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{ 28 comments… read them below or add one }

Andrew Meyers July 1, 2009 at 1:35 pm

This is such an amazing resource. While I probably won’t be traveling to Europe until later next year, definitely something I enjoyed reading and it will help to be prepared well in advanced. Great work and I’ll be checking up on it frequently!

Kathy Levin December 2, 2009 at 2:33 pm

Hi, Alex

This is a fabulous traveller’s website! Enjoyed your packing video for Madrid. You’ve convinced me to buy that towel, one I wished I had on our recent trip to Supai. The link to Amazon is really helpful.

We used for our eastern European trip. In Prague, our accomodations were left over from the cold war, whereas in Budapest, we had a large apartment overlooking the Danube with a gourmand’s bakery and restaurant on the first floor. Don’t let anyone tell you that “60-somethings” can’t do hostels!

Laura January 10, 2010 at 5:50 pm

The Ultimate Packing List is a wonderful resource, relevant not only to backpackers but to anyone headed overseas. Well done! posted a review on the site, which you can read here:

We’ll also be adding you to our soon to be released Sites We Read list.

Thanks for all the great insight!

Curt Ensign January 23, 2010 at 3:43 am

I’ll give you a pat on the back just for the utter energy in this post.

Taylor January 30, 2010 at 5:13 pm

I’m a college student studying abroad in London, England and planning on traveling a good amount – this was so helpful! I’m bookmarking it to reference as I pack… thanks!

Perri Collins March 9, 2010 at 4:57 pm

Wow…traveler’s cards. I never thought of that. I like it.

Rob May 7, 2010 at 11:05 am

Good reference but, I would disagree on the backpack, I travelled all over asia and had a bag with wheels and a backpack hardness built in.

I never used the harness once, you spend far more of your time walking into and out trains, planes and hostels than you do carrying all your posessions over a mountain range.

Rich June 20, 2010 at 12:21 pm

Nice talk at Ignite PHX. I like the packing list but could you provide a pure checklist form that people can print and reuse from trip to trip. I know I have one that has been honed over 30 yrs (of course things like lead shield film bags are obsolete these days). I just skip over items not germane to the current sojourn (climate, time of yr. etc being factors). I’m trying to help my son start his version of said list and just thought how nice it would be to start with an overpopulated list and check only the items of interest (option to fill in qty like 3 T-shirts). Then from the checked list print a subset. Best is to be able to save the checked list and refine it from trip to trip.

Happy Wayfaring.


AlexBerger June 21, 2010 at 11:20 am

Thanks Rich, I know there are a few out there – but i’ll add an actual check list, possibly in excel format for people to use. My chief resistance so far has been the climate question, but I imagine a seasonal color code scheme might work out decently. Good suggestion, thanks for reading!

Dan August 5, 2010 at 8:50 pm

Great list. I just finished a trip using more or less the same stuff, although I did bring more shirts – 6 or 7. It served me really well and didn’t weigh me down.

One thing you might want to point out is that you’re basically packing for the best situation instead of the worst. You may occasionally need to pick up something along the way. It was much colder than expected on my trip, for instance, so I picked up a cheap pair of jeans (I just had one pair of short and one pair of jeans to start). Still better than lugging them around for the whole trip.

AlexBerger August 5, 2010 at 10:07 pm

Excellent tip Dan! Thanks for reading. I hope the trip was a fantastic one!

Yucca September 12, 2010 at 7:13 am

What a great list. I am always on the look for top lists, and your list is great starting point. Lists are very awesome.

Well, this is my first visit to your blog! But I admire the precious time and effort you put into it, especially into interesting entry you share here!

Kimberly September 27, 2010 at 9:30 am

This is a wonderful resource and it really helped me out on my first international trip without my parents. Your tips are extremely useful and practical! I also want to thank you because I had no idea about the Schengen Agreement and I found out about that on here a week before my trip. So thank you!! This site is easy to navigate, easy to understand and the videos are great. Well done!

Boz November 19, 2010 at 4:55 pm

Great list – even though I’m 60 and have travelled a fair bit in my time, I learnt some new stuff!

A couple more hints especially if you have never travelled before:
Always carry a spare pair of knickers in your day pack and carry-on luggage. You never know when you might need them and when your luggage goes missing after a 12 hr flight, clean knickers make a HUGE difference!
Carry a small travel pack of antiseptic wipes – great for loo seats (if they aren’t ‘stand-up’ loos) and for keeping hands clean where there’s no water. Also use them to turn door handles in dicey places. After 40 yrs of traveling I have only had ‘Delhi Belly’ twice because I am aware and careful.

Internet banking is dangerous in internet cafes – password or account numbers can be keylogged. Before you leave home, send yourself a couple of emails to an account such as gmail. In one, put you password (embedded in a few more letters) eg if your password is ‘love’ (aren’t you a fool! lol) you might type 123eflovergn. Do the same with your bank account number – in a separate email. Then if you need internet banking in an emergency, open the emails and cut and paste the relevant parts – no keylogging!

Don’t be scared off by other people’s tales of woe, but do take note of them. Many years ago when I was going to Istanbul, I heard so many negative stories, I could have been put off. We had a ball, but thanks to warnings we were aware when we were about to be conned in the Grand Bazaar.

Take a blow up neck pillow. You might look like a dork if you use it on a plane (I dont mind looking like a dork, because I sleep really well on a plane.) If you get caught somewhere like a railway station or an airport where you might have to spend an unexpected night you can get a decent rest.

Don’t put your dayack/handbag on the floor or over a chair in bars and restaurants. In the beer hall in Munich, a guy was crawling around on the floor helping himself to bags.

If you are at all worried about where you are sleeping, sleep with your passport – we always tossed our into our sleeping bags so even if we forgot we had them with us. I have heard of sleeping bags being slashed if you do that but suspect that’s an urban myth – just don’t let anyone see you doing it.

If you are travelling alone, make sure someone knows where you are going if you go out for the day – even an email to home if necessary (be sure to check back in when you are safely back!!) I have travelled alone a lot and have had a couple of scary experiences but it can be a great way to travel – you don’t have to hang around and wait to meet people.

If the showers are clean, wash your ‘smalls’ as you shower – buy a stretchy twisted travel clothesline and you don’t need pegs and don’t need to pay for a drier.

If you have prescription medicines ask your Doctor for a copy of a prescription even if you have taken enough with you. Also ask for a letter outlining your medical condition – you may need it going through customs and also if the worst happens and you end up needing medical care.
BUY A MEDICAL INSURANCE! It can add a huge amount to the costs of your trip but anyone who travels without an insurance is CRAZY! My Dad got an infected cut on his foot in Hawaii and it cost him $US300 for a simple Drs visit.
Take anti – diarrhea and anti constipation pills ( and know which is which lol) Strange foods can do unexpected this to your insides.

Boz November 19, 2010 at 4:57 pm

Oops – forgot to spellcheck – blame it on old age! lol

AC November 21, 2010 at 9:21 pm

What about toiletries? Do you carry anything with you of that sort from toothpaste to soap?

AlexBerger November 22, 2010 at 4:22 pm

I’ll usually take my toothbrush, small nail clippers, razors and deodorant with me. Then pick up toothpaste, soap and shaving cream once I’ve arrived at my destination. Current TSA search regulations are so haphazard and obnoxious, I got fed up of having things randomly confiscated. I hear wetnaps are fantastic and they will be something I’ll be adding to the list for my upcoming trip. Especially as I’ll be taking several extended 17+ hour bus rides.

Keisha December 14, 2010 at 10:24 am

Amazing resource. Europe is a great place to travel and also a great place to live. Thank you!

AlexBerger December 14, 2010 at 3:27 pm

Thanks for using the site and your kind words! Please share it with your friends!

Vanessa February 23, 2011 at 1:14 pm

Yep, a list like this is always useful to have in your favorites and visit before you go on a trip, i have nothing to add, very complete

AlexBerger February 23, 2011 at 2:45 pm

Appreciate it and glad to hear that it was useful!

Doreen Pendgracs November 15, 2011 at 3:17 pm

Excellent list, as well as tips from the readers.

One thing I’d like to clarify is that Canada also uses chip credit cards, so if you’re travelling in Canada, be prepared to have to use your PIN to use your credit card (assuming your card has the PIN feature.)

Happy travels.

Stefanie November 27, 2011 at 8:32 pm

Hello! I’m planning a backpacking trip for two weeks with my cousin to go visit some areas in Poland where our family is from. I’ve never been backpacking before and this site is fantastic advice for us (we both want to pack as light as possible). How many liters or cubic inches was the pack that you used? Thanks so much!

AlexBerger November 28, 2011 at 2:21 pm

That sounds like a fantastic trip! Enjoy! Make sure you check out travel resource list as well to help track down travel resources. Also, if you’ve got more questions as you go ask them via twitter of @AlexBerger. Here’s a direct link to the bag. They don’t give a L description for it, but claim it’s 3,096 CU IN.

LaShawnaNicole January 13, 2012 at 1:35 am

Great blog. While traveling overseas, I always take the exact size bag alloted on the air craft, but I do not pack very much. I do this because I may shop and would have space for the new items that now belong to me. Having your own bag really helps if your a last minute packer like me…trying to catch that flight back to the states and not having enough room in my suitcases so I have heavy carry on’s lol.

sophia April 2, 2014 at 9:31 am

Nice travel tips for travelers..

Marry Smith April 19, 2014 at 12:33 am

Very nice blog. Thanks for about general travel advice and guide. Way of packing is a Wonderful resource. Really Europe is a great and unique place to travel.

Pete - Long Term Travel May 4, 2014 at 10:58 pm

Great comprehensive list mate, I especially like the Hotel list you’ve done and one really important point is Lockout! Some Hostels to still lock the doors at certain times of the night and there’s nothing worse than stumbling home at 3:00 then finding out that you need to spend the next 3 hours in a carpark instead of your bed! I actually wrote up a list of hostel tips and hints for the first time hostel goers for my blog that your readers might benefit from I think, check it out here: hopefully it helps someone out there to have a painless hostel experience.

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