Today’s blog comes from Hannah Umlandt, a Travel Expert in our Goodge Street, London store. She’s an adventure-seeker and packing extraordinaire!

OK, so you’ve booked it! You had a moment of madness genius and booked your flights. Your beach bod is on point, but there is still one thing on your mind…

How on earth do I pack my life into a backpack?

We often find ourselves packing a bag full of things we ‘definitely cannot live without’ and then discovering them unused at the bottom of the bag, two months later. So to make things a little easier, here’s our pick of five essentials that you will need in your backpack:


If like us, when your phone dies a little part of you dies with it, then a portable phone charger is an absolute must. They’re pretty cheap and usually come with universal connectors – so not only do you have a phone that’s full of juice (as well as playlists and photos to flick through) you are also the most popular person on the overnight train if you choose to lend it out.


Overnight buses are about to become your best friend. They are great for you and your bank balance but we’ve lost count of the amount of times that they’ve turned off the heating and cranked up the air con when the lights go off. If your backpack can’t fit in a little blanket or sleeping bag, then a hoody will do fine. Even in the warmest of countries there is nothing worse than a night bus blasting the air con for fifteen hours. You can easily tie your hoody to the outside of your bag!


If you’re going to a tiny island in French Polynesia, chances are you’ve thought about what currency you need. Maybe you’ve even ordered it in advance. Well done you. However, if you’ve decided to road trip in the UK you wouldn’t be blamed for thinking that your credit card would do you fine, and maybe sometimes it would.

However, often banks will see transactions from abroad and do you a favor by putting a block on the card until you call them to verify it. Cue you being stuck at a gas station at midnight with no way of paying and no banks open to call. Invest in a prepaid cash card and load it up whenever it runs low, they’re built for travel and they’re never going to leave you high and dry!


We love string and its many uses! Here’s a couple we’ve come up with so far; a makeshift belt, tying your boots to your backpack, tying your camera to your wrist while you sleep on the train, a washing line and so many more! Just chuck it in, everybody will be asking to borrow – so it’s also an ice-breaker!


If you have some nice flip flops that you just love by all means pop them in- but take a trip to Walmart and get yourself a pair of cheap ones too. You’re going to live in them, they’re going to get dirty and the entrance to most hostels is a mountain of flip flops, so you’ll probably lose several pairs. Save those Havaianas for a special occasion!

So that’s our top 5 backpack essentials, what are yours? Leave a comment below if there’s anymore you think we should add!

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