Thursday 13 January 2011


I asked an experienced backpacker friend to give me some tips, which I will now share.

•Take a sink plug. Some hostels don't have one

•Take a padlock because in some hostels daysacs are stored in lockers in the hall

•Take a small LED head torch (recommended by the Oz-Bus too) - invaluable for reading in bed or navigating in a dark room so that you don't disturbe the population

•Roll clothes up for packing. It uses less room

•Don't take a dressing gown. She assured me that no-one wears one. They are bulky to carry and totally unnecessary. This makes me feel very uncomfortable and goes against a lifetime of "covering up" in front of strangers!

•Sleep with passport and money tucked into the pillow

Any more tips from the travelling fraternity would be appreciated.

My next challenge is to arrange the best 'phone/data package for good, cheap coverage in the areas we pass through. My BlackBerry has been set up to receive, repond and delete private/business emails and has the facility to blog and tweet in realtime, which is fun. I find this facility invaluable but I don't want to break the bank. Does anyone agree with me when I say that talking to "communication" companies is one of the most stressful things to do. It must be right up there alongside moving house

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DogLover said...

Sink plugs. You can get one that fits different sizes of holes - see:

When I go away I always take some wooden tooth picks! Also some clip-on shades to put on to normal glasses to keep the glare out, but you may not need glasses you're so young! oh, and nail clippers! You probably have a calculator in your iPod. If you want a watch, take a cheap quartz one - they're super accurate nowadays and can be lost! You have probably already thought of all this! said...

Thanks for that info. I have reactalight specs, but the nail clippers are a good idea. I certainly won't be wearing my Rolex, in fact I don't think I'll wear any jewellery in Eastern Europe and I don't think I'll even buy a chep watch because I can view the time on my 'phone. said...

cheap watch even

Sueann said...

Sounds like a very practical list of things to know and do!! I would be a nervous wreck by now. Planning always drives me what will I forget...what else do I need...have I remembered everything??? And on and on!!!!
I am sure you have thought of a little first aid kit and a little sewing kit equipped with safety pins?
That's all I can think of right now.

Maggie May said...

Body belt for money.
A few medicines for D&S, Headache pills & heartburn etc
Wet wipes.
Maggie X

Nuts in May

jay said...

Oh yes. Communications companies are such a pain to deal with!! I totally agree.

The head torch is a great idea - I'd go a step further and see if you can find a wind-up one. We bought a handful of tiny (but powerful) wind-up LED torches from Maplins at Christmas as stocking fillers. They're so small they'll fit on a keyring and yet the light is a lot better than a penlight battery torch!

Oh, and my son had a wallet stolen at a music festival. He learned that the best thing to do with valuables is put them right down inside his sleeping bag.

You might want to keep a list of important contact numbers both in your phone (under ICE - In Case Of Emergency - or 'Home') and in a waterproof (ziplock?) bag in your rucksack. And, of course, any medical info and a list of drugs you're on. In fact, if you have any ongoing medical conditions and regular prescriptions pick up a 'Medic alert' type necklace or bracelet.