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25 helpful travel tips for backpacking

25 helpful travel tips for backpacking

Whether you’re still planning your trip or already on the road, there are a lot of questions that backpackers come across. How can I stop my clothes from getting crumpled in my backpack? How can I save money on flights? In this article, you will find 25 great tips that will help you on your travels, whether you’re backpacking in Australia or anywhere else in the world.

Scan all your important documents before you leave

Scan all your important documents like your passport, birth certificate and driving licence and keep them in a folder on your phone or tablet for easy access when you need them. It’s also a good idea to print them and keep them in a physical folder as a back up.

Use an incognito window if you book flights online

If you’re researching and booking flights online, make sure you use an incognito browser window. Airlines and travel aggregator websites use cookies to track your internet searches and raise the prices every time you return to their websites, so you’ll feel pressured to book urgently. With an incognito window, you can browse without having to worry about this, and you’ll be shown cheaper prices. In Google Chrome, go to “File”, then “New Incognito Window” and you’re good to go!

Pack noise-cancelling headphones

Whether there’s a screaming baby on your flight or rowdy teens on the bus, these always come in handy.

Download your music and movies ahead of time

Make sure you’re not caught out by bad signal or unreliable WiFi by downloading plenty of music and movies in advance, to keep you occupied on long journeys.

Pack a change of clothes in your carry on

In an ideal world, your checked baggage is going to arrive at your destination on time, but unfortunately it doesn’t always work out that way. If you pack a spare change of clothes in your carry on luggage, at the very least you won’t be faced with having to go shopping immediately or wear dirty socks and underwear while you wait for your bags!

Order a vegetarian or other special meal to be served first

Special meals (gluten-free, vegetarian, etc.) must be ordered before you board your flight, when you book your ticket. They are usually served first, so you’ll get your food before everyone else.

Bring a reusable water bottle to the airport

As you know, you won’t be able to get through security with a full bottle of water. To avoid having to buy a bottle after customs (often sold at crazy prices), remember to bring your reusable water bottle. Once you’re past security, you can fill it up at a water fountain.

Use straws to carry your liquids on the plane

This is a great tip, especially for girls! If you have lots of different types of liquids you want to bring in your carry on luggage, but can’t fit them all or the containers are over 100ml, you can use straws. Just label each one and tape them shut!

Protect your charging cables

Use the spring from an old pen to stop your charger cables from getting damaged! This is particularly useful for computer cables that tend to get frayed quickly.

If you forgot the plug for your phone charger, remember that you can plug your phone into a TV!

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Many buses, airports and hostels will have USB charging ports, but if you can’t find one of these and you don’t have your charger plug, you can actually plug your phone into a TV! (A laptop also works for this.)

Roll your clothes instead of folding them

Rolling your clothes instead of folding them is a great way to save space in your suitcase, and your clothes will also wrinkle less this way!

Use a pillbox to store your jewellery

Using a pillbox to separate your jewellery is an easy way to stop your earrings, bracelets, and necklaces from getting tangled, damaged or lost.

Store your shoes in a shower cap


A shower cap is a great way to stop dirty or wet shoes from damaging the rest of your stuff.

Put your phone on flight mode when you don’t need it to save battery

Flight mode isn’t just for airplanes! It’s also a way of helping your phone’s battery last longer. You’ll also find that your phone charges faster when it’s in flight mode.

Double the space in your suitcase by vacuum packing

Vacuum packing your clothes won’t reduce the weight of your suitcase, but it will save you a huge amount of space! (Hint: you might want to avoid doing this with thin t-shirts and shirts as it will caused them to wrinkle).

Sit next to the wings on the plane for less turbulence

The wings allow the plane to stay balanced, so you’re going to feel less turbulence if you sit near them!

Use Google Maps offline

If you know you’re going somewhere with no reception, you can use Google Maps offline. You can also use Maps.Me.

If travelling with another person, book the window seat and the aisle seat

If you and your friend or partner are flying together, book the window seat and the aisle seat, leaving a seat in between you. If the plane isn’t fully booked, it’s likely that you’ll have the whole row to yourselves!

Buy your flight ticket at night to save money

According to research, you can save up to €20 per person if you book your flight in the middle of the night, between 3am and 6am!

If you’ve lost your charger, ask a hotel

Lots of backpackers forget their chargers at hotels. If you’ve lost or forgotten yours, just ask reception if they have a spare one. Usually, they’ll have a box full of abandoned chargers!

Reduce the wait time for your luggage

Even if your luggage doesn’t contain anything fragile, put a fragile sticker on it! The airport staff usually put these bags on the top of the pile so they don’t get squashed, so they’ll come around the luggage carousel first.

Save time on packing with portable shelves

Portable hanging shelves can be pre-packed to save on packing time!

Pack an extension cord

These are handy when there is only one plug, and you need to charge multiple things. They’ll also make you a lot of friends if you share!

Pack cables in a glasses case


Storing your cables in a glasses case will stop them from getting tangled or damaged and make them easy to find!

Bring some Tiger Balm

Tiger balm comes in a little pot, so it will barely take up any space in your luggage, but it’s really handy to have! It helps with muscle pain,

You can buy it on Amazon or in some pharmacies.

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