Backpacking overseas? These essentials will save your life.

I have made MANY mistakes on my travels, but I am glad that I am getting progressively better with my packing. My partner is currently the worst packer on earth, so there is a definite contrast to our experiences, and he is beginning to the error of his ways. He assumes that just because he can stuff it in, he might as well take it with him. Now, depending on the length of your trip and time of year, there will be some considerations to be made. The following list will alleviate some weight, space, and headaches on your journey.


  • 40L Backpack: If you are spending a considerable time overseas, you will most likely use one of the budget airlines available. In Europe, the two most popular and versatile ones are Ryan Air and Easy Jet. Now, there are some nightmare stories about these budget airlines, but they can be a great deal if you prepare (I will touch on this subject on a later blog). Now, why a 40L backpack? Well, budget airlines tend to weigh and measure your bags in a ridiculously small box before boarding. If it does not fit, you will have to pay the hefty fees that could cost as much or more than your one-way ticket! Ryan Air is the biggest culprit and seems to have the smallest “sizing box” around. A 40L backpack gives you the assurance that you can board the flight with your full backpack as a carry-on. Now, if you are using the rolling carry on, be sure that the dimensions are no bigger than 22 in x 16 in x 8 in/55 cm x 40 cm x 20 cm and cannot weight more than 22 lbs (10 kg).  Warning: The wheels can make you or break you on this one. My friend’s carry-on was the right size, but the wheels stuck out to the point that it did not fit. Therefore, he had to pay the fee. You can google “Ryan Air Approved Carryon” if it helps you with your decision. IF you need bigger luggage, please be sure to do it online when booking your trip. It will save you considerable travel money.
  • Ranger Panties: What are ranger panties, you ask? When I was enlisted as a Navy corpsman (field medic) with the Marines I discovered the wonder of ranger panties, also known as ‘silkies’. 12745965_474773956045746_7659547666118050266_n.jpg      Silkies are the most versatile shorts around. Why?
  • Both men and women can use them.
  • They are lined and uber comfortable.
  • They wash easily and dry quickly. 
  • They are super light.
  • They are long lasting.
  • There is a small pocket for a key or two and some cash.

Get your silkies here. They are 14.99.

  • Smart Wool Socks: Ladies and gentlemen, I cannot praise these enough. I have tested them out myself, and I am convinced that these are an incredible investment. Smart wool is known for its antimicrobial property, comfort, and quality. I have worn one pair for seven days without a hint of odor. I washed them by hand (even though they are washer and dryer friendly) and overnight they were ready to be worn again. Two pairs can easily replace a dozen pairs that take up space in your luggage. They have a variety of styles, colors, and sizes on Amazon. Get yours here!
  • Travel Towel: There are a variety of travel towels out there, and some are better than others. I had initially purchased the Discovery Trekking Outfitters towel, but I found it to be an issue when I was wet. I eventually invested in a couple of towels made from microfiber, and they worked well. They are light weight, fast drying, and portable. There is a variety on Amazon so that you can check for yourself. Get yours here!

These are the things you need that will make your trip a bit easier. As I get ready for my next two-month trip, I will post a definitive packing list. Thank you for reading!


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