The ultimate packing list

You might not need all of the items listed here, depending on where you are going. If you are traveling to colder regions, you might want to pack less t-shirts and one more coat, or … Well, you get the idea. This list is designed for backpackers with a backpack weighing between 10-12 kg. Depending on how long you are traveling for, you might need more or less of each of the items listed.

Things you cannot travel without

  • Your passport
    Always keep it on you or lock it in a safe at your hostel. My tip: make several copies, leave one with your family, one with your friends, put one in your backpack and one in your carry-on, in case you lose the actual passport.
  • Visa documents
  • Transport documents (bus pass, Interrail ticket, etc.)
  • Driver’s license
  • Flight tickets
  • Health and travel insurance cards and documents
  • Credit card
  • Money in cash
    Take enough money with you so that you can pay the transport from the airport to your hostel.
  • Prescription medicines
    Take the packaging with you, in case the airport security stops you.
  • Contact lenses/glasses
  • Travel medicine
    Take medicine against diarrhea and other travel diseases with you, just in case.
  • A book.
    I don’t think this needs an explanation, but if you need one: A book will keep you busy if you’re lonely; it is the best company. Just take one book though because almost every hostel offers a book exchange.
  • ISIC and student card
    Many hostels and tourist attractions will offer you a discount.
  • Your backpack and a smaller backpack as a carry-on


Don’t bring too many clothes with you, because you will have to wash them regularly anyway. Choose your clothes wisely because you will be wearing the same things for a long time. 

  • Slips/Boxers (7 pairs)
    Make sure to bring comfortable underwear, but if you want to, also some lingerie. 
  • Socks (5 pairs)
    Invest in good socks! You don’t want them to break after just two hikes.
  • Bra (2)
  • Bikini/Swimsuit/Swimming shorts (2)
  • Shorts (3 pairs)
  • Loose long pants (2 pairs)
    Linen pants are ideal – they are not too warm and take up little space.
  • Sarong (1 pair)
  • Flip-Flops (1 pair)
  • Dress (1)
  • Skirt (2)
  • T-shirt/vest tops (4)
  • Long-sleeve top (1)
    You might need this for religious places.
  • Hoodie (1)
    It protects against mosquitoes and keeps you warm in the evening.
  • Rain-jacket (1)
  • Sneakers/Hiking boots (1 pair)
  • Warm coat (1)


Medical Kit

  • Plasters
  • Bandages
  • Baby wipes
  • Inhaler
  • Antihistamines
  • Ibuprofen
  • Buscopan
  • Aspirin
  • Paracetamol
  • Antiseptic spray/cream/wipes
  • Anti-diarrhea medicine
  • Safety pins



  • Contraception
    The pill, condoms, or other contraception methods
  • Period products
    Pads, tampons, the menstrual cup, or other products
  • Toothbrush and toothbrush cover
  • Toothpaste
  • Floss
  • Insect repellent
  • Sunscreen
  • Tweezers
  • Nail clippers
  • Cotton buds
  • Lip balm
  • Cotton rounds
  • Make-up remover
  • Make-up
  • Washcloth
  • After sun
  • Razor and razor blades
  • Soap
  • Deodorant
  • Shampoo/Conditioner
  • Shower gel



  • iPod/mp3 player and charger
  • Camera/Video camera
    Including batteries, multiple memory cards, tripod, films, cables, etc.
  • Phone and charger
  • Netbook and charger
  • iPad/tablet and charger
  • Spare batteries
  • USB stick
  • Adapter
  • Torch/head torch
  • Rape alarm (for all genders)
  • Alarm clock



  • Towel (light, small towel)
  • Sunglasses
  • Hat/Cap
  • Belt
  • Sleeping bag liner
  • Waterproof cover for your backpack
  • Travel wallet/money belt
  • Diary
  • Pen and paper
  • Bin liner or plastic bag
    You might need this to store your dirty clothes in
  • Washing paste
    If you need to wash your clothes by hand
  • Duct tape
  • Pocket knife
  • Playing cards
  • Eye mask
  • Earplugs
  • Travel pillow

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