Elements of a Good Travel Backpack

Travel is one of life’s greatest joys. And truth be told, anyone can see the world with just a satchel and a smile.

But technology has caught up with travel and now designs packs specifically for travelers. They offer the space and convenience of traditional backpacks but with features that help you stay light, mobile and focus on the joys of the travel trail.

So let’s take a look at some of the main features of a travel backpack.

OPENS LIKE A SUITCASE

The most universal and convenient feature of travel backpacks is that open from the top or sides like a suitcase.

Traditional packs close with a drawstring at the top. So if you need something out of your bag – or better yet stumble upon a hidden stream and what to go for a quick swim – traditional packs force you to dig through your bag to either take everything out or disrupting your carefully orchestrated packing system just to get at that buried bathing suit. With a travel backpack, you just unzip the bag, open it like a suitcase and quickly grab what you need.

DETACHABLE DAY BAG

Another convenient feature of many travel backpacks is a detachable day bag.

Most backpack travel trips involve arriving in a new place, finding a hostel and exploring for a few days. Obviously, you don’t want to lug you full pack around. A detachable day pack allows you to lock up your main pack, unclip the day pack and explore with a smaller bag. It also serves as a carry-on when flying. And when it’s time to go, you just reattached it into one sleek compact unit. Obviously any old bag can serve as a day bag, but reattachable day bags that are integrated into the overall design of your pack keep things compact and easy to manage.

TOP AND SIDE HANDLES

An almost universal feature of a good travel backpack is top and side handles.

Anyone who’s been on a local bus in Bolivia or Bangladesh knows there’s not much room. Top and side handles allow you to carry your pack in different ways depending on the situation and to grab it quickly in cramped quarters. It also gives your back a break if need be.

WHEELED VS NON-WHEELED BACKPACKS

The final element of many good travel backpacks is subject to debate: Wheels.

Where you stand on the wheels versus no wheels debate likely depends on where you’re going and what you’ll be doing.

The positive side of wheeled backpacks is that they give your back a rest and allow you to easily maneuver your bag on flat surfaces – roads, airports, bus stations. The downside is that they can add a little weight and some of the hip straps on wheeled bags aren’t as thick and sturdy as non-wheeled bags.

Your choice depends on your trip. If you’re going to be spending a month in the Brazilian rain forest, you’ll likely have little need for wheels. But if you’re going to be backpacking across Europe for three months, you’ll definitely be glad you have them.

There you have it. So check them out, decide what works best for you and enjoy your travels!

Backpacking Travel Insurance Advice

Are you going traveling around the world? With so many companies and policies to choose from when you are looking to purchase your backpacker travel insurance, make sure you get the correct advice before you buy.

Statistically the report reveals that it is not just students that take a break and live their dream seeing faraway destinations. Its not just people on their gap year who are traveling the world, now many people of all ages and backgrounds are taking the opportunity to go travel. Certainly hundred of thousands are off every year.

One practical outline of advice may help you select suitable insurance. Saving money on your insurance might seem a good way to have more money when you are away, but having good cover will rest your mind when you are on your trip if anything were to happen. Following are some considerable factors that provide guidance for you to start: Understanding the need of Backpackers Travel Insurance

Insurance is a necessity and often knotty to understand. It can be risky traveling the world which highlights the need of having the correct insurance. You want your holiday to be stress free, you can help start this with knowing you have great cover. You can get this peace of mind with Backpacking Insurance.

Target Destinations

A better approach is to know your target destination or destinations if there is more than one. It gets easier to design your particular policies according to it. In case the targets are unknown, make sure the Backpacker Travel Insurance you chose covers your trip to every possible destinations, or upgrades to response as soon as they receive a call from you so that you don’t have to get depressed about the place you are landing in.

Things to take along with you

Policies are typically offered with a choice of baggage and money cover. This is a personal choice based on what you will be taking with you. Backpacking insurance policies are written to make sure any loss is a true accident from which you had no control. Leaving all your cash next to your towel on a beach is likely to be turned down flat.

Exclusions

The most awful part is when you don’t get everything you are told, and you have paid for. It is very rare to find a Backpacker Travel Insurance policy that doesn’t include the exclusions. The most important advice I can give is to read them and make sure the cover important to you is not excluded.

After all the highlighted points that are mentioned above, the general and most important advice is to read, read again, compare it and understand the policy before you buy it.

And yes! Have a great journey and an unforgettable trip!!

How to Buy a Hiking Backpack

Being lifelong travelers, we all love our lightweight, multipurpose gear that can withstand the rigors of the road. Gear should be dependable, multifunctional, durable and perform beyond expectations. Nothing could be truer when it comes to buying a good hiking backpack, especially considering it’s going to be your home away from home. Traveling, especially long-term, will literally test the limits of your bag and your body, and as such this decision should never be made impulsively. Buying your backpack should not be a rushed decision and factors like trip length, capacity, material, functionally and comfort should always be considered. When I first got serious about investing in a good pack, I was at REI for a good 3 hours -I think they started to suspect I was applying for a job.

If my three hours was any indication, buying a good backpack is not an easy task. With hundreds of backpack manufacturers and styles, it can understandably be overwhelming. Whatever you do, don’t go cheap. You’ll be doing yourself a disservice and end up buying a new one anyways. A good backpack is an investment. You needn’t spend $500 on a backpack, but be wary of cheap, no-frills, run of the mill $70 brands, as you’ll regret the design flaws and absence of extras. Spend a little more for a good backpack from a trusted brand, and it will be your companion for many trips to come. The Osprey pack I eventually settled on has traveled with me from the U.S to the Middle East for 10 awesome years and I know it has another good 10 years to go.

Travel Backpack or Hiking Backpack

Before you begin shopping for the right pack, it’s important to know the difference between travel backpacks and hiking backpacks. A travel backpack is a backpack-suitcase hybrid with a zippered side panel similar to a suitcase. Hiking backpacks are the more commonly seen cylindrical top loading packs with straps, clips and a top lid. Some people have an opinion that hiking backpacks are only suited for the backcountry and has no place for the backpacker, I disagree. What works for you ultimately comes down to personal preference and style of travel. Travel backpacks are great for easy, organized access to gear and transporting from hostel to hostel. They also function well for short walks or even as a daypack.

On the other hand, if you possibly have camping or long treks in your travel plans, you may want to consider a hiking backpack. Hiking backpacks are designed for comfort, proper weight distribution, and toughness. Unlike a travel backpack, hiking backpacks will have enhancements like full-sized hip belts, shoulder and back suspension systems along with plenty of load bearing straps to mitigate discomfort. Granted the top down packing isn’t as convenient to access your gear, but that’s part in parcel to proper weight distribution. A good compromise would be to get a hiking backpack with side load access.

I am generalizing a bit as they do have travel backpacks that are in the upper capacity range with more advanced suspension systems, but if you’re going to get a 70L travel backpack, you may as well go with a hiking backpack. Trust me, you’ll be glad you did for that unexpected 20 mile trek to the next town.

Personal Backpacking Style

Next, determine the style of travel you normally like to do. Unless you’re willing to buy a different backpack for each trip, figuring out your travel style will save you a lot of money in the long run and give you a piece of foundation gear that’s ready for any trip. For instance, if you generally go on week long trips you needn’t get a high capacity bag and could probably get away with a 35 liter to 50 liter (L) pack, whereas living long-term on the road may require 65L or greater.

Size is pretty subjective though and shouldn’t be the only determining factor. Some people are able to pack very bare bones, where others require a bit more. Consider these factors:

How long is your trip:

Depending on the length of your trip the capacity and overall weight of your pack will vary. Short trips require less capacity, and long trips typically require more. But be aware that the bigger the pack the heavier it will become. 50lbs may not seem a lot at first, but 2 months in and it will feel like a ton of bricks.

What Type of Activities will you do:

I personally feel that one bag can rule them all since I generally use my pack for everything. However, this may not be the case for everyone. Knowing what type of activity you’ll be doing will help you zero in on that perfect backpack. If you’re not planning on carrying it around much, consider a travel backpack or even a wheeled backpack, whereas if you foresee yourself doing long treks then a hiking backpack may be more suitable. I like to be prepared for any type of spontaneous activity, so I lean more towards hiking backpacks. Also, hiking backpacks are generally made a bit tougher, so keep in mind that the more challenging the activity, the greater the stress on the bag.

Lightweight or the kitchen sink:

Although I mentioned earlier that size is not the main determining factor, it’s still important to consider capacity based on what you plan to bring. If ultra light is your goal, avoid high capacity backpacks as you’ll invariably bring too much or if you do manage to pack light your backpack won’t distribute the weight properly. Conversely, if your backpack is too small, you won’t be able to fit everything in. Have an idea of the gear you’re bringing and pick the capacity of your bag accordingly. Don’t hesitate to bring your items to the store to see how it fits in the packs. A reputable retailer, like REI, won’t have a problem with this.

What To Look For In A Hiking Backpack

Backpacks vary in functionality as much as they do in appearance, with the more expensive models having the most bells and whistles. As with everything, your decision here is closely related to what type of traveling you like to do.

Water Resistant

Your pack is probably not going to be completely waterproof. Meaning, if submerged, or in a torrential downpour your clothing and equipment will still get wet. Although most backpacks now come with a rain cover, you still want it to be made of a tough, rip proof, and lightweight silicone coated nylon or Cordura type material that allows rain or water to bead off and not soak through.

Detachable Daypack

this option is really a personal preference, and not really a deal breaker, as many travelers bring an additional pack for day trips. But for those focused on traveling light, carrying two bags can be cumbersome. I personally like the option of a detachable daypack as I have it only when I need it. On my Osprey, the top lid doubles as a daypack. Not as comfortable as a dedicated daypack, but it serves its purpose.

Heavy-duty Lockable Zippers

A chain is only as strong as its weakest link. No matter how good the material of the backpack, if the attachment points, like zippers, are weak the whole bag is worthless. Make sure the zippers are tough and lockable where applicable.

Pockets and Compartments

The more compartments the better. Good backpacks usually have a number of compartments to help store and separate your gear so you won’t have to sift through layers of clothes just to find your chapstick. For instance, maps can go in the top flap, while your flip-flops are stored conveniently in the side pocket. However you decide to pack, separate pockets allow easy and quick access to your gear. Most backpacks will also have strategically placed pockets, like on the hipbelt, so you can get to your gear without having to drop your pack.

Lightweight Internal Frame

Backpacks generally come with an internal frame, external frame, or no frame at all. I strongly recommend a lightweight internal frame made from strong carbon fiber rods. This provides more load support and just looks better. External frames are bulky, conspicuous, and use dated technology and frameless backpacks have awful load support at higher weights. Trust me, without proper weight distribution, you’re shoulders are going to feel every single one of those pounds.

Side Load Access

I’m seeing less and less of this function on the newer backpacks, but if you do happen to find one with side access you’re golden. You’ll be able to access items from the main compartment of the bag without digging in from the top. You’re life will just be that much simpler.

Suspension System with Padded Shoulders and Load Bearing Straps

Don’t even consider buying a backpack unless it has either an adjustable or fixed suspension system, along with a bunch of load bearing straps. The suspension system is the part that usually rests against your back and where the padded shoulders connect. Fixed system means that it fits to one torso size, whereas the adjustable system can be calibrated. The whole system is meant to help stabilize load and transfer weight to your hips. The load bearing straps, like the sternum strap, will also help move the weight around minimizing pain and discomfort.

Ventilation

To minimize the discomfort from an annoying sweaty back, get a backpack with ventilation. Most internal-frame packs will have some sort of ventilation system or design feature that promotes airflow, creating a permanent breathable layer between yourself and the backpack. Although not essential for load support, it certainly increases your comfort level.

Padded Full-size Hip belt

This is probably the most important feature of any backpack since your hips will be carrying 80% of your backpacks weight. The padding in the belt will help you avoid fatigue, discomfort, and of course load distribution. Make sure you get one that’s full-size, where the padding comes around your hip bone to the front, and isn’t just a thin strap with a clip.

Multiple Straps and Tool Attachment Points

This feature is a personal preference and doesn’t really impact comfort and load distribution but I do feel it’s just as important. I like the idea of having excess straps, clips and tool attachment points. You’re able to perform on-the-fly spot fixes for a variety of unexpected circumstances, making your backpack function more than just as a bag. You’re able to tie, hook, and rig a whole mess of things while on the road without having to carry additional gear. Some backpacks have begun to include “daisy chains” (typically found on climbing packs) which is a series of tool attachment loops.

Internal Hydration Reservoir

An internal compartment that holds your favorite hydration bladder (i.e. Camelpak, Platypus) so you have hands free access to H2O. Openings on the backpack will allow you access to the sip tube making it a very practical feature during your long treks. You won’t have to dig into your pack or stop your momentum looking for your water bottle.

What size backpack do I need

There’s no definitive rule for this question, as it completely depends on your own travel style, trip duration and weather. Generally, the colder the weather the greater the capacity needed; the greater the capacity the greater the overall weight. I try to pack light and bring only what fits in the backpack. So the best advice is to find a bag capacity you’re comfortable with, and pack in only what you absolutely need and what fits. I’ve provided a very broad guideline below:

Trip Length /Capacity in Liters (L)

Day Hikes 25-35L

1-3 Nights 35-50L

3-5 nights 50 to 75L

5+ nights 65+L

How to find the right fit

For the best comfort and proper load distribution you need to make sure your backpack fits correctly. Ideally, you should try it before you buy it, but that’s not always an option. To find the correct fit you’ll need to find your torso length, not your height, which is the distance, in inches, between your 7th cervical vertebra, and your iliac crest. In other words, from the base of the neck to the top of your hip bones. Once you have this measurement, use this guide:

Backpack Size /Torso Size in Inches

Extra small 15 ½

Small 16 to 17 ½

Medium/Regular 18 to 19 ½”

Large/Tall 20 +

As for your waist size, most backpacks have adjustable hip belts so finding your precise hip size is not as important as determining your torso length. Just make sure the belt sits on top of your hips, with about an inch above and below the belly button.

How much should I spend on a Hiking backpack

You’ll find backpacks ranging from under $100 to as high as $600. Unless you have an unlimited budget and want the latest model just because, it isn’t necessary to spend more than $300. With that being said, I would also stay away from anything under $150 as they will be lacking on essential features like a suspension system or a padded hip belt. Buying a backpack is an investment, and the last thing you want is for the seams to rip or a shoulder strap to tear off when you need it most. Just make sure your backpack has, at a minimum, the above features and fits comfortably.

The Best Backpack Brands

There are hundreds of great brands out there with an equally daunting number of styles and models. I’m not really the authority on which brand is better than the next. I can only tell you the brands I prefer and those whose quality I have confidence in. I’ve been using the same Osprey backpack since 2004, and my wife has been using a Gregory for nearly as long. I can honestly say, that after relentless airline abuse, backcountry trips, and overseas adventures, not a single strap, zipper or clip has ever needed replacement. Worth mentioning as well, Osprey and Gregory offer lifetime warranties on all their bags. You’ll probably never need it, but it’s great to know that the company stands behind their products.

Osprey

With 40 years experience manufacturing backpacks, and a lifetime warranty, Osprey exudes quality. They have one of the largest selections of styles and sizes for all sorts of adventuring, and their packs sport the latest backpacking technology. Osprey is my personal favorite and go to brand of choice; you really can’t go wrong with these guys.

Gregory

Like Osprey, these guys specialize in backpacks. My wife will attest to their quality and comfort. She has used her backpack for close to 10 years without a need to ever repair or replace. Gregory also stands behind their products with a lifetime warranty.

The North Face

Originating in San Francisco, The North Face has been developing adventure gear for over 40 years. I’ve never had the pleasure of using their backpacks, but with their pedigree and lifetime warranty, I would feel confidant carrying their packs any day of the week.

Arc’teryx

Along with having a really cool name, Arc’teryx pumps out some pretty awesome products. They are one of the more expensive brands out there, but if you’re willing to pay the price, you’ll most certainly get the quality

Deuter

A low to mid range brand, Deuter is a solid choice if you want function for a reasonable price. They’ve been in the backpacking game since 1968 and are very popular amongst Europeans.

Backpack Accessories

Rain Cover (separate or built in)

Most backpacks are water resistant but not waterproof, making them susceptible to persistent rain exposure. It’s a worthwhile addition if your backpack doesn’t already come with a built in rain cover. You needn’t get a fancy one or spend a lot of money, just make sure it fits your pack size. I use REI’s Ducks Back Rain Cover, and it works perfectly fine.

Airporter Bag

The last thing you want is to have your backpack damaged before you even start your trip. With all the straps, exposed shoulder, and hipbelt, it’s easy for something to get caught and tear right off. An Airporter bag will cover your entire backpack (think bag within a bag) and protect it during transport. As well, you can put a lock on the lockable zippers as an extra layer of theft deterrence. I have the Osprey Airporter LZ. I wish it was lighter (weighs about 1lb) but I suppose it’s worth it for the extra peace of mind.

Well, there you have it, my “how to buy an awesome hiking backpack” guide.

Cheap Backpacking Travel Insurance Package

It is only practical to apply for backpacking travel insurance when you are embarking on such a journey. You never know what can happen when you’re on foreign ground. It is better to have insurance and not need it, than need it but not have it. At least with the backpacking travel insurance, you wouldn’t have to burn a hole in your wallet.

If you are opting for an insurance provider that will give you what you need, a good sign that they are providing top notch service is when they have a 24-hour worldwide emergency helpline that you can contact 365 days a year. It gives you the impression that they are there for their clients – because naturally, the clients would be anywhere in the globe and would have to inquire about the plan.

Make sure to have it for the entire duration of the trip. However, if it is just a weekend get-away, you wouldn’t qualify since the travel insurance is for traveling 3 to 94 days away from your native country. Most people make the most out of the plan and get the annual-multiple plan. This means that they can backpack two, three, sometimes even more times a year and the insurance will cover it – as long as it within the 365 days upon the acquisition of the plan.

Smart travelers bring a copy of their insurance documents with them in their trip. They also provide accurate information such as contact numbers and medical history to the insurance provider so they are open to communication at any time and any place. For a first time, the best backpacking travel insurance would have to be the plan that covers all the basics and come with useful tips and advice on the coverage of each plan.

Well naturally, medical and healthcare cover is the basic standard of these plans. It covers other things but this is the most important. What sets backpacking travel insurance apart from the travel insurance plan is that the backpackers are more prone to illnesses and crime rate because of their spontaneous planning.

Backpackers usually travel at night and they stay in dorm rooms or hostels. At least travelers are booked in hotels. Backpacking travel insurance is truly a necessity for the modern-day traveler. It is an extremely good thing that this is available for everyone to use.

Traveling is so fun. It removes the stress from working hard all year long. A backpacking travel insurance is like a security blanket. The insurance holder will be more confident during his vacation if he has one.

Backpacker Preparation and Checklist – What You Need Before You Travel

Preparations for a backpacking trip

Vaccinations

Make sure you have seen a travel doctor at least 3-6months before your trip as with a lot of vaccinations you need them over three courses with a month’s gap in-between.

Remember to take your vaccination book with you travelling as it may be needed as there are different types of vaccines for different diseases so if the worst was to happen the doctors will know what you have had.

Backpack

You will need a good quality backpack for your trip. About 60 litres should be sufficient as you do not want your pack to be too large as you do have to have this with you constantly and if it is too big you will have problems when getting on buses and trains etc.

Along with your backpack you will also need to take a day pack. This is a very useful piece of equipment. If you have any valuables you can keep them in your daypack whilst on bus/train journeys and know that they are safer with you than hidden away with your backpack.

They are also very handy when out for the day to put any purchases in and for general items you always like to have to hand.

Clothing

T-Shirts – 2/3 will be enough. You will get bored of wearing these very quickly if you’re on a long trip but these will wear out but you can always find cheap replacements wherever you are in the world.

Shorts – Shorts are essential if you’re going to warmer climates. Again only around 2 pairs will be fine as you do not want to overload your backpack. Boy’s the best thing for you is just to have swimming shorts then you’re always ready to take a dip wherever you are.

Trousers – 1 or 2 pairs of lightweight trousers is recommended. They are good for the evenings to protect yourself from mosquitoes and if it does get a little chilly outside. Jeans are a good idea if you’re going to go to colder climates as they keep you warm and are hard wearing.

Swim wear – A couple of pairs of swimming shorts for the boys will be fine and a couple of bikinis for the girls – but remember where you are girls. Touristy areas of South East Asia are fine for bikinis but only on the beach; cover up when going into town.

Waterproof jacket – A lightweight waterproof jacket is always recommended. When you get caught in a monsoon you will soon realise why.

Sandals/Flip Flops/Thongs – I find that this is all I wear when I’m away as it’s usually so hot. Take a couple pairs in case of breakages or if they get stolen which they tend to do in SE Asia.

Trainers – Take a good pair of trainers, if you’ve got a day of walking round a city or temples a nice pair of comfy trainers will be of great help.

Hiking boots – If you are going to go hiking then taking your own pair maybe beneficial. A good pair which will last in the tropical forests and monsoons will be ideal.

Towels – I also think to take 2 towels. One for the Beach and one for showers. You can never rely on your hostel/guesthouse to supply a towel so it’s best to have your own. Try to get lightweight ones that should dry quickly. You don’t want a wet towel in your backpack with all your other clothes.

Essentials

First aid Kit – A good well stocked first aid kit is essential for any trip. You never know when you may need this. Also some needles and syringes would be good to have as you know that in case you need an injection that the needles will be clean.

Deet/Mosquito Spray – Keep them mozzies away with some repellent.

Mosquito net – You may not use it very often but trust me when you do need it you will be happy as Larry that you brought one.

Toiletries – Shampoo, deodorant etc, you can by these when you are travelling but it’s good to bring some with you to start.

Recommended

Passport sized photos – when crossing borders and obtaining visas you usually always need at least 2 passport photos. Take a good supply with you as it will save you searching around to try and find somewhere last minute.

Camera – Obviously a camera is great to take along so you can keep a memory of your trip forever. Also put them on your fave social website to show off and make your friends and family jealous.

Money belt – For security its best to wear a money belt to keep your money, bank cards and passport safe and away from sneaky hands.

Alarm Clock – You will need one of these to help you get up for your bus or train as well as if you need to go on a tour and meet at a certain time.

MP3 Player – Always good on long journeys. Good to get  a lot of music on it before you go as you will get bored of your music quite quickly.

Playing Cards – Good at all times, for passing time of long journeys or rainy days. Also good for drinking games with your new found friends.

Torch – Depending where you go electricity might be a commodity that is in short supply. Also good for finding your way back to you hostel or to the toilet in the dead of night.

Reading books – Like with the MP3 player a book is a good way to pass time on long journeys and relaxing down the beach. Once you’re finished with it you can swap it with other backpackers you meet.

Backpacking in Europe – A Safe Travel Checklist

The success and safety of an overseas backpacking trip depend a great deal on planning and preparation. Backpacking in Europe offers different opportunities and challenges from backpacking in the U.S., so it’s important to research your destination and its special requirements.

Before you leave, follow this checklist to make sure you’re prepared:

  • Choose a backpacking frame. Internal backpacking frames are less likely to be damaged during air and bus  travel , but be sure to securely tape down any pins or other pieces that might come loose during  travel .
  • Check the typical weather report for your destination and choose an appropriate tent. While lighter is better, some locations require a three-season or winter-rated tent. Sturdy tent pegs are a must.
  • Research supply stores. Where can you purchase fuel for your stove once you arrive (fuel for European backpacking stoves, such as Primus, is widely available)? Are there any other supplies you plan to purchase after you arrive?
  • Pack your food allotment. In some European countries, such as Iceland, food is significantly more expensive than in the U.S. Packing your full allowance of nonperishable food before you leave can save money.
  • Reserve beds in huts. “Huts,” which are more like  backpacker  dorms, provide sleeping bag accommodations along many popular European trails. A  backpacker  who plans ahead might not need a tent, but huts fill up fast, so be sure to book ahead.
  • Know your route and safety requirements. It’s a good idea to learn the local safety requirements, such as notification of your intent to hike, before setting out. Weather conditions in some areas can be unpredictable and dangerous.
  • Finally, double-check your gear. Make sure you have or know where to buy all essential gear.

Backpacker Cheap Insurance Travel UK – Chase The Wilderness

For those who do not like the usual routine holidays of sea shores, sky-rise buildings and loads of lighting, a holiday means spending time in the lap of nature. Exploring forests, looking at various animals and creatures are the interests of a backpacker. But in such a situation, backpacker cheap insurance travel UK is a must for security.

Backpackers are those people who just pack their luggage and leave for their holidays which are not like usual holidays in the sense that they are made for unconventional places and that too not luxuriously. The expenses are managed in a very small limit and it has to be as cheap as it can get for the traveller.

Through the cheap insurance UK that the backpacker needs for travel, any urgent problems that arise for him can be solved. Since backpackers are basically involved in adventure trails, rock climbing, trekking, parachuting etc which involve danger to him, it is important that any urgent situations that arise for him are attended to aptly. Various types of covers are provided under this insurance policy like:

o Rescue cover for any kind of emergency rescue operation

o Medical cover for any emergency medical treatments

o Personal liability provides cover for any harm that any individual does to you

o Flight cancellation covers the expenses if your flight has been cancelled

o Baggage cover for loss or theft of documents or baggage

Through the online mode of research, the backpacker can get low premium policy for his insurance. He can compare the policies that are available to him and then choose the lowest premium policy which is cheap. Backpacker insurance travel UK will provide cover to the traveller without proving to be a burden for him.

5 Best Travel Accessories for Backpackers

Backpacking around the world is a good time, no matter what you bring or how you bring it. Nobody should stress too much over how to pack or what  travel  gear to bring. Unless you’re scaling Mount Everest, chances are you’ll survive. But there are a few items that are designed help you stay light and mobile, which means you’ll spend less time dealing with life’s basics and more time making new friends and creating new adventures. So here are the five best  travel  accessories for backpack travelers:

First: A  Travel  Backpack

By far the best accessory you can bring is also the most basic – a backpack designed for  travel . Of course, any backpack will do. But if you want to grab your stuff quickly and easily and keep everything organized, a  travel  backpack is the best way to go. The main advantage is  travel  backpacks open like a suitcase. Traditional backpacks open at the top with a drawstring. So if you need to grab something at the bottom of a traditional backpack, you have to take everything out first and then repack it. A complete hassle if you’re in the middle of a train station. With  travel  backpacks, you have all the same features, but you can open it from the top or side and have access to all your stuff quickly and easily.

Second: Quick-Dry  Travel  Underwear

Nothing can ruin a trip faster than a little fungus in your nether regions, if you know what I mean. Stuffing damp, cotton underwear in your pack is a recipe for mildew, fungus and odors. With quick-dry, anti-bacterial underwear, you can just wash it in the sink, hang it to dry and it’s ready to pack or wear by the time the next bus arrives. And it’s anti-bacterial coating helps fight fungus between washings.

Third: Packing Cubes

I didn’t even know what these were when I first started  traveling . Now, I don’t pack even for a weekend without them. Packing cubes, or compression packers, are essentially mesh or nylon squares into which you pack all of your gear before putting the cubes in your backpack. Not only do they keep everything organized, but they allow you to pack way more stuff in the same space by compressing the materials before putting them in your pack.

Fourth: International Plug Adapters

It’s a wired world and you have to stay plugged in. Each continent, essentially, has its own electrical wall outlet configuration, so you have to bring an adapter to fit it if you want to plug in your electronics. There are a couple of ways to do this. If you’re going for a worldwide trip, or aren’t sure where you’ll end up, bring an all-in-one universal adapter that will fit no matter where you go. If you’re going to be in only one continent, you can also buy an adapter set that includes individual pieces, so you can bring only what you need.

Fifth:  Travel  or Luggage Locks

I hate to break the positive  travel  spirit by mentioning security, but you’re a long way from home and it can be a major hassle and time-eater to replace things that are stolen while  traveling . So you want to take a few precautions. The best type of locks for  backpackers  are  travel  cable locks that include flexible cables to reach multiple zippers. These locks allow you to secure your pack and exterior pockets while in crowded places prone to pick pocketing, or when you are separated from your pack. Some locks with longer cables also let you secure your pack to a chair or other fixed object.  Travel  locks are small and lightweight. They aren’t going to prevent every theft. But if someone has just a few seconds to pick through a few backpack pockets, these locks will make sure they don’t pick through yours.

So, remember,  travel  should be low stress and great times. No need to get bogged down in too many how-to guides. You’ll have a blast no matter which  travel  accessories you bring. But with a few key accessories you’ll stay light, mobile and have more time to spend exploring the world.

Travel Rucksack – What Every Backpacker Should Know About Easy Practical Luggage

Combination of Day sack and Rucksack

Keeping weight down and carrying as little as possible is essential when  traveling  and backpacking long distances.  Travel  rucksacks are normally large by nature and can have a huge capacity up to 115 Litres, so no worries about fitting everything in. This is great for carrying all you need but you won’t need all your stuff with you all the time and will want to leave the majority of your gear at your accommodation. A day pack is a must for day trips and general day to day use when not on the road. The problem is you do not want to be carrying a daysack as well as a huge rucksack or worse having it take up valuable packing room in your suitcase.  Travel  rucksacks have the daysack attached to the front the main rucksack. It is easily detachable and has it’s own adjustable rucksack straps. It keeps weight down by combining the daysack with your packing volume. You can put all your sun cream, sunglasses, hats, flip flops or whatever you need in here to just go out at any time, then just attach to the main rucksack when you are off on your  travels  again. Ideal for on the plane as hand luggage.

Ease of handling in airports and security.

When you are on the move you need to be able to move your luggage about in airports, ports, coaches etc in the easiest way. Rucksacks are ideal as they can be carried on your back, the biggest drawback though is the rucksack straps. The damage an airport carousel can do to your rucksack when the straps get caught in it can make your rucksack only fit for the bin. The last thing you need when you arrive in a new country is a huge rucksack failure.  Travel  rucksacks have a foldaway panel that your rucksack straps can be zipped behind completely. This saves them getting caught in anything and easy to unzip and use as a rucksack again. When the rucksack straps are zipped away there is handles for carrying them in suitcase fashion. Of course you can detach your daysack for your essential hand luggage on the plane. Another big worry in airports, ports and general  traveling  about with your luggage is security. You do not want anybody stealing or putting things in your bags when unattended by you. The  travel  rucksack has padlockable zips, a small padlock will deter most opportunistic criminals.

Easy packing and easy access.

When you get to your destination you will want to be able to pack and unpack easily and have quick access to all you need. This is where suitcases are ideal, easy to open and unpack and pack. The traditional rucksack is a nightmare for keeping clothes tidy and if your favorite top is at the bottom then you’ll have to unpack the whole thing or spend precious fun time rooting about in the bottom of the case trying to feel your way around. The  travel  rucksack has thought of this and very cleverly open up on all three sides with a huge zip in a suitcase like fashion. This means that you will be able to pack clothes flat rather then stuffed through the top of a rucksack. The main compartment can be divided into two to separate clean and dirty, the bottom of the rucksack has a zip too to allow you to find what you need at the bottom quickly and easily. They also have a mesh bag for toiletries etc.

Comfortable carrying

Carrying a large rucksack for any length of time can be uncomfortable even more so if your rucksacks straps aren’t sitting right for you and rubbing. Everybody is different and require different strap heights and lengths.  Travel  rucksacks have a fully adjustable straps system where the whole system can be removed and positioned to suit height from the smallest to the tallest person. All the straps are adjustable in length too so it can be tailored exactly to you. Essential padded straps for comfort are as standard and most have a mesh air cooling back to prevent you getting too hot and sweaty.

Clever Ideas

Other features that can be found on most  travel  backpacks is a little zipped purse on the waist strap. This is a great idea and save you taking the rucksack off your back to find keys and change. There are lots of attachment points for juice bottles, sleeping mats and such like.

What to Pack for Travelling

This is what I consider to be essential items for any traveler/ backpacker . These are items which I have used in my past  travels , and have served me well.

Backpack

The first most obvious thing for any traveler to decide on is whether to use a backpack or a suitcase. During my first solo  travel  experience to Southeast Asia, Korea and Japan, I  travelled  with a backpack. For under 50 I bought a Eurohike 55 litre backpack with a rain cover, which came in handy during the monsoon season! The pack was top-opening, and didn’t really offer much by way of security. I therefore bought a special backpack transit case which I put my backpack into and made it secure from theft, but also made it secure from airport conveyor belts. I had heard that the conveyors in airports sometimes broke clips from backpacks if they were not properly secured, and that some airlines didn’t even want to have backpacks on their airplanes because they were a safety threat. I actually lost the backpack case during the course of my  travels , and had to resort to wrapping my backpack in black bin bags and tape in order to prevent the clips from catching airport conveyors. The backpack was comfortable, with some very nice cushioned padding. However, I realized as my trip went on that the pack was a little too large. I had read on many different websites that the smaller and lighter your pack, the more comfortable your trip will be. This is so true. It is not just about how light the pack is for you to carry, but also practical reasons like  travelling  on packed trains and subways with a giant wardrobe on your back. The backpack was incredibly annoying whilst  travelling  on busy subways, as I didn’t know if, and how badly, I was bumping into people – but I am sure that I definitely was! However, it was great to have my hands free when I needed to pay for tickets and also carry bags and water bottles.

Suitcase

On my second trip to Japan, I decided to ditch the backpack and  travel  with a medium sized suitcase. I was  travelling  for 3 weeks, and had planned to move around the country quite a bit. I was worried about the condition of the suitcase’s wheels by the end of the trip, but altogether I preferred the comfort of a nice suitcase. The suitcase takes up the use of your arms, but it does relieve your back. I found time and again that my backpack was becoming too heavy and cumbersome for longer walks; a suitcase, meanwhile, makes walking a pleasure. Trying to find your hotel in the humid and busy conditions of Bangkok with your gigantic backpack is not a pleasant experience. Though, going up stairs is a pain with a suitcase, but with a backpack it is a breeze. This may be important to you as it is best to  travel  around a Japanese city (and many other Asian cities) via the subway system, and sometimes they have enormous staircases leading to the platforms. The final clincher is that a suitcase makes you look more businesslike and professional; a backpack makes you easily identifiable as a traveler or tourist, and makes you stand out far more. If I entered a nice hotel with my backpack, I wouldn’t be given the same service as if I  travelled  with a suitcase. I believe that  backpackers  have a bit of a bad name in some countries, as  backpackers  tend to be younger people who are more prone to loutish behavior due to letting of some steam after finishing university.

Daypack

You don’t want to take your suitcase or backpack with you on your daily walks or excursions, so you need a nice convenient daypack. I actually took a shoulder bag, as it looked more stylish than a small backpack. But be warned, a shoulder bag can give you some irritating neck and shoulder pains if you over pack it with large water bottles or souvenirs. In this instance, a nice mini backpack is better as it transfers the weight evenly on your back and shoulders.

 Travel  Insurance

I always take out  travel  insurance as you never know what could happen during your trip. It is always better to be safe than sorry. Medical help abroad could cost you thousands if you do not have the correct insurance, so always read the insurance policy properly. When I search for insurance I always turn to comparison sites, such as moneysupermarket.com. This way you can compare all the different companies offering insurance and their relative policies.

Skype

Skype is a free service which allows you to call anyone in the world (who also has a Skype account) for free. The service is completely free when using the Skype-to-Skype service, and the prices are competitive if you want to call mobile phones or landlines. You can use Skype on your iPod Touch, an actual Skype phone or on your laptop. If you are taking a laptop abroad, you can even use your webcam to make video calls, but if you are not taking a laptop, I found that many internet cafes in Asia had Skype already installed on their computers. Skype also allows you to send instant messages, play games and even transfer files. All in all, Skype is a great device which you should be make use of whilst  travelling .

First Aid Box

I like to take a mini first aid box when I  travel . The boxes come in some very nice convenient sizes with everything you could need for your trip. Items can include: plasters, antiseptic cream, insect repellent, and various tablets for common  travel  sicknesses.

Clothing

I will not speak at great lengths on clothing, as I believe this is a personal choice and dependent on different people’s needs. However, I will say that you should always pack light, and think about whether you will ACTUALLY need an item of clothing. Sometimes, I have fallen into the trap of packing far too much clothing ‘just in case’. Whilst  travelling  in Asia you can always pick up cheap clothing, so there is no need to over pack. The minimum I would take for a month  travelling  is: 3-4 t-shirts, 2 shirts, trousers, two shorts, swimming shorts, 2 pairs of socks, trainers/sneakers (I would buy some that look formal but are as comfortable as trainers).

 Travel  Washing Line

I take a small washing line on my trips in case there is not enough places to dry my clothes. If you are packing light, you can just wash your clothes more often, and you will sometimes need a washing line for extra space.

 Travel  Sink Plug

I used this occasionally when I stayed in hostels. In some budget accommodation you will not have a sink plug, which makes shaving difficult. The  travel  plug is therefore recommended if you are considering staying in budget accommodation. Also, even some higher grade hotels have faulty plugs in their bathrooms, so it is generally a good item to take.

Toiletries

As a dandy  backpacker  I have a vast array of toiletries. My toiletry bag consists of: shavers, moisturizers, sun cream, nail clippers, eyebrow tweezers, aftershaves (which I tend to buy from airport duty free), lip balm, deodorant and more!

Rain Mac

If you are  travelling  anywhere that has a monsoon season then a rain mac is a great idea. Monsoon rain is awesome, and can just take you by surprise and leave you drenched. A little rain mac can be scrunched up into a very small size and can easily be carried in your daypack.

Swiss Army Knife

I sometimes take this on my  travels  as it has various useful devices: a bottle opener, scissors, toothpick, tweezers, screwdriver heads and numerous knives of varying shape and sizes.

 Travel  Towels

I recommend taking a large  travel  towel. These can be folded into an incredibly small size and take very little space in your luggage. They also dry quicker than ordinary towels.

Camera

I really don’t know much about cameras but I definitely know that you will need one on your journey. It’s a way of recording experiences that are not possible in any other way. I just bought an 8 megapixel camera in Bangkok – it has served me well.

Batteries

You will need these for your camera, so make sure you take enough spares from your own country, which tend to be cheaper than whilst abroad.

Mobile Phone

A mobile phone is now a necessary gadget in all parts of life, and is very important during your  travels . It is a great device to keep in touch with other travelers, but is also a safety device if you become lost or in danger. Remember to take you charger though, or it will become useless after a few days.

Backup Sim Card

Just in case you lose the first Sim card you can just take another Sim, which are usually free.

Backup Debit/Credit Card

I would take a backup card just in case I lost my main card. If I lost my main card I could just cancel it and then transfer the money from my main account into my backup account via internet banking.

Pens and Paper

You will occasionally need to write things down, such as directions or contacts, and a pen and paper would be very helpful. I would always  travel  with a mini pen and small notepad in my daypack so that it was easy to get to. You can always use your mobile phone or iPod Touch for this as well.

 Travel  Adaptors

 Travel  adaptors are necessary if you want to charge your iPod or mobile phone. Once you know where you are going, you can find out what converter plug you will need. It will save you having to search around in your destination country. Some plugs are all-rounders and cover everywhere.

iPod Touch

My iPod Touch has been irreplaceable during my  travels . Not only is it great for watching movies, listening to music and playing games whilst waiting for your flight or on long train journeys, it also has practical uses. By downloading free applications via its Wi-Fi capabilities you can turn your iPod Touch into a hotel or hostel finder, a currency exchange service, a  travel  guide and much more. I also bought a special, and inexpensive, earphone and microphone set for my Touch, which allowed me to use Skype wherever I had free Wi-Fi. Actually you can find free Wi-Fi everywhere in Southeast Asia: McDonald’s, Starbucks, shopping malls, hotels and even airports. However, I surprisingly found that Wi-Fi access is not so easily found in Korea or Japan, and tends not to be free if it is offered.

iPad

I don’t actually own one of these but they just seem to be a large iPod Touch. All the convenience of the iPod Touch being a nice pocket device which is easy to take everywhere is lost on this device. But maybe I am missing something about it.

 Travel  Guides

I love to read  travel  guides and always take them on my trips. My favorite guides have always been DK Eyewitness  Travel  Guides. I regularly use DK Eyewitness  Travel  Guides: Thailand, Japan and Rome to name a few. I found them incredibly helpful, but most importantly I loved the focus on culture and historical sites. The guides are wonderfully illustrated, easy to navigate, and the pictures and captions are beautifully presented. In addition, the historical sections are informative, well illustrated and a joy to read. I would also recommend Rough Guides and Lonely Planet, which I have also used in the past.

Money Belt

I originally bought one in order to hide my valuables, but then just used it to hold my bus/train tickets or small change so that it was easily at hand and I didn’t have to rummage though bags or my pockets. The money belt can be used as just a regular bum bag (fanny pack if you’re American) without valuable items and just left on display rather than inside your clothing. I just used it as an extra convenient pocket.

I hope my list of essential backpacking gear has been informative and useful. For more information on packing, and packing light, I recommend this website: onebag.com. Also, please visit my website: http://www.luxurybackpacking.com/ for more information on backpacking, independent  travel  and  travelling  Asia.