Some of us love packing our backpacks in anticipation of the next adventure. Others dread the task completely and we’ve all been there with the “I’ve no clue what to pack” dilemma. After living out of a backpack for many many years, I can confidently say I have somewhat mastered the art of packing a backpack for all seasons. I also refuse to leave home without some key items to help me feel like a stylish backpacker on my travels.
Below is a list of ten simple items you should add to your pack that will not only look great in photos but help you successfully elevate your everyday backpacker look. No more beer logo t-shirts and harem pants ladies — and thank goodness for that!
The perfect instant style accessory while travelling is a hat, helping to keep the sun off your head in summer and masking the bitter cold in winter. I’ve been obsessed with the baker boy hat style for a while now as it looks great rain, hail or shine! If you feel the Baker Boy hat is too train driver like for you, why not take a nice fedora or simple peak cap with you. Also, you’re probably wondering how the hell you’re going to pack your hat into a backpack, well check out this clever accessory I recently found. No more squished hat on arrival. Phew!
I’ve long been a kimono lover. I absolutely hate my arms and that’s one of the main reasons I started buying kimonos for my travels from day one. They are an amazing light and cool item to cover up on a sunny day and they add an interesting look to any plain outfit. Style your kimono over shorts, jeans or even dresses and instantly give your wardrobe a lift.
3: One-piece swimsuit
While some of you may feel the one-piece is a little grannyish, I beg to differ. A one-piece always catches my eye on the beach, as does a uniquely designed/cut two piece. What I like most about the one-piece is that it’s a great cover-up option for those days when you’re feeling bloated or simply consumed too much dominos the night before; because we’re not always in the mood for getting the full bod out okay. A One-piece also works for the evening time when teamed with a nice pair of shorts or a skirt and who doesn’t love packing an item for your travels that is classically versatile. Missguided is my go-to for swimwear styles.
You would be surprised how some simple costume jewellery can transition an outfit from boring to interesting and that goes for scarves, especially a vibrant silky one you can either tie around a bag or get creative and wear as a headscarf. Also perfect for those bad hair days where humidity plays havoc with your tresses. Headbands are all the go recently, so why not channel your inner Blair Warldof while on the road.
OK, so it seems like every second girl on Instagram has got her hands on the famous rattan Bali bag and all for good reason. It’s the bloody cutest! I bought mine on eBay, however almost all of the high-street stores have them in stock and of course, if you’re venturing to Bali, pick up the real deal for yourself at many of the local markets. While I’ll admit that it’s probably not the most practical bag for travelling, it will hold your phone and purse while out and about and isn’t that all you need really.
6: Big Sunglasses
Ever seen photos of celebrities rocking into an airport with their sunnies on? Yep and if it’s good enough for those guys then it’s good enough for you. I’m all about the cover half your face, Victoria Beckham kinda of sunnies. The bigger the better is my sunglasses motto. I’m aware the small frame glasses are currently trending, although I feel big sunnies are similar to a good leather jacket — never going of fashion. EVER. I always opt for black-rimmed glasses, however shop around and find some options to help you funk up your outfits.
7: Gladiator Sandals
I’m ashamed to say I’m living in Australia for the second time round and still not the owner of a pair of flip-flops, or should I say thongs. However, every time I try on a pair, I feel incredibly underdressed even as a proud backpacker. Sandals on the other hand look super cute with dresses, playsuits and shorts and can easily take your look from day to night. No need to go back to your hostel and get changed. I’ve had my trusty black wrap up gladiator style for YEARS and my brown pair for quite some time too. This style I have found work best with most looks I wear while travelling.
8: One fancy-ish dress
When I say fancy, I mean something that works both dressed down during the day and can look equally as chic when you throw on a pair of heels with it at night. Yes, some backpackers carry heels, I’ll throw my hands gracefully up to that one! Often adding a belt, nice evening jewellery or a dainty clutch can see your day dress through to evening time. I find wrap dresses are great as they are easy to wear and look super stylish. My wrap dress below is from Pennys Hun 😉
I’ll admit that playsuits (rompers) aren’t ideally the best choice when you’re on a bus journey through Asia and find yourself trying to master the squat toilet. However, they do look the part! What I love about playsuits is the simplicity, you just throw it on and your outfit is complete! No need to stress over matching items when you have a playsuit to jump into.
10: Two-piece outfits
Whats better than one gorgeous item? Two gorgeous items, of course! Two-pieces or better known as coords are simply adorable and the best part is that you can also mix and match these items separately if you wish. While I appreciate no backpacker is going to pack a blazer and trousers combo for backpacking like what I’m sporting below, if you try a shorts and top combo, it’s guaranteed you will.
Any other items that you take to make you feel stylish while backpacking?
If so, share them in the comments below.