Even if your efforts to pack light, you still need a few things here and there when you backpack.
This post is meant for ultra-budget backpackers. I’m talking the people who can afford a plane ticket but have to volunteer at hostels and pinch pennies when they go somewhere else.
You have a bunch of little things you need to carry with you at all times and it seems like rich people lists only talk about their yoga pants and Samsonite luggage. I get you though.
Just keep in mind that these little things will add up:
- Toothbrushes. Don’t be disgusting and use the same one for a year.
- Floss. See above.
- New underwear. Even if you handwash the entire way, they’ll stretch out and get ugly. You may also lose a pair or two.
- Socks. You will certainly lose a lot of these. You’ll also get tired of using mismatching sets when that’s all you have left (I speak from experience).
- Deodorant. I usually make my own but I recently broke the small glass jar I used to mix it together so I had to splurge and buy men’s deodorant in Uyuni because apparently, women’s deodorant isn’t a thing…
- DivaCup or other menstruation needs. Frankly, I use a menstrual cup to save cash but I get that not everyone is comfortable with this so if you use pads or tampons, you’ll have to remember to take this into account as you create a budget.
- Broken or forgotten chargers, adapters, and other random wires for your tech needs. Stuff breaks. Enough said.
- WATER. I dislike buying plastic bottles and not every country sells water bottles with a filter in them. If you can’t find this, don’t just take the chance and drink water out of the tap. I stayed in a part of Chile near mining areas, and water in such areas is full of chemicals you don’t want in your body. It’s going to suck, but you’ll have to pay. Oh, I was also in Arica, Chile when flooding polluted water and there were boil water warnings due to threats of water mixed with fecal matter. Sucks! So remember you’ll have to pay.
- Combs and hair supplies. This really depends on you and your hair type. It’s easy to lose stuff, so you’re going to have to spend cash on that.
- Baggage fees. If you travel by bus, you usually won’t have to pay for these. Most backpackers tend to travel with 10-15kg, and this is usually within allowable limits. Traveling by plane means you need to be aware of flight policies.
- Unforeseen circumstances. Even if you have travel insurance, you may decide to splurge, or you may not have check what your currency is worth in local currency. It happens! You may also need to book a flight or bus ticket because of an emergency, or because you suddenly realize your visa expires in 12 hours. Plan for unforeseen circumstances. Things won’t go right all the time.
- Toilet paper or Kleenex. We take toilet paper for granted in the U.S., and it’s not always included everywhere. Just buy some!
Did I forget anything? What are your suggestions?
P.S. The featured photo is mine. You can check out more on my Instagram.