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Travel Essentials for Backpacking Trips to Australia

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If you’re planning a backpacking trip to Australia, then you’re in for a real adventure. Your trip will definitely surpass expectations, as Australia is packed with wonderful backpacking spots that will look better than you ever imagined when you see them with your own two eyes. That being said it’s crucial that you pack all your travel essentials and not leave anything behind if you want to have the best possible experience.

As a backpacker, finding what should fit and what shouldn’t into your backpack or suitcase can be quite a challenge. But that’s what this guide handles. We’ll be going through the travel essentials and a basic checklist of things that you shouldn’t forget when preparing for your trip.

Travel Essentials

1. An Itinerary

This first step may seem like a no-brainer but it’s important that you don’t forget how you intend to get around. While spontaneity often makes backpacking fun, many people underestimate the sheer size of this country. While you explore one part of the country, such as the extraordinary wine country in South Australia, you shouldn’t forget that you may be foregoing the chance to witness the beauty of the billabongs of Kakudu or the magnificent Uluru.

What’s more, knowing the exact places you’re going to should guide your packing as well. Places like Adelaide and Melbourne can get really cold in the July/August period, so you will want the right clothing.

2. Appropriate Clothing

Don’t forget to pack for the weather! It can get really hot or cold in Australia depending on where you’re going and the time of the year. The Aussie sun can be quite dangerous, so be kind to your skin by packing some sun cream.

On the flip side, Sydney, Adelaide and Melbourne, which can easily fall into your places of interest, can be uncomfortably cold during July and August, and maybe some periods in September during the southern hemisphere winter. Pack extra layers of clothing like a fleece jacket, cardigan and jumper so that the cold doesn’t cloud your backpacking adventure.

backpacking is good for you
Shorts and T-Shirt are travel essentials, but so are jumpers or a lightweight jacket – depositphotos

3. Back up Credit Cards

Make sure you’re never short on your budget, as this could leave you stranded. There are certain places in Australia where you’ll find it hard to say no to activities and tours and this will mean spending more money than you might have planned for. Notify your bank so that they don’t cancel your card due to unusual spending!

Try to go for a MasterCard or Visa as they can be used in transactions in multiple currencies. Some credit card companies will offer you a backup card, so you don’t get stranded when you lose your original. There are cash replacement services that can prove helpful during emergencies; you don’t want to miss a flight or anything essential that you need money for.

4. Work Visas & Other Documents

Most backpackers work their way around Australia on a working holiday visa. This will help you to spend more of your cash doing the fun things! Make sure you sort your working holiday visa out before you arrive and understand the limitations on how long you can work in different jobs. Keep a copy of your documents in your email and your backpack.

5. Thongs

We’re not talking about underwear here! Flip flops are commonly known as thongs in Australia, and are likely to be the form of footwear you’ll wear the most. So, never forget this piece of footwear when you pack your shoes. Even some parties and clubs in the country will let you in with flip flops.

thongs are travel essentials
Flip Flops – Thongs (Australia) – Jandals (New Zealand)

6. Waterproof Camera Bag

As I’ve mentioned, the weather in Australia can be quite unpredictable and if you want to come along with a camera for capturing the country’s beauty – which is a given – then you should ideally invest in protecting your equipment by going for a waterproof camera bag. The bag can also double as a day pack as it can fit your wallet, phone, sun cream, and other items.

7. Get a Sarong

Packing items that have multiple uses can save you some bag space! A sarong will be very helpful in this regard as you can use it for many things, such as a pillowcase, sheet, something to lie on when you’re at the beach, as a skirt, and even a lightweight blanket.

8. The gadgets you may need and those you won’t

You might want to travel with your notebook, phone, and camera, some devices like a tablet might not be essential. If your camera breaks you can easily get a replacement whilst in Australia, there’s no need to bring a backup. Don’t forget your chargers and you might also need to bring a universal power adapter with you. (The Type I power outlet in Australia is not commonly used in other parts of the world.)

learning a language
Don’t forget your phone charger! You’ll be lost without it.

9. Travel Insurance

This is one of the travel essentials that’s easily overlooked by backpackers – until something unexpected happens. While we don’t plan or wish for things to go wrong, it’s better to be prepared for when they do. Experienced travellers will let you know how important it is to expect the worst and make sure you are protected. One of the things you wouldn’t want to forget before traveling is travel insurance. Get in touch with a travel insurance provider to get coverage for your trip!

From the rich rainforest inland to the vast golden shores and scenic walking trails, there are enough adventures to fill a lifetime. You may even have to talk yourself out of the idea of moving to Australia permanently. But preparation is key for every kind of trip and, as a backpacker, you wouldn’t want a mere oversight to spoil or damage your fun. Preparing far in advance could be very helpful and save you a lot of future trouble. You might want to stay spontaneous and not over think things, but dedicating a small amount of time to covering all your travel essentials will be in your best interests.

Author: James is a travel enthusiast and business psychologist and loves to write about some of the most exciting experiences and cultural uniqueness of the places he has visited.

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