Backpack for Traveling – Travel Blogger Tips
Backpack for Traveling
When you travel you’ll want some sort of bag to carry with you for a long day of sightseeing. In addition to the things usually in your purse, you’ll want things like water, toilet paper or tissues, and maps or guidebook pages. A normal purse just will NOT do for a day excursion! I have my own ideas on the ‘perfect backpack for traveling’ and wanted to ask other travel bloggers for their ideas, too. Travel bloggers spend a LOT of time on the road and we can all benefit from their ideas on their top choice for a backpack for traveling.
Backpack for Traveling – The Educational Tourist
Firstly, let me say that I have never met a backpack, purse, bag, or suitcase of any sort that I didn’t love. I have an entire closet full of just suitcases – wheels, no wheels, tall, short, just for suits and so on. I’ve been collecting them for 30 years. My husband shares my obsession so he adds to the collection now and again as well. LOL! At least we are on the same page, right?
But for a daypack….I’m extremely picky. In my younger days when I traveled alone and only had to carry stuff for myself – and I had a young back with nary a day of back pain, I had way different ideas. In those days I chose CUTE more than anything else.
In my 30s I had my first experiences with back pain of the middle back. This meant a regular backpack wouldn’t work for me. The weight on my shoulders hurt me too much – even a very light weight backpack bothered me after hours. So, I chose a backpack that had a waist belt on it. This allowed the weight – even the small amount of weight I was carrying, to be on my hips and not my shoulders. At the time this was the perfect solution!
In my 40s, now married with kids, I had a whole different set of needs. Now I was carrying more camera equipment and stuff for the two little people in my life. I had stuff like diapers, wipes, extra clothes, sunscreen, toys, extra snacks, extra everything it seemed! At least I had hubby to carry some of the stuff, too.
In my late 40s, when the kids were old enough to carry their own backpacks with snacks and toys or journals or electronic devices I moved on to a sling instead of a backpack. I love a sling and am still carrying one! The sling allows me to swing it around in front for any of these reasons: 1) there is some creepy person behind me getting a little too close 2) the weight is hurting a shoulder or back – I use my arms in front to lighten the load 3) I need to get into the back for a tissue or money or a camera or lipstick and don’t want to take it off to do that.
In my 50s now (Yes, I’ve been traveling a long time!) I have the luxury of a nicer pack that includes only my stuff. It serves as a purse and a daypack. My husband does all the heavy carrying with a bigger backpack and we always have part of it empty for souvenirs! Or snacks or maps or whatever you pick up along the way. It is nice to have extra empty space for your jackets, too, when the day warms up.
Backpack for Traveling – Passions and Places
In the year that I’ve been traveling around Southeast Asia, I’ve been using REI’s Flash 18 Pack for day trips, hiking, and sometimes even carrying groceries. It has some structure built into it, but it also packs down pretty well when it’s empty. The thing that’s unusual about this
daypack is the drawstring top, which I initially thought wouldn’t be very secure. But since it’s actually a bit annoying to use and is impossible to open with one hand, it would be very difficult for someone to open it or steal something without being obvious.
I keep honing my list of day trip supplies, and right now it normally consists of sunscreen, hand sanitizer, tissues, and a few band-aids, plus some snacks. In addition, I always carry chap stick, an umbrella, a water bottle, and my phone/camera. If I know the day is going to include a lot of waiting or time in transit, I also bring a Kindle or a pair of headphones so I can read or listen to some podcasts. And if there will be a chance of wanting to sit out on the ground somewhere, I bring a sarong as well, which is a great lightweight alternative to a picnic blanket or beach towel.
Instagram – Passions and Places
Backpack for Traveling – World By Isa
“I don’t have any huge specification about the bags I use, but I do prefer using small backpacks while I travel, I feel it gives you more freedom to move around and to take pictures as your arms are not busy keeping your handbag safe, besides they normally have more space in case you need to put something you just bought. I also try to keep it as light as possible while traveling and only carry the essential.
While I’m traveling, especially in transit, I like to pack small snacks: cookies, chips, nuts, etc. As a Brazilian, I’m used to not being offered any food during a service like trains, etc, so I like to make sure I won’t starve on my way. Pen and paper are also essential, you never know when you will need to write something down for the future, phones are good, but I still prefer the old school way or remembering things. I don’t wear too much makeup, but something I can’t live without is lip balm, I use it all the time and this is probably the only kind of “makeup” I always carry with me everywhere. I also carry a small towel in my bag, just in case. Sometimes you need to clean your hands, or even your gears, so it is good to have one around.”
Backpack for Traveling – Travels of a Bookpacker
We’ve been travelling together and separately for eight years now so we have a pretty good idea of what we need in a travel day bag. After finding several that weren’t quite right we asked my partner’s sister to tailor make our dream bag. She did an amazing job and we now carry a funky, colourful, one-of-a-kind bag through every country we visit. So far it’s been to 20 countries and apart from a small repair by a tailor on the streets of India, it’s holding up well!
The features we needed in our day bag were:
- Over the shoulder strap so it hangs by our side (much more secure in countries with pickpocketing risk).
- Interior zip pocket for valuables and to make our phones easier to locate!
- Large enough to fit our laptop if we head out to work for the day in a café.
- Made of light fabric so it folds up into our backpacks when we aren’t using it and is small when there’s only a few things in it.
- Unisex so we can both carry it around.
We always carry a reusable water bottle and shopping bag along with any snack, sunscreen or books we need for our day out. We hope our bag has many more countries and adventures left to come!
Instagram : Travels of a Backpacker
Backpack for Traveling – Travel Breath Repeat
I’m Sarah and my favorite, most important, can’t-live-without travel item is my Fjällräven Kånken backpack. My Kånken, me, and my husband recently traveled to 27 countries over 13 months. I used the bag every day.
The Kånken is simple but functional. It has one small front pocket in which I keep things I want quick access to (eg, pens, lip balm, ibuprofen). It has one big main pocket and I realized early on that I hated my camera bag, so I just keep my (kinda big) camera in there. And it has two side pockets which are perfectly sized for the always essential water bottles. The bag is really light, but super sturdy. I’ve only had to repair a strap once and it’s held itself together since. I also treat it a little better after that one scare!
For a backpack, it’s kinda hip because it was designed in Sweden after all, so I don’t feel that weird bringing it with me out to dinner or drinks. I also think it’s quite comfortable, no matter how much I overpack it. The biggest packing tip I can offer long-term travelers is to find multi-purpose, comfortable items. My Kånken meets both criteria, and is cute to boot! And even though we’re no longer constantly traveling, I still find myself reaching for it when I leave the house.
More fun choices for your vacation backpack for traveling:
More of a dress casual backpack –
LOVE this purple – For the gal who likes unique bags! (I just ordered this one for myself.)Look at all these zippers! A place for everything!Backpack for Traveling – Life of Doing
My favorite day pack is the Osprey Tempest 20. Besides the beautiful teal color and women specific fit, it’s super light at 1.5 pounds. I love the options to attach a helmet and/or trekking poles to be hands-free.
The pack has been with me through the highs and lows of traveling from the past year. Some of the highlights include cycling through the picturesque Rottnest Island, Australia and exploring the vibrant streets of Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. One of the lowest points was spending 21 hours hiking on Mount Whitney, California in a day. Thank goodness the pack has a water bladder holder to hold 2-3 liters of water. The extra liquids helped reduce altitude sickness and fatigue.
My “must have” items in the pack are tissue for bathroom, sun hat, DIY snack mix of jelly beans and nuts, SPF lip balm, sunscreen, Tiger Balm ointment, light jacket, wallet, and cell phone. Tiger Balm is a lifesaver if I go to a humid places. Mosquitos love me. Tiger Balm reduces the itchiness of bites and is a natural insect repellent. Can’t beat the potent menthol smell! I look forward to bringing the day pack to more adventures.
–Jackie Szeto from Life Of Doing
— Social Media Link: Instagram
Backpack for Traveling – Two Wandering Soles
I’ve used a few different backpacks and like them for different reasons, but one pack I always bring with me is my collapsible daypack from New Outlander. It’s super lightweight and stuffs up small so I can bring it on all my travels (plus, it’s really affordable!). The great thing about having an “extra” pack is I don’t have to unpack my larger bag when I want to go on a day hike or explore a town. I just pull this one out and stuff it with all the essentials.
If I’m hiking, I usually pack headlamps (you never know!), extra layers, snacks like nuts and dried fruit, an insulated water bottle, a small first aid kit, my camera and my portable battery charger.
If I’ve planned a day of exploring a town, I usually bring a deck of cards, a bottle opener (comes in so handy!), a sarong, which works as an impromptu picnic blanket, my Kindle and my camera, of course.
I’ve had this backpack for 4 years now, and I’m still taking it on adventures all around the world!
Katie and Ben
Backpack for Traveling – Nomad By Trade
I never travel without my Travelon purse. It’s designed to prevent theft, and gives me some comfort even when smashed into crowded trains and walking through areas known for pickpockets. My favorite feature is the clips to keep zippers closed since this purse typically contains everything of value that I travel with – passport, money, phone, camera, etc. Each of the three outside zippers has a little clip that can be looped through the hole at the end of the zipper pull to prevent anyone from slipping it open. They’re secure enough to give me trouble sometimes when I’m opening them myself, so I feel pretty confident walking through crowds. The bag is also made of slashproof fabric and the strap has a carabiner-like clip that can be used to loop around a table leg for when you’re dining or even a belt to provide additional security.
I’ve logged a lot of miles with this little bag and even though it’s fairly small, I can fit quite a bit into it. In addition to the items already mentioned, I usually have basics like a pen and small notebook – useful for jotting down the names of places I eat or questions I want to Google later, chapstick, brochures for my scrapbook, a pocket umbrella, and, most important of all, a water bottle. I’ve even tucked a windbreaker into it before as I almost never return to my hotel until after dinner and have to carry everything with me. I was a little skeptical when I got this purse as a gift, but now it’s the first thing I pack when I head out on a new adventure.
Backpack for Traveling – LooknWalk
I am a carry-on only light packer therefor my daypack had to be small, too. I found this Quechua backpack for little under USD 4 at a Decathlon store. It only has one small external pocket and a big internal one but it suffices for my needs.
I’ve learned the hard way that I need an antihistaminic with me all the time (Aerius), as well as the anti-inflammatory (Ibuprofen), and the all beloved Imodium. I have a cute tiny pink box for them (and of course, I never carry an entire pack of each). Tissues and wet wipes are always in my daypack even at home. I used to carry anti-bacterial hand gel but nowadays I just take it when we go hiking.
For a day of exploring the city, I may not even bring my water bottle since I like to stop at cafes. But when we go hiking, the water bottle is always in my daypack.
Unfortunately, I never carry pens and I’ve been in ridiculous situations. At least I have business cards now in my wallet.
Since I’m a vegan and it’s often hard to find food easily (and Happy Cow app is not always that helpful), I usually carry some fail-proof snacks with me (nuts and Oreos).
Backpack for Traveling – Adventure Dragon
My dad bought me and my boyfriend an adorable backpack that contains an entire picnic set inside, and now it’s my favorite bag of all time. Inside the main compartment, several straps perfectly hold small plates, napkins, utensils, wine glasses, a table cloth, and even a mini cutting board (all of which came with the bag). There’s also a side sleeve for carrying a bottle of wine and several other large compartments for storing things like clothes or a laptop. We also carry a small plushie with us wherever we travel, so he rides along inside the bag as well. Dragon (he insists upon that name) is a small cat-hating kitten who thinks he’s a dragon. He’s also the mascot of my blog and the biggest traveler out of all of us. Since illness keeps me from leaving the country, he flies around the world instead and goes on amazing adventures with other friends and bloggers. It’s a perfect way for me to live out my travel dreams, and I hope the little monster can one day encourage other people the way that he inspires me.
Are you headed to Disney? Pack your daypack for the BEST day!
Do you have a favorite purse or daypack or backpack? Share your stories with us!
Natalie, The Educational Tourist