Its nice to be prepared, and you may think you backpack is a manageable weight, but wait until you have to start lugging it miles at a time, it’ll quickly feel heavier and you’ll quickly want to discard unnecessary items.  With that in mind here is my top 5 list of things you DONT need to pack.

  1. Sleeping bag

    – Hostels will cater for all your linen needs, a sleeping bag is a waste of space and heavy to carry.  I once took a sleeping bag liner, but even that ended up getting ditched. 

  2. Formal shoes

    – Chances are, if you’re backpacking you won’t be going to any 5* star restaurants or parties so leave the heavy shoes at home.  If you need them because you’re aiming to get a job that requires them that’s a little different.  But on a general note I’d say leave them at home.

  3. A travel iron

    – See above.  You won’t need this and more and more hostels are starting to offer iron services.

  4. Laptop/Ipad

    – If you are only taking a laptop so you can watch movies and update your facebook simply don’t bother.  Hostels can usually cater for both of those, and what if your laptop gets broken or stolen?  Also think about the how you’re going to have to carry it everywhere, they aren’t light!  The only people that really need to take their laptops are writers or students.

  5. Hair straigteners

    – Behave!


  1. Contact lenses

    – I would advise that if you have problems with your vision, take a pair of glasses rather than a million contact lenses, or all the cleaning fluid stuff for a single pair.  People I met were forever forgetting to take them out at night, or losing them, or losing their cleaning products.  Glasses seem the simplest solution, although i dont wear contacts so maybe its easier said than done.

  2. Jewellery

    – Makes you an easy target for thieves.  There’ll be plenty of opportunities to buy some nice new (not so expensive) jewellery on your travels.  Leave the expensive, sentimental pieces at home where they are safe.

  3. Telescopic camera lenses

    – Unless you’re a pro photography just stick with the standard zoom on your camera.