First of all, don't make your backpack too heavy. Your body will feel every kilo.
Here is a list of usufull things from my solo 5-month travel in Southeast Asia:
It will serve you for a long time, so don't be miser. Conspider choosing one the size of carry-on luggage. Maybe it will be interesting to become a minimalist for a few months?
In addition to the large backpack that you will leave in hostels, homestays and throw into the trunks of buses or cars of random drivers, be sure to bring a small backpack with the most necessary items such as a jumpert (very strong air conditioning in the tropics can thwart your further travel plans), water and all valuable items. In addition, I recommend a hip sack (hidden under clothes or on top) - for documents, money and phone.
I recommend traveling with a smartphone that takes good quality photos. In Asia, I didn't have a camera or laptop with me -the phone was enough. Before leaving, check which plugins are used in the country you are going to and if necessary buy a travel adapter.
A few pieces of string several meters long were a godsend while traveling. I often hung washed clothes and underwear on them. After a night under a fan almost everything was dry. Strings also allow you to tie a mosquito net or loose shorts after losing a few kilos 😉.
In many Asian countries, cleanliness is not at the same level as in Europe. If you want to sleep without worrying who else slept in your bedding before, buy a travel sheet. Preferably light, quick drying and if you want soaked in bed bug repelant 😉.
Of course you have to take it with you. The bests are light and quick-drying. I could highly recommend Tramp Light Fjord Nansen towel. When I accidentally left it in a hostel in Spain on the Camino del Norte route, I missed it for a long time after... It dries very quickly, but even when it's wet, you could squeeze it well, and still dry yoursel with it. This is probably my favorite travel gadget..
Must have! The head torch is useful not only for climbing volcanoes in the darkness or going out to the toilet at night in a jungle, but also to read in dimly lit hostels.
Traveling has never been easier. If you don't know the language of the country you are going to, don't worry. With the help of Traveller's Picture Phrase Book I could talk to older Thai lady on the train for hours (without using common language) or residents of a tiny Muslim village in the middle of the jungle in Indonesia during the first day of Ramadan.
Remember that you will be for a long time far from home and you won't always find the Internet. Diary could become your friend and confidant. In addition, it is a great suvenir.
If you're traveling to tropical destination, take 4 T-shirts with you, one sweatshirt (the worst is icy air condition on buses), 2-3 pairs of shorts, 1 pair of long pants/leggings, comfortable shoes (for example KEEN trekking sandals), underwear - best fast-drying, for girls 2 bras - you should be able to sleep in them comfortably during a night bus trip. If you travel to Southeast Asia or India, the rest (including pareo) you could buy cheaper on the spot. In addition, locally produced clothes are better suited to the climate.
A very useful gadget when you have just a few clothes and you want to wash them yourself while traveling. Remember that in other countries, drains may have many different sizes. Another option is to take a waterproof bag and wash in it. Treat it as a temporary basin.
It will be useful when you buy fruit at the market.
It is definitely lighter than paper books. An there is nothing more pleasant than lounging in a hammock and reading interesting book 😉.
Take insect repellent with DEET with you if you're heading to some tropical destination. In some countries, e.g. in Malaysia, you won't be able to buy such products because of the law restictions.
The mosquito net can be bought on site. In Thailand, I bought one for about 5 euro at the pharmacy (of course it was definitely bigger than the one from the store for travelers). The mosquito net should have the shape of a box (in the triangular ones mosquitos still could bite your legs at night 😉
If you still have room in your backpack, take a light hammock with you (in many countries you can also buy it cheaply on the spot).
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