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What trip essentials and equipment are actually needed??

Travel Forums Travel Gear What trip essentials and equipment are actually needed??

1. Posted by dlovallo1 (Full Member 119 posts) 5y

Hi all,

I'm sure this might have been discussed before but I've been looking into gear for when i set off on my RTW travelling through Asia (India, S.E Asia, China) and Australia (Holiday working visa). I've seen a lot of different advise everywhere on actually what you need or what is helpful to have etc. I've got my travel pack already (60+20litre) and want to try and travel pretty light and i'll be staying in hostels and guesthouses on a budget. Out of the list below which would you experienced travels would say is needed:

- Sleeping bag/Cotton sleeping bag liner??? Do most hostels provide sheets and would it be better just to take a sleeping bag liner maybe instead a sleeping bag?

- Travel Belt??? I've heard there essential to store all your money, passports and everything safely, but i can't imagine them being all that comfy?

-Backpack Locks??

- Water Proof pouches?? Keep money/camera etc safe when going in the sea

- Travel sink plug?

- Full size travel towel?? Although they are really compact are they thick enough to act as a beach towel?

- Mosquito net?? Will i need my own or will most hostels provide one of these?

-Laptop?? I'm not going to be blogging or anything, and have got an Iphone with me. Just wondering if this is essensial to book tickets etc as Cafes might be too slow.

Sorry guys, a lot of questions i know... but i would like some advice from some travelling who have travelled before on actually what is needed. According to stores like gapyeartravelstore these are rated at essentials needed for a trip. Any other advice on useful things would be appreciated also.

Thanks,
Dom

2. Posted by kichikacha (Respected Member 328 posts) 5y

Hi Dom,

These travelstore things are really not practical, plus i would ignore any advice from any outdoor store. Most travel things are totally useless and can be replaced with simple things.

- Sleeping bag/Cotton sleeping bag liner??? Do most hostels provide sheets and would it be better just to take a sleeping bag liner maybe instead a sleeping bag?
India and South East Asia has basically no hostels as lodging is cheap. China, big cities, tourist spots have excellent hostels, even though cheap hotels are available almost everywhere. The guest houses/hotels do provide with linen, blankets, however there are times where you would just like to use your own blanket.
I would pack both, one warm sleeping bag and one cotton-sheet liner. I would also take the travel pillow provided on the airplane. If you have a decathlon nearby, best is to buy these things there, because they are cheap (sleeping bag GBP20, linen GBP8).

- Travel Belt??? I've heard there essential to store all your money, passports and everything safely, but i can't imagine them being all that comfy?
Yes, useful, although theft in these regions are very rare.
(max GBP8)

-Backpack Locks??
You won't need them. If you need one in china, better to buy it there in a local shop for 30 pence.

- Water Proof pouches?? Keep money/camera etc safe when going in the sea
Yes, might be handy, a good ziplock should do the job. No need to buy anything fancy.

- Travel sink plug?
For handwash might be good, but i never needed one. Most of the time, you can ask your guest house, hotel to do your laundry as well. Small packets of detergent can be bought in any small shop and most places will provide you with a bucket too.

- Full size travel towel?? Although they are really compact are they thick enough to act as a beach towel?
Beginning, I was using the expensive travel towel but it got smelly as quickly as the ordinary. So, i rather buy a small towel in local shops every now and then for the fragment of the price i would pay at home.

- Mosquito net?? Will i need my own or will most hostels provide one of these?
Totally useless. If it is needed, the guest house will provide you with one.

-Laptop?? I'm not going to be blogging or anything, and have got an Iphone with me. Just wondering if this is essensial to book tickets etc as Cafes might be too slow.
Might be useful, however internet cafes can be found in all these regions. Actually, it is much more difficult to find wifi connection than an internet cafe. At many internet cafes (especially in china), it is not possible to connect your own device.

- Cosmetics, etc: very difficult to find armpit deodorant in these countries, so do bring one. Also, suncream might be not easy to find. However, all other basic products are available. Pharmacies are well equipped and can be found everywhere.
If you are travelling with a lady, "bullets" are impossible to find.

- Adaptor: i managed to survive with european plugs in these regions. India has very limited availability of electronic products, however china and SE asia are the best places to buy cheap accessories. Same applies for clothing.

Try to pack as light as possible, max 8kgs in total.

Have a nice trip!

3. Posted by paulmacpaul (Full Member 107 posts) 5y

Water proof pouches is a must! I can see that on your list so don't hesitate bringing them. Not just for gadgets but also for clothes. Coz you just don't know when it rains or when someone spills something on your bag. At least everything inside is waterproof.

4. Posted by Elkins (Budding Member 12 posts) 5y

A second opinion, although for the most part I agree with kichikacha.

Sleeping Bag:

If you are staying in hostels and guesthouses, I don't really think that you need a sleeping bag at all. Even a high quality down one will take up a good amount of your pack's real estate (plus you'll have to worry about keeping it dry), and it's just not necessary. Take a cotton sleeping bag liner/sheet sleeping bag instead. Sleeping bags are really only necessary if you plan on camping or sleeping rough, IMO.

Money Belt:

How comfy they are depends largely on what kind you get, how you wear it, and how you are shaped. They're not all belts: you can also get security pouches that tuck down the front of your pants, ones that strap around your leg, or ones that you wear sideways against your side, like a holster. The best ones are lined with CoolMax or some other wicking material, so they don't feel sweaty and uncomfortable against your skin. If you decide that you want one, try out a bunch in a store to see what you find comfortable and what you do not.

I never travel without one, myself, but I know that others have different opinions. Just whatever you do, don't take it out in public, as I sometimes see people doing. That defeats the entire purpose! You don't keep your day's spending money in there. It's for things that you don't need to access that often but absolutely need to keep secure, like your passport, your credit card, or larger quantities of cash that you only dip into sporadically. You should never access it where anyone can see you.

Backpack Locks:

I have never once locked my backpack. I've never seen the need to do that, because it's always with me -- usually on my back. But if you're planning the kind of trip where you center yourself in one base and take day trips from there, leaving your big pack behind, then I suppose you could invest in one. Just be aware that it will really only serve as a deterrent to casual thieves. If someone really wants inside your backpack, a lock won't stop them. A far better strategy, in my opinion, is just not to leave anything that anyone might want to steal unattended. Chances are, no one will be terribly interested in stealing your dirty laundry.

Since if you leave your pack unattended, the pack *itself* is probably the most valuable thing you've left behind, you might want a luggage cable, so you can lock it to something solid. Again, it won't do much against a really determined thief, but it might serve as a deterrent against passing opportunists.

Waterproof Pouches:

Yes. Essential. Gallon-sized zip-loc freezer bags are very useful. Take many of them. Double bag anything that you absolutely don't want to get wet. If you plan on subjecting your stuff to very wet conditions, you might also want to invest in some dry sacs. A waterproof pack cover for your pack is also well-worth considering.

Travel Sink Plug:

Optional. First ask yourself if you really plan on doing your washing, or if you are more likely to hire someone else to do it for you. Be honest: if you're not really going to do much washing, then you don't need a sink stopper. If you only plan on doing laundry occasionally, then you might want to forego it as well: in a pinch, you can stop up a sink with a rolled-up sock, and it's usually not difficult to get a bucket loaned to you if you want to do laundry. If you think you might want to be washing things out frequently, on the other hand, then you might as well get one, just for the convenience. They're hardly expensive or heavy, so it's no disaster if you bring one and then later decide it was a mistake.

Full-Sized Travel Towel:

Have you actually felt the material travel towels are made of? I can't really imagine using it as a beach towel, if by "beach towel" you mean something not only to keep you dry but also to lay out on the sands and sit on, etc. However, one will do an excellent job of drying you off, and they are lightweight and dry fast, which are their primary virtues. If you're planning on staying at a beach area for a while, I'd suggest just picking up a cheap beach towel while there and giving it away to someone else when it's time for you to move on. *Do* get a travel towel, but keep it for drying yourself off after bathing, not as a beach towel.

Mosquito Net:

No. Any place where you need one, one will be provided. You would really only need your own if you planned on camping in the wilderness.

Laptop:

Far too heavy, delicate and valuable to bring along if your only reason for doing so is worrying that the local internet cafes might be a little slow. If you were planning on blogging, then my answer might be different, but just to make the occasional online reservation? Nah, leave it home. You'll be far better off using the local cafes.

5. Posted by daniel2003 (Budding Member 2 posts) 5y

you missed out walking poles! These are a must especially if you are carrying a back pack as well. Gives you 4 points of contact instead of 2. Enjoy your trip

6. Posted by SamSalmon (Respected Member 626 posts) 5y

Note that with the global bedbug epidemic many hostels now prohibit the use of any bedding but their own.

7. Posted by Obie Trice (Budding Member 6 posts) 5y

If you cant fit all your gear into a carry on sized bag, ino your taking too much stuff. Just take the bare essentials...if you actually need anything, you can always buy stuff while your away. Asia's got loads of cheap gear, clothes, whatever...

Backpack lock if youve already got is a yes, and id say take a travel towel....or buy something overseas. Dont need a sleeping bag or a liner, buy a sarong for next to niks when you land - they can be used for dozens of uses. Use a gladlock bag as a waterproof bag if you need one. I take a laptop, but its tiny and weighs stuff all. Mosquito net - No.

Pack light, if you dont, you'll regret it and you'll find half the stuff you bring you dont even need.

8. Posted by dlovallo1 (Full Member 119 posts) 5y

Thanks for all the advice all, been much appreciated! Yea i think i'll just take bare basics and if i need anything will buy it as i need it.

9. Posted by DocNY (Respected Member 403 posts) 5y

The only think you NEED is a sense of adventure and enough money for food and shelter.

Packing light tends to make things easy and lets you be more flexible, and there is little on the road you can't find if you really need it. Of your list the only thing I'd call essential are a towel and some ziplock type bags.

A money belt of some sort is also quite useful and come in all sorts of styles - from hidden pockets in garments like bras and briefs to big clunky things you wear about your neck. They are helpful in preventing a pickpocket from walking off with your tickets and cash, something many traveler's can relate to.

If you tend to leave your pack in places, a lock and steel cable to secure it to things isn't a bad use of a couple of ounces of weight, but neither will stop a determined thief.

Lastly - especially in Asia and Australia take a large heavy duty garbage bag or two big enough to wrap your pack - it can serve as a pack cover or a raincoat if you put some holes in it - and if you do stay in a place with bedbugs - you can wrap all your stuff pack and all in it and let it bake in the tropical sun for a couple hours which should cook the little suckers leaving you bedbug free for the next place you stay.