the easier your toiletries can be accessible the sooner you can continue your adventure. You never know when you will need a deodorant top-up, so it’s best to keep it somewhere accessible, just in case. 

Image by Jack Kennard

Don’t forget a plastic bag 

Unlike when packing for a normal holiday, when you’re packing a travel backpack you need to think about things that you will need for every scenario. Plastic bags, for example, are a staple for any backpacker. They can be used to store dirty and/or wet clothes so, when you do come across a cleaning facility, you will know what items need to be washed. This delays the amount of time you spend doing laundry and gives you more time to explore.

Make sure it’s waterproof

No matter what climate you are travelling to your backpack must be waterproof. You don’t want your clothing, possessions, and important travel documents to become water-logged on your travels. If your backpack is not already waterproof, or if you would like an extra waterproof layer for protection, you can buy a waterproof bag cover. 

Image by Kevin Teague

Weight distribution

It’s important to remember that you will be carrying your backpack with you most, if not at all, times whilst you are travelling. This means that you have to make sure that your backpack is not too heavy or difficult for you to carry. The best way to ensure this is to put the heaviest items nearest to your spine, meaning that they are packed first and towards the middle of the bag. Medium-weighted items should be put towards the top of your backpack, with the lightest items, such as clothing, being put at the bottom. The aim is to keep the weight centred and close to your body so that it doesn’t pull painfully at your back and shoulders. 

Make your bag distinctive 

There are only a certain number of different travel backpack designs. This means that you may come into contact with other people who have the same, or at least a very similar, backpack as yourself. To avoid any potential bag mix-up make sure that your backpack is very distinctive looking. This way, if you do lose it for any reason, you can easily describe it. Use bright colours and embellishments to make your bag stand out. Think outside of the box and get creative. 

Lock it up 

You need to make sure that your backpack is as safe and secure as possible. Buy yourself a lock that can be looped around your backpack and prevent people without a key from accessing the contents of it. The easiest way to prevent anything from happening to your bag is to make sure that it is with you at all times. Try not to let your bag out of your sight if you can. 

Luckily, Laundryheap is fully operational in several countries around the world, including Singapore, Kuwait and the US. Whilst your travelling don’t forget to use our postcode checker to see if we can take the stress of doing laundry away from you. Head to the Laundryheap website or download the free Laundryheap app to book your slot now. 

27 thoughts on “Top tips for packing a travel backpack

  1. Great piece of content! Thank you so much for writing as well as for sharing it. It inspired me to come up with some new places to look for content ideas.

  2. Great blog! really helpful and informative for me as a beginner traveller. Thank you for such an amazing and useful blog looking forward for more.

  3. I found so many interesting articles in your post, especially in its discussion part. It was very well explained and easy to understand for anyone. Thanks a lot to you for sharing this type of content with us.

  4. Taking a break from a busy life is important and it’s best to plan your holiday vacation really well. Helpful insights you shared.

  5. Thanks for the very timely post! Just wondering, how much does that all weighs?

    I am trying to get my head around traveling internationally with the following baggage limitations – checked 23 kg (about 50 lbs)and carry on 8kg ( 17.5 lbs.) There are, of course, dimensions to match the weight.
    Just wondering are you taking your camera without a protective bag??

  6. Really This is a very nice and informative post. Thank you so much for writing as well as for sharing it. I think I can easily choose one of them for my traveling needs

  7. Thanks for sharing this detailed post. A travel pack is a specialized type of rucksack developed for adventurers, and popular with backpackers.

  8. I absolutely appreciated reading the blog above; you have described everything in-depth concerning relocating. Surely I’ll share the suggestions & instructions with clients. Thank you for such a beautiful post, and do keep it up.

  9. Really, this is a very informative article, I read your article this is a great post.So much invaluable advice , tips, and resources. Your writing style is also very unique. thanks for you.

  10. Choosing a travel backpack can be challenging, but you’ve simplified it for us. I plan to go on a trip to the United States. The backpack must be able to accommodate my MacBook Pro as well. I should be able to pick one with ease. Thank you for providing us with this valuable information.

  11. Travel backpacks are always challenging to choose, but you made it easier for us by making the process simple. I plan on travelling during the summer. To transport my laptop, I want a backpack that can accommodate both. I think I can easily choose one of them for my travelling needs. Thank you for sharing this valuable information with us.

  12. All the backpack here are very beautiful. I like of my Kevin Teague, I will buy that backpack later.

  13. Really Informative post! In this, you have mentioned all the useful things that we all need to keep in our travel backpacks before traveling. I would highly-recommends this post to everyone who is planning to go for a trip.

  14. Hi, what a great post, and these are the best tips when a person pack a backpack keep it up.

  15. Thanks for sharing such great tips with us. I’m glad & appreciate your knowledge about travel

  16. Really this is a great informative post, i always visit your site twice a week. your writing style is very nice. keep it up. thanks

  17. It is very difficult to choose a travel backpack but you have made it easy for us. I was planning to go on a trip to North America. I need a backpack that can also adjust my MacBook pro as well. I think I can easily choose one of them for my traveling needs. Thanks for sharing this valuable information with us.

  18. Great piece of content! Thank you so much for writing as well as for sharing it. It really gave me the inspiration to come up with some new places to look for content ideas.

  19. This is something else. I read your post really very informative and well written.

  20. Enjoyed your very useful article. Walking the Cateran Trail at the end of April and Wainwright’s Coast to Coast over 13 nights from 22nd May. Have all items on your list (including the essential hipflask) but trying to keep it under 14kgs. Have completed 3 West Highlands, a Great Glen and a Speyside but this is first time carrying all my kit. Should be fun . . . I hope!

  21. Your site is so awesome! So much invaluable advice , tips, and resources. Thanks so much Erik the Black!

  22. Really This is a very nice and informative post, I read your article this is a great post. Your writing style is also very unique. thanks for you.

  23. Surely i will try all these methods because im going to Kanyakumari this month end for a pilgrimage tour and i need to carry a lot of small things with me.

  24. It is helpful. Bag packing is one of the worst thing i have ever experience. I was frustrated with my bag because going for kerala trip in few days, But the tips helped me a lot. Now brush, shoes everything is in bag. Thanks for your help.

  25. Your Blog gives me more information. I’m benefiting and I hope others will surely benefit as like me. Thank’s.

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