How to Travel With a Rucksack Backpack: Packing List & Tips

Every Packaholic Needs a Travel Rucksack (Seriously)

Do you have a tendency to overpack while traveling? I’m not judging, in fact, I too used to walk around with a heavy suitcase. But recently I upgraded and now I travel with a black rucksack backpack instead and I haven’t looked back. If I could, let me open your eyes to these awesome packing tips that I live by and you’ll love.

Why You Should Consider a Traveling With a Backpack Rucksack

There are a couple of reasons why you may want to opt for carry-on travel instead of checking your bags.

For one, if you’re traveling somewhere new, it will become a mission to try and get from the airport to your place of stay. Depending on the time you arrive, transportation may be packed, taxis might be in little supply, and you may have to spend an hour or so figuring out where to go. Do you really want to be dealing with all of this while also lugging around a suitcase the size of a human person?

Of course, there are perks to having a checked bag. Sure, you have everything you need for the trip. From experience, I can tell you that it’s not worth it to have this stuff with you. It will get in the way and you won’t even use everything in there.

Not only are you saving yourself the stress of trying to transport heavy luggage. But if you want to travel like that, it’s up to you. Moving on, I’ll talk more specifically about the best rucksack packing tips that I use every time I travel.

travel-rucksack

Pick the Best Rucksack for Travel, or Any Backpack for That Matter.

Although I love traveling with a rucksack, I’m not saying you have to buy a rucksack. The only thing I stress is that you look for a high quality backpack. Now, that doesn’t mean you have to break the bank, but at the same time, you want to look at it as an investment. In the end, if you’re willing to buy a backpack, you might as well buy something that’s versatile.

In the end, I decided to buy a rucksack backpack, rather than a regular backpack because I think it’s versatile enough to use every day and practical enough for packing.

So, What is a Rucksack and Why the Heck Do I Keep Talking About it?

A rucksack is a bag with shoulder straps, usually made with sturdy, water proof materials. They’re really good for hiking. Most people think of canvas bags when they think of rucksacks. Nowadays, rucksacks come in different models and materials, some even more durable than canvas.

There are hundreds of rucksack styles out there to choose from, so it really just depends on what you’re looking for.

Which Rucksack Style Backpack Should You Go With?

If you plan to use your rucksack for travel then I recommend that you stick to these general categories in your search:

  • water proof rucksack
  • computer rucksack or laptop rucksack
  • roll top rucksack
  • urban rucksack or rucksack for cycling
  • modern rucksack (or minimalist)

More Tips for Finding the Best Travel Rucksack Style For You

I think if the backpack is waterproof, or at least water resistant, that’s a major benefit. Laptop rucksack models are almost always water proof, as they are meant to protect electronics.You also need to make sure that it’s comfortable, as you’ll be walking around with it. Bags that have padded shoulder straps, a padded back panel, and adjustable straps are usually pretty comfy.

It’s also important that the bag has enough pockets, but not too many pockets. I say this because it’s hard to keep track of your belongings if you store them in random miscellaneous pockets. This can lead to theft, especially if you’re in an enclosed space with other people, say on the train or in a store. Just remember that is at arm’s reach for you, is also at arms reach for someone else.

I really like the roll top rucksack model because I feel it’s more secure than a standard zipper backpack. But if you’re not traveling with electronics or expensive equipment then you should be fine with a standard zipper opening.

For those of you that want something a little more fashionable, the urban rucksack model or the modern rucksack are both viable options. These styles are smaller in size (think Timbuk2 or Chrome), and some of them aren’t waterproof.

High-Quality Materials is What It’s All About

When it comes to the quality of backpacks, it’s important to be knowledgeable of what materials to look for. There are basically two options out there that work for me and that can hold up on a trip.

  • Ballistic nylon is a safe bet, and it’s affordable as well. This material is tough and thick so you know it’ll hold well on any trip.
  • Another material that I think would be best for travel is tarpaulin. This stuff might be a bit pricier, but it’ll last you a long time.
  • Some people prefer to invest in a leather rucksack or leather backpack. Leather is expensive, but if that’s your preferred aesthetic, then by all means.
  • A canvas rucksack or backpack is not the way to go, people. It won’t be comfortable for travel and it also won’t hold everything you need. Sure, it looks effortless, but so is the quality.

One more thing to add about what to look for in a travel backpack. This might just be me, but I appreciate a travel backpack that has easy access pockets. It takes away the anxiety of rushing to get out my boarding pass and holding up a big line. If this sounds like you, try to keep your items in hand, otherwise, make sure you can quickly access them in a convenient side pocket.

And finally, when you travel with a backpack always double check that it fits the carry-on parameters provided by your airline. 

Now that you have a general idea of what to look for in a bag, I’ll break down how to efficiently pack a backpack or rucksack.

Rucksack Backpack Packing Tip #1: Narrow Down Your Packing List

The key to traveling with a backpack is to travel with as little as possible. That means shortening down your packing list and streamlining your items.

The goal, in the end, is to:

  1. Only bring what you absolutely need.
  2. Only bring things that are versatile and multifunctional
  3. Only bring what you can carry

Keeping that in mind, here’s how you should be creating your packing list.

Rucksack Backpack Packing Tip #2: Separate Your Items Into These Five Categories

Alright ladies and gents, now’s the time to break down my packing list. I’ve separated it into six categories for your convenience.

When packing your travel items it’s easier to break them into smaller categories and create separate checklists for each category. That way you focus on each area at a time and prevent leaving behind anything important.

Here are the five packing categories you should start with:

  1. Clothing
  2. Toiletries
  3. Important Documents and Itinerary
  4. Electronics
  5. Daypack Checklist

MEMORIZE THESE FIVE CATEGORIES AND STICK TO THEM!

Everything that you need for a 4-5 day trip should fit into one of these categories. If your items don’t apply to these, then you can leave it behind. Trust me, you’ll survive.

Next, I’ll discuss how to pack each section with space-saving efficiency!!

Rucksack Backpack Packing Tip #3: Pack Your Wardrobe the Right Way to Save Extra Space

pack-rucksack-backpack

Okay, so assuming you’re going on a 3-4 day trip, this list will work well for you. If your trip is more than 10 days, you can still use this list but you’ll have to find a way to wash your clothes while you’re there.

Another disclaimer, this list won’t work for business travelers or people who want to be fashionable while they travel. I’m sorry, but I’d like to assume that if you’re traveling, you’re doing it to take in the sights, not to take Instagram pictures.

If you don’t have a problem with wearing the same shoes the during the whole trip, and you’re okay with dressing in layers, then here’s your practical and space saving travel list.

#1: Clothing Packing List

  • 3-4 jeans or pants
    • Make sure these are colors that you can match with your shirts. To save space, wear one pair on the way to the trip. Pack the other two pairs in your bag. Roll up your pants as tightly as possible and pack them in the bottom.
  • 3-4 shirts
    • Mix it up with short sleeve and long sleeve so that you’re prepared for any weather conditions. Long sleeve shirts will allow you to layer in case it gets cold.
  • An appropriate jacket
    • If you’re going to be in warm weather, you can skip this. If you expect to get cold, bring a windbreaker or feathered-down jacket that’s lightweight. You’ll also want to wear your jacket in flight to save packing space.
  • One pair of shoes
    • You don’t need dress shoes, walking shoes, running shoes, etc. Just bring one pair of nice looking, comfortable shoes. A good rule of thumb is if you’re going to bring another pair, make sure that it’s half the weight of the first shoe.
  • Undergarments and socks
    • Bring up to 6 pairs of socks and undergarments, as these don’t take up too much space.
  • 1 pajama set
  • 1 towel if necessary
    • Double check where you’ll be staying to see what amenities will be provided.

Rucksack Backpack Packing Tip #4: Be Smart When it Comes to Packing Your Toiletries

If you plan on traveling with a carry-on it’s important to remember the rule about liquids. For most American airlines the limit of liquid you can bring on a plane is 3.4 fluid oz inside one quart-sized clear bag. But anything that isn’t liquid does not have to fit inside the quart-sized bag.

To avoid having to check your bag, buy travel size items or purchase them after you’ve gone through security. There’s also the option of buying your toiletries at the location you’re staying at. Another thing to keep in mind is that some places offer amenities such as towels, soap, shampoo, and lotion. If you believe this will be available to you, then you can leave it out of your packing list. But if you want to play it safe, here’s a toiletry packing list you can use:

#2: Toiletry Packing List

  • Solid shampoo
  • Solid deodorant
  • Toothpaste (travel size)
  • Toothbrush
  • Razor
  • All purpose lotion (travel size)
  • Sunscreen lotion (travel size) or stick
  • Hand sanitizer (travel size)
  • Hairbrush (travel size) and hair ties
  • Makeup (solid makeup is best)
  • Feminine hygiene products
  • Solid detergent sheets (for washing clothes)
  • Prescription medication & eyewear

Rucksack Backpack Packing Tip #5: Your Passport is Your Life So Pack it the Right Way

Important documents such as your passport, tickets, and itinerary should always be placed in a secure location. My recommendation is to keep everything in a gallon sized plastic bag, that way you can easily spot your belongings at a glance. You can also buy travel wallet and card holder, which zips up and allows you to organize your money, cards, and everything you’re traveling with.

#3: Important Documents Packing List

  • Passport
  • Travel tickets
  • Itinerary
  • Keys
  • Money
  • Credit cards
  • ID
  • Receipts

Rucksack Backpack Packing Tip #6: Be Safe When Travelling with Electronics

Unless you plan on doing work that requires a laptop, don’t bother bringing it. Not only will it add weight to your backpack, but you’ll remain worried all the time. Same goes for the camera, bring it only if you think you’ll need it.

A good way to monitor how much you’re bringing is to restrict yourself to only 3 electronics:

#4: Electronics Packing List

  • Laptop
  • Camera
  • Phone
  • Tablet
  • Chargers
  • Portable battery

Rucksack Backpack Packing Tip #7: Pack These Things to Carry With You at All Times

After you’ve checked into your accommodation, you can unpack your bag and use it as a daypack. Here are items that you might be interested in carrying with you throughout your daily travels.

#5: Daypack Checklist

  • Waterbottle
  • Sunglasses or hat
  • Chapstick
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Tissues
  • Money
  • Phone
  • Phone Charger
  • Map

Stick to These Ultimate Rucksack Packing Tips

These are my go-to packing tips that I’ve been using for all my travels and they’ve saved me money and space. If you want to travel on the fringe, I highly recommend traveling with a rucksack or any other travel-friendly backpack. It’s low cost and the most independent way of travel, I think.

If you have more packing tips you’d like to share, leave a comment and I’ll be sure to add it in!

Traveling on a Budget? Best Trip Advice You Need to Know

While it’s no surprise that travel is an amazing experience, it can also be equally as expensive. That is if you don’t plan accordingly. See, you don’t have to end up broke as a joke, as long as you take the following trip advice.

The key is to travel on a budget and to learn how to live only with the necessities. Don’t let a few dollars stand in the way of your trip. Here is some money saving trip advice to help you along.

First Bit of Trip Advice is to Book Your Flight Early

Let’s start with saving on flights. The cost of tickets fluctuates, depending on the month, day and even time of travel. Weekend flights are more expensive than weekdays. Avoid booking tickets around the holiday season.

For example, the cost of flights around Christmas and Thanksgiving will cost more. Numerous mobile apps are available to help you monitor flight costs once your destination and travel dates are entered.

Make sure that if you have to travel during the holiday season to book your flight well in advance to cost on flight costs.

Stay at an Airbnb is Possible

The smartest way to save on your stay, especially if you’re traveling as a family is to stay an at Airbnb location. Be sure to look at photos, reviews, and speak to owners before making a reservation.

Most vacation homes also provide complimentary breakfast/ lunch, wi-fi, happy hour etc. Don’t forget to specifically inquire about your basic amenities that you need to make your stay comfortable.

If you’re looking for a more free-spirited way of traveling check out youth hostels, couchsurfing and hospitality clubs. Any of these options will be much cheaper than a hotel and will give you more money to spend on other areas of your trip.

Check out Car Rentals Away from Airports

Be extremely specific if you decide to rent a car. Look for smaller cars if you don’t need that extra room to save money on gas.

If you’re traveling with kids, bring your own car seats. Costs of car rental agencies near airports are always soaring high. It is advisable to look a few miles away and also avoid filling gas in stations anywhere close to the airport. Take advantage of your insurance and credit card companies that have car rental coverage.

Travel Like a Local As This is More Affordable

Make the best use of the local transportation facilities like buses, trains, whatever! it’s the best way to make your travel more adventurous and also at the same time economical.

But if you’re in a hurry somewhere, there are mobile apps that provide “ride-sharing” facilities. This option is much cheaper when compared to taking a car/ taxi.

Plan Your Meals For the Day and Save Money

Never eat in a dense tourist area. Not only will prices be higher but the food will be less authentic. Be sure to check out restaurants and eateries that are outside the tourist bubble.

Research places before you arrive and plan out your meals. Also, try and eat a bigger lunch and a lighter breakfast and dinner. Many locations will have lunch deals that can help you save money.

If you decide to stay somewhere where you have access to a kitchen, then you should try and cook some of your own meals.

Shop Outside the Tourist Bubble

If you’re traveling to a really famous tourist spot, never shop near the tourist attraction or in any souvenir shops.

These shops aren’t going to offer anything that is unique or worth the inflated prices. You can save more if you choose to shop in local markets and roadside shops.

At these spots, you’ll find items that are unique and hand-crafted. These items will be a far better use of your money and serve as great gifts that you can take back to your friends and family back home.

Switch Your Currency Before You Fly or At the Airport

If you’re traveling abroad, avoid exchanging your currency in an airport. It almost always ends up offering higher exchange rates. It is advisable to carry local currency before you fly. However, for any emergencies, make a quick online search for the best exchange rates before you walk into any exchange center.

Make sure you use the right credit card in case of any emergency. Most banks charge a fee of 2-3% for overseas withdrawals. However, there are special international travel cards offered by banks that don’t charge an extra fee for cash withdrawals

Avoid the Hassle and Get a Multi-Day Travel Pass

Depending on where you’re staying and for how long, I suggest you check into multi-day travel passes for your area’s public transportation services.

Many urban areas offer these travel passes so if you’re staying somewhere for several consecutive days, it’s worth it to purchase one of these travel passes.

You should also check out other travel passes that your destination has to offer. There are some that provide special rates for museums and other local attractions.

If You Must Go Online, Use Wi-Fi

Always look for cafes, restaurants or bars that offer free wifi to avoid any data roaming charges. You can use this facility for free to connect with your family or friends.

Download the “Wi-Fi finder”, a mobile application, that will help you locate the nearest wifi location, in offline mode. (Needs to be activated before travel)

Look for Online Deals Before You Travel

Most tourist places offer deals for hotels, car rentals, flights, local attractions etc. Don’t give up too easily looking for it. Reservations are often fully refundable once canceled if you find a deal at the last minute.

Got More Trip Advice?

Was this list helpful? If you have more trip advice you’d like to share with everyone, let me know!

Combat Common Travel Anxiety with These Simple Tips

Travel can be tough on people. Not just financially, but mentally also. Travel anxiety can be caused by many different factors, like fear of flying, homesickness, and worst case scenarios. But you shouldn’t let these worries get in the way of your traveling. Here are some tips you can follow to help combat your travel anxiety.

1. Keep Calm and Plan As Best You Can

Two weeks before the travel date, ensure that you make a list of every possible thing you will need for your trip. Start with your basics like your passport, visas you may need and items of clothing for your destination e.g. Cold weather jacket.

Organizing ahead of time, assembling everything you need, and ticking things off your packing list as you go will vastly reduce travel-related stress and make you feel more in control.

travel-anxiety-on-time

2. Be on Time, Maybe Even Early Just To Be Safe

Nothing is more stressful than being late for a train, plane or bus. Traffic and car trouble always happen when you don’t have time for them.

Plan for all of this and arrive early at your departure gate. Then, you have all the time in the world to enjoy a light snack and a caffeine/sugar-free drink and gather your thoughts.

3. Stay Informed About Where You’re Traveling To

Both my partner and I reduce travel stress by becoming more informed about our destination. Reading and researching in depth about the area’s culture, climate and what to expect paints an accurate picture of our travel plans and goal.

Additionally, ask your friends and family if they have been to the place you are planning to visit. Ask them what they liked or didn’t like about their trip and if they would have done anything differently. If no one in your immediate circle has any information, open it up to social media and travel forums.

travel-anxiety-prepare

4. Plan for the Unexpected When You’re Traveling Somewhere

Accidents and sickness used to contribute to my uneasy feelings about traveling. I combated these feelings by packing a fully equipped first aid kit as well as a range of medications for anything from food poisoning to the flu.

Even if you never end up needing to use any of this stuff, it will ease your mind to know that you’re prepared and gives you one less thing to worry about on your trip.

5. Live by a Routine And Stick to It Even When You Travel

If you are someone who wakes up at 6 am and goes to bed at 10 pm, ensure that you keep this routine when you are traveling. Keeping your body clock the same as when you are at home will keep you in routine and give you a sense of security.

Same goes with the cuisine if you are used to a certain type of food then seek out that kind of food when away. After much experimenting, I found changes in my diet was the number one contributor of my travel anxiety.

establish-travel-routine

6. Meditate If You Start Feeling Overwhelmed

If something does happen that is unplanned, don’t let it take hold of you. Breathe slowly and deliberately, put what happened into perspective and think of something that is calming such as home, or your family.

Don’t Stay Victim to Travel Anxiety

You’ve got this! You do have the power to be able to take control and make this big trip you have planned. Travel Anxiety affects so many people; most let it consume their lives. However, if you find a way to conquer it chances are you will feel more empowered and stronger than ever before, I know I do!

Use the tips above as I did and discover more about yourself and the world around you.

Pack Your Backpack With These 7 Essentials

Pack Your Backpack With These Essentials

Attention, this is a public service announcement: Backpacks are actually cool now. Don’t believe me? Take a look at any fashion magazine. It’s a fact, people, the backpack is the new handbag. But to make the best of this utility, you need to make sure you pack your backpack the right way.

Backpack Essential Number One Is Your Cellphone, For Sure

The most obvious item is a phone! We know in this century a good number of us can’t go without being glued to a cell phone. In today’s society having a cell phone is crucial for both personal and professional use. Having it on you can help you get in contact with your friends and coworkers as quickly as possible and makes completing daily tasks efficient and simple. Forgetting to bring your phone can slow down your entire day.

pack-backpack-cellphone

Make Sure You Carry Some Stain Removers

Accidents are unavoidable and everyone has them from time to time. You’re out eating or you’re running around with your coffee and all the sudden your clothes look like a dirty napkin.

Not exactly a great look for the office or that big class presentation, am I right? In order to avoid all that embarrassment, carry a stain remover pen. Many detergent brands make stain remover pens that are small and easy to use when you’re on the go.

Pack your backpack with a detergent and bleach pen and save your favorite shirt from those nasty stains.

pack-backpack-headphones

Don’t Forget Your Headphones Or You’ll Regret It

Headphones people, I mean, am I the only one who ends up sitting next to a woman with a noisy kid on the bus? Headphones are a great way to drown out all the unwelcome noise from your daily commute while still being small enough to store comfortably in a backpack.

Pass the time listening to your favorite playlist or be a little more productive. You can take the opportunity to get some work done and listen to some educational or work-related audio books or podcasts.

Keep Your Planner Handy So That You Have Your Day Planned Out

Everyone tends to forget important occasions now and then. A planner helps you run your errands smoothly without leaving any of them unattended to while keeping time.

Always remember to pack your backpack with a planner so you won’t miss those important meetings or payment deadlines.  Taking the time to physically jot down a to-do list increases the chances of 1) remembering your list and 2) accomplishing the tasks. It also helps you stay organized.

snacks-pack-backpack

Make Sure You’re Packed With A Lunch & Snacks

Balancing your everyday needs can be stressful and time-consuming. We all have those days when we are so busy and do not even have the time to break for lunch, maybe because of certain deadlines at the office or simply because we’re behind on our work.

You might not have time to wait in long lines or walk a couple of blocks to get your favorite dish or snack. A backpack is a great time-saving solution.

Packing your lunch and/or snacks throughout the day gives you more time to get stuff done and as an added bonus you’ll have more control over what you’re eating. Makes it much easier to stick to that diet.

Hydration is Important, So Carry a Water Bottle With You At All Times

Staying hydrated while on the job, at school or at the gym is very important. Packing a water bottle your backpack makes sure it’s always within our reach.

Deodorant is a must carry! Most people apply deodorant before leaving the house. Not having it with you can leave you in an awkward social situation and can be altogether uncomfortable since some deodorants wear off eventually. Packing it helps you avoid self-consciousness and stay confident all day without any worries!

Word

Words of wisdom