It’s almost time– I leave for Europe tomorrow so I only have one last prep-based blog to share: the non-clothing backpacking essentials. My last couple blogs went over the tools I used to plan the trip, and the clothes that I’m planning on bringing for my 10-week trip in a carry-on backpack…now I’m going to talk about all the odds and ends that I’ve found essential when staying in a hostel or long-term travel. A lot of these things aren’t what you’d normally pack for vacation and tend to be forgotten, so take note backpackers!
While I am a serial under-packer and my family is notorious for two-week travels across the globe with one carry-on per person, I’ve never done a real backpacking trip. My challenge: 10 weeks, 16 countries, 2 seasons, and one 55L backpack. Now it sounded doable at first, until I realized packing for Iceland in March is very different from Greece in May. After packing and unpacking multiple times (and cutting a few beloved favorites) I have come to one very packed 55L backpack, and all of essentials for the next ten weeks.
T-minus seven weeks until I’m graduated and thrown into the world of adulthood. Seven weeks until I’m financially independent, living on my own, and can no longer use the word “student” as an excuse for things. Like most other angsty millennials, I’m going to embark on a grad trip to celebrate the success of completing my university education (blah, blah, blah).
Now this trip is going to be nothing less than a chaotic three months of traveling Europe (and a brief stint in Northern Africa) with a combination of my friends that I met studying abroad in Australia. Three months sounds like a long time, but don’t worry, the practical side in me ensured that I would have a job lined up when I returned, even if that meant two quarters of absolute hell in order to graduate early to make that happen. Impulsive, but logical (story of my life).
Planning three months of travel is not easy, especially when those plans consist of 16 different countries, and a combination of traveling solo to traveling with 6 friends, and absolutely every combination in between (including a detour with the parents). I’m talking messy combinations of plane tickets, hostel reservations, airbnbs, train passes, rental cars, and every other word that triggers those who hate to travel. Luckily, in the last few months of “planning”, I’ve identified several tools to make the whole thing go down easier…
If I had to name one week of my life as the most exciting (also most dirty and tiring), it would be my “spring break” trip in Australia. We had a week off of school at the University of Sydney, and we were sure as hell going to make the most of it. Our plan? Fly all the way up the Eastern coast to Cairns–famous for the Great Barrier Reef–and make our way back down to Sydney (if this is your only time in Australia, I’d recommend continuing the trip to Melbourne).
I just returned from my Spring Break family vacation to Costa Rica, and had an amazing time. We stayed in the Nayara resort located in La Fortuna, and had a week packed full of rainforest adventures. On the first full day of the trip, we went spelunking (otherwise known as caving) in the Venado Caves.