Planning an international backpacking trip is an exciting way to explore the world. It requires thoughtful planning, however, to make sure you have all the items you need for your journey. Knowing what to pack and what to leave behind will ensure you have a smooth trip. Here are some helpful tips to make packing for an international backpacking trip as stress-free as possible.

Planning Ahead

Research Your Destination

Researching your destination prior to your trip is the best way to prepare for your travel. You’ll learn information such as the local customs and climate, what type of power outlets are used and the types of clothing acceptable in the area. This knowledge can help you determine what items to bring in order to stay comfortable and remain respectful.

Make a Detailed List

Making a detailed list is also essential for successful packing. Include everything from essential items such as toiletries and medication to everyday items like a phone charger and ID. You can also make a mental note of items you will need to purchase prior to your trip, like currency and travel documents.

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Pack Light

Pack as light as possible to avoid placing strain on your back and shoulders as you navigate your journey. Choose versatile items that can be layered accordingly for any climate fluctuations. Pack multi-functional items like a sarong that can become a beach blanket, towel, wrap, or even scarf.

Packing Your Bag

Choose the Right Bag

Be sure to select a bag that offers plenty of storage space and an adjustable hip belt to reduce weight strain from your body. There are plenty of options in various sizes to choose from depending on your journey length and number of items you need to bring.

Layer Your Clothes

Save space and keep your clothes organized in sections by layering. Start with the lighter items such as tanks and t-shirts, then add pants or shorts and proceed with the heavier items such as sweaters or jackets. You should also pack your shoes at the bottom to avoid occupying too much space.

Be Resourceful

Another great way to conserve space is to look for items that have dual uses, such as a swimsuit that can also double as workout wear, or a scarf that can provide warmth during a chilly evening and can be used during the summertime as a wrap.


Packing for an international backpacking trip can be challenging especially if it’s your first time. By following these steps, coupled with careful planning and research, you can make sure you have everything you need for a smooth journey. Be sure to leave plenty of room for items you want to purchase as souvenirs, and don’t forget to include items that will bring comfort and a little bit of home on your travels.

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People Also Ask

Q: What essentials should I pack for a backpacking trip?

A: Essentials to pack for a backpacking trip include a set of clothes, thick sweater and jacket, rain gear, comfortable shoes, toiletries, passport and documents, power adapter, sunscreen and a flashlight.

Q: Should I bring a backpack or suitcase for an international backpacking trip?

A: For an international backpacking trip, it is suggested to bring a backpack as it provides more practicality, convenience, and better body support than a suitcase.

Q: What should I wear on a backpacking trip?

A: Wear layers that can be easily adjusted to any climate. Opt for items that are light, comfortable and versatile such as breathable shirts and shorts, leggings, tank tops, and a good pair of shoes.

Q: How much should I pack for a backpacking trip?

A: It is best to pack light for a backpacking trip as you will be carrying your bag with you throughout your journey. Pack only what is necessary and leave extra room for souvenirs you may buy along the way.

Q: What items are important to bring on a backpacking trip?

A: Important items to bring on a backpacking trip include toiletries, passport and travel documents, medication, power adapter, flashlight, sunscreen, comfortable shoes, layers of clothing, rain gear and a sleeping bag or bedding.