Packed Suitcase | Packing a Backpack: 5 Essential Tips
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Packing a Backpack: 5 Essential Tips

Packing a Backpack: 5 Essential Tips

A year ago from today, I was wrapping up my month long backpacking adventure to New Zealand and Australia. I was a rookie backpacker (hence the blog title “Packed Suitcase“) but during that month I grew to love the whole backpacking experience.

I’d be lying if I said that I didn’t have a few growning pains as I learned the tricks to packing a backpack efficiently. Here are a few of my top tips that I learned along the way…

Tip #1: Don’t organize your stuff by packing them in plastic bags
You may think having things packed in their own plastic bag will help keep everything organized in your backpack, but trying to pack up at 6 am while the rest of your dorm mates are sleeping will just make you lose friends. Fast. (Those bags are noisy!)

Tip #2: Pack practically, but add a little flair
If you’re packing for a long journey, you most likely will need to pack warm AND cold weather clothes. On my trip, I did fairly well except that I stuck so much with the practical that I didn’t bring one cute outfit suitable for going out. Therefore, I ended up in sweaters and t-shirts most of the time when everyone else was all dolled up. Just one cute shirt would have done the trick.

Tip #3: Bring earplugs, an eye mask and a flashlight
Because undoubtedly, your room will be loud, bright or dark at one point or another.

Tip #4: Stick to a neutral color palette
Being able to mix and match your clothes is essential to saving space, so pick a neutral color palette (like black/grey/white or dark brown/tan/white, etc) and make sure most of your clothes fit within it. For an added punch, pick a pop of color that goes with those palettes (like red or blue).


Tip #5: Bring a towel
I didn’t, and ended up having to buy the last one on the shelf in Hahei, NZ my first week on the trip. Try explaining this every day you move into a new hostel so people don’t think you’re weird:


  • Nicole
    Posted at 14:27h, 08 May Reply

    Thanks for the great tips! I am heading down under myself in a few weeks and am a suitcase/hotel kind of girl, as opposed to the backpack/hostel type girl I'm trying to pack for.

    My main purpose for posting though is to thank you for sharing that great pic of you and your towel, it is hilarious! Thanks for the laugh!

  • Christina
    Posted at 14:45h, 12 May Reply

    I'm so glad you got a good laugh out of my pic… it was a really funny situation and I hope you can learn from my mistake! 😉

  • MouseCatDog
    Posted at 16:36h, 24 March Reply

    I have been practising Tip #3( Bring earplugs, an eye mask and a flashlight) for years.

    A small mesh pouch with these items and a pair of earphones is a great companion in planes, trains, and hotel rooms. The earphones+airplane audio converter allows you to avoid the lousy earphones the airlines hand out.

  • Elias
    Posted at 05:38h, 05 December Reply

    I’m sooooo jealous of that amazing retro-towel! You should be proud, darling.

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