Backpacking tips and tricks

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This summer I went on my first backpacking holiday, and spent two weeks backpacking around Italy. Before I went I read up on everything and thought I was really prepared, but not as much as I probably should have been. So here are my tips and tricks having learnt from my experience.

Packing Cubes

These were my packing essentials. It meant that I could organize my clothes and pack them up again with relative ease, rather than having to rifle through everything i own to get to a pair of socks. I bought mine from amazon, and it was about £7.30 for three different sizes. They honestly made my time away so much easier, and quicker  to pack up again when we moved on to our next destination. Additionally, as they are soft they are malleable and useful when trying to pack other more awkward items.

Roll, don’t fold

This advice I picked up from reading around before I went away. By rolling your clothes rather than folding them, it means that they stay relatively crease free, which is a harder to achieve than you may think.

Fill spaces

After having filled my backpack with my packing cubes and toiletries, I then filled the rest of the space with my other miscellaneous items e.g. hairbrush, camera etc. This meant that I wasn’t wasting space and could slide my shoes into random places, making more room.

Heavy items at the bottom.

I packed my backpack so that my toiletries were at the bottom, and then my clothes were packed on top. This made my bag so much easier to carry as I wasn’t top heavy.

Carrier bags/Bin Bags

What do you do with your dirty laundry after you’ve worn it? I personally didn’t want to put my dirty socks back in with my clean ones, so my taking a carrier bag I could see clearly what was clean and what was dirty. As i only went for two weeks I didn’t need to take any travel wash, although if you’re going on a longer trip you may want to consider this.

Be picky (ruthless)

Before I went on my trip I didn’t really think about the fact that i was going to have to carry all of that weight on my back, from train stations to hostels etc. I like having a choice of  clothes to pick from, and so took quite a lot. I also like having my essential toiletries, and so although I did take some travel size ones, I also took an excessive amount of makeup. In hindsight, this was a massive mistake as I barely used any of it, and in the end I was carrying 16kg on my back (i’m 5″2…). Although I did manage, there was a lot of excessive sweating and huffing and puffing on my part. Therefore, my advice would be to pick only the essentials. You don’t really need 5 pairs of shoes, and 10 bikinis for two weeks. However hard it may be to decide which outfit you prefer, you will thank your future self when you aren’t carrying the weight of a small elephant on your back in blistering sunshine.


So there we have it! These are my tips for packing your back pack for a short(ish) trip. Do you agree? Are there other tips and tricks you recommend?

Let me know!




6 thoughts on “Backpacking tips and tricks

  1. Great post with fantastic tips! I’ve been recently hearing so many good things about packing cubes. I really think I need to invest in a set. I’m also going to try the toiletries at the bottom trick – I never considered doing that and I hope it makes a difference (I’m also 5″2 and like to overpack).

  2. take it from me as somebody that’s been backpacking around the world for the last 5 and half years – the more trips you go on the less you will take with you – that backpack becomes your life but gradually you will just know what to take and what not to so it’s light enough on your back when you do have to carry it around 😀 – good read by the way I enjoyed it 😀

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