For thousands of people, backpacking through Europe is a prominent feature on their bucket list. When you’ve finally got the chance to make your dream come true, there’s a lot of preparation involved. Never mind locations, flights, hotels and hostels, there’s the huge decision of trying to pick a backpack followed by the issue of what to pack and what to leave behind.

Here’s a list of essentials to help you prepare for your journey of a lifetime.

First Aid Kit

This is a must have for any traveller. You’ll need basic pain meds as well as antiseptic creams and plasters. If you take any prescribed medication, make sure you take a supply with you in case of delays in getting to a pharmacy. Make sure to pack sunscreen, too.

Hanging Toiletry Bag

You’ll be travelling and staying in a variety of accommodation and a hanging toiletry bag is key to reducing melt downs. You won’t have to put your items on a dirty floor, so you can keep your toothbrush safe and hygienic.

Quick Dry Towel

A typical bath towel is thick, heavy, bulky and takes hours to dry. Instead, invest in a microfiber travel towel. They’re super absorbent, quick drying and many have antibacterial coatings to prevent germs.

Shoes

Footwear often causes backpackers a lot of trouble. The number one rule here is comfort. You may want to look great but after a long day walking, you’ll be begging for comfortable shoes. If you’ll be exploring different terrain and landscapes, pack hiking shoes and some sturdy trainers for everyday city use – Skate Hut offer a great range.

Clothing

When you pack clothing, the focus needs to be on durability and adaptability. Clothes need to be able to be mixed and matched and worn on a variety of occasions. Avoid clothes that are dry clean only or that you’ll rarely wear, as they’ll just take up room. Choose basics that can be worn again and again.

Bedding

There’s nothing worse than being faced with a horrible mattress. Hostel beds can often leave a lot to be desired, so purchase and pack a travel sheet to avoid uncomfortable nights. Consider buying a travel pillow or cover, too.

Other things to pack include: a lock, a daytime backpack, chargers for electronic items, extra memory cards, guide books or language dictionaries, a flexible water bottle, a travel clothesline, ear plugs and a sleep mask. Happy travels!