What’s in my Backpack: 10 Essentials

Cody and I are admittedly new to the cross country backpacking club, so we are by no means professionals. But we did spend a great deal of time researching how, and what to pack for the european adventure. At the end of the trip I will edit this post to let you know if there is anything that we could not have lived without and what was just adding weight to our bag.

In case you feel inspired to take a trip after reading this blog, you can click on the item name or photo to be directed to the product on Amazon.

The Pack

1. Backpack

Honestly, this purchase was a financial decision. Hiking backpacking packs can run upwards of $300. My dad found this one on sale for $45 and it fits me well. Keep in mind, that you should do your research on a pack, you want all the weight to sit on your hips, not your shoulders, so try a few on and pick the one that works best for you!


Travel Equipment

1) Neck Pillow Although this is not the worlds most comfortable neck pillow, it gets the job done and it folds up into a small bag about the size of your fist. It was definitely a lifesaver on the plane.
2) Packing CubesThese are essential for keeping things organized in a top loading pack. Although this set has 5, I only ended up using 4 (crazy, I know) but I brought an extra one for dirty laundry.
3) Wallet Phone Case– There’s no need to carry around those 35 gift cards that your aunt suzy has been giving you for the last 6 years. Cut out the wallet and just bring your ID and two debit cards in your phone case. 
*Update: This case was great for the trip, but the paint chips if using long term
4) Portable ChargerUnfortunately, neither Cody, nor I can afford to unplug for 5 weeks, so this will allow us to charge our laptops, phones, kindles, and headphones while we are on board planes and trains.
5) Money BeltThis has a built in RFID block to keep people from scanning your passport information. It also sits pretty smoothly underneath your clothes to help prevent pickpocketing
6) Day PackObviously we aren’t taking our 60 gallon packs around town and wine tasting with us, so this weatherproof, cut poof, lockable backpack will house our day to day needs such as camera equipment, phones, and snacks.


1) Sony A6300 Obviously you don’t need a camera to go on vacation, because it’s 2018 and our phones have incredible cameras. However, this is a great beginner camera, and it is a mirrorless rather than A DSLR, meaning that it is compact and lightweight which makes it a great option for travelers.
2) Curling Iron Same as the camera, a curling iron is not a travel essential, but, if you want to have your hair “on fleek” as the kids say, then you may want to bring one. This one is particularly good for a European vacation because it is duel voltage, meaning you won’t blow a fuse. 
3) Wine Key– This is a highly reccomended hack for those of you over the age of 21 (or 18 depending on where you are traveling). If you want to grab a bottle of Cab to take on a picnic, you will be glad you brought this. Although this particular wine key is not of significance, it is double hinged, which 6 years of restaurant experience has taught me is a must.
I hope that you find this little guide useful when planning your next vacation whether it be a weekend getaway or a 5 week European backpacking expedition.
*As an amazon affiliate I may receive compensation for the products mentioned in this post.

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