Travel essentials – what should you pack in your rucksack?

As two over-packers who have learned the hard way, here are our recommendations around what to pack in your rucksack. Remember, when you’re travelling about a lot and carrying everything on your back, it’s generally a good idea to stick to the essentials. We also find it’s pretty liberating to take as little as possible – try it!

(Disclaimer — we assume you’re not planning on 1. climbing Everest or 2. working your way around the world’s top 100 luxury hotels.)


You’ll need a handful of outfits you can rotate again and again, so choose ones that don’t crease too much. You’ll also want a couple of “dressy-ish” dresses or shirts to wear in the evenings, especially if you’re spending any time in a city. Plus, flip flops, sunnies and a pair of travelling pants – the bolder the better.

In order to “keep up appearances”, take wet wipes, shampoo, deodorant, razors, tampons and a mini first-aid kit. Make-up and other toiletries optional, depending on how back-to-basics you’re up for going.

Getting outdoors-y

For hiking and trekking, take  a decent rain jacket and well-fitting boots that have been taken on a few test hikes. Layers are best to make sure you’re prepared for any possible weather, plus a head torch for sunrise and sunset hikes. Don’t forget nail clippers too (losing toenails really takes the sheen off that volcano summit, trust us).

Don’t forget to take decent swimwear, too (the word “sturdy” springs to mind..). Basically, you’ll want the type of thing you could jump into a waterfall in with no risk of losing it!


Take a decent camera, a GoPro and a nice notebook (like one of these from Papier) to capture all those amazing memories. A tripod can’t be beaten for capturing night sky shots — but probably isn’t essential unless you’re an aspiring pro, and is an absolute pain to lug around. For that extra bit of luxury, take a mini-speaker and a pack of cards. (They’re great for making friends, too).

Travelling about

Pack everything in a comfortable rucksack that fits your back. We’d recommend dry bags for dividing out your stuff and making unpacking and repacking for the 100th time less painful. Don’t forget extra bags for keeping your dirty clothes separate from your ever-diminishing clean stash. Plus, take a smaller rucksack for day hikes and a zipped pouch for your passport and essentials.

For overnight bus journeys, a scarf or pashmina that can double up as a blanket is a lifesaver. A beanie that can be pulled down over your eyes as a make-shift sleep mask is also handy. Finally, take a few books you can trade along the way and a headphone splitter so you can watch films together. (SUCH a great gift from two of our well-travelled best friends.)

One more tip — once you’ve laid out everything you want to take, halve it. Save room for all those keepsakes you’ll want to bring home 😉

Take time out for a life adventure.

Do you dream about escaping your routine and going on a far-flung trip of your own? Whether it’s 3 weeks or 3 months, we’d love to help. Book in a free exploratory call here to get started

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Team Faraway x