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Backpacking Checklist

If you're planning a backpacking trip of a lifetime, whether on a gap year or as a break from the usual hustle and bustle, take a look at our backpacking checklist to ensure your trip planning goes as smoothly as possible. Why not print off our backpacking checklist in preparation for your next adventure?

Checklists are a fantastic way to help you keep track of what you need to do and what you need to pack. They can help you avoid those forgetful "I wish I'd packed that" moments! A great idea is to print off a copy for each destination you are visiting, so that you can be sure that you don't forget anything as you pack and travel to your next destination!

Please note: All items listed act as a guide. If backpacking overseas, please check your airline's luggage restrictions with regards to weight and size. Some items listed may not be suitable to take on board aircraft.


Started Done!
Research destinations
Research flights and stop offs
Choose dates
Let work/college/University know your plans. Book time off or hand notice in
Begin saving
Buy a destination travel guide
Buy a language phrasebook
Join travel forums to share ideas
Research local laws and customs
Apply for visa
Book plane/coach/train tickets
Book accommodation
Purchase travel insurance
Print out tickets and documents
Photocopy tickets and documents twice. Keep one set and give the other to a family member (colour copies also)
Print directions from the airport to your accommodation
Call bank and let them know you will be overseas (to ensure your cards do not get blocked or cancelled)
Get vaccinations and medical checkup from your doctor
Get healthy and fit (if carrying your backpack)
Cancel any subscriptions
Create an online travel journal or website
Exchange contact details and email addresses with friends and family
Organize leaving party


Got it! Packed it!
Good quality walking boots (broken in)
Walking socks and sock liners
Walking trousers (jeans will take longer to dry if wet)
Flip flops/sandals
Thermal T-shirts and thermal leggings/trousers
Waterproof trousers
Windproof and waterproof jacket/rainmac
Gloves/hat/sunglasses (as appropriate)
Swim suit


Got it! Packed it!
Rucksack liner
Survival bag
Torch and spare bulb/batteries
Pocket tool (bear in mind that you won't be allowed to take this on board any aircraft)
Water purifying tablets
Matches in a waterproof container (Check individual airline restrictions)
Sleeping bag (not all hostels have bedding)
Sleeping bag liner
Spare plastic bag (for dirty laundry, groceries, etc)


Got it! Packed it!
Camera (including chargers)
Travel adaptor
Mobile phone (including chargers)


Got it! Packed it!
Playing cards
Book or audio book
MP3 Player

First Aid Kit

Got it! Packed it!
Plasters (including blister plasters)
Antiseptic wipes/cream
Mosquito/Insect repellent
Eye wash
Safety pins

Personal Care & Hygiene

Got it! Packed it!
Facial wipes
Antibacterial hand wash
Nail scissors
Wash bag
Contraception (condoms, pill)
Prescription medication (including photocopies of prescriptions & instructions)


Got it! Packed it!
Student card (if applicable)
Money belt
Dummy wallet (include old store cards, not bank, and small amount of change)
Inflatable pillow
Mosquito net
Removable door lock
Food (if applicable)
Travel washing line
Travel sized amount of washing powder
Small sewing kit
Diary/travel journal

Are there things we've forgotten to include? Why not let us know what essential items make it on to your backpacking checklist by leaving a comment on our Twitter or Facebook pages! If you found this checklist to be helpful, please share it with others using the social share links!

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