Search Backpacker Advice:

Backpacker Advice Logo
Backpacking Checklist
Things To Take Travelling
Advice Blog
Top Backpacks

Popular Advice

  • Top Backpacking Tips
  • Should I Go Backpacking?
  • How Much Will It Cost?
  • Travelling Alone Or With Others
  • Initial Backpacker Planning
  • Travel Departure Preparation
  • How To Choose A Travel Backpack
  • Travel Packing List
  • When You Get There
  • Safety and Security Tips
  • Staying in Hostels
  • How To Meet People
  • Money Saving

  • Destinations

  • Africa
  • Asia
  • Australasia And Oceania
  • Europe
  • North America
  • South America

  • Like Us On Facebook

    Backpacking Checklist:
    What Do You Need To Go Travelling?


    The travel checklist below is a guide as to when and what you need to sort out before backpacking around the world.

    Theoretically you can arrange everything in couple of weeks, but it is best to plan in advance for a lot of things, otherwise you could end up paying more, not being fully vaccinated, or missing out altogether.

    More detail on the below advice can be found in our Travel Preparation article.

    4+ Months Before Departure: Planning

    Think about exactly where you want to go, and what you want to do. How long do you intend to go for? Are you travelling alone or with others? Bookmark and subscribe to travel blogs, twitter accounts and alike for ideas and advice.

    Set a budget of how much you need and want to spend, then start saving money for your travels.

    If interested start looking into working or volunteering programs.

    2-3 Months Before Departure: Arranging

    Sort out your passport. You should ensure your passport has at least 6 months validity after your return date home. A damaged passport or outdated photos may cause problems. There should also be plenty of blank pages. It can take 3-6 weeks to receive a new or renewed passport.

    Arrange any visas. Most countries require visas for entry, a lot you may receive on arrival, but equally a lot you have to arrange before arriving. It is a good idea to sort out your visa before booking your flight - you do not want to spend money on a flight and then get denied a visa.

    Book your flight or other method of transport. The sooner you book your flight the cheaper.

    Visit your doctor for a medical checkup and start vaccination courses.

    1 Month Before Departure: Acquiring

    Buy a backpack and any gear you need to take that you don’t already have.

    Visit the dentist, and if necessary your optician.

    Apply for a currency card.

    Apply for discount cards and saving schemes.

    If you going on a working holiday look into jobs, accommodation, etc.


    2-3 Weeks Before Departure: Preparing

    Sort out any loose ends you may have.

    Start taking anti-malaria tablets if heading straight into a malaria zone (parts of South America, Asia and Africa). Always seek doctors advice on when to begin taking anti-malarials.

    Book your first few nights accommodation.

    Write your own personalised packing and check lists.

    Arrange travel insurance and ensure it covers what you want to do and where you are going.

    Photocopy your documents. Take copies with you and leave a copy with family or friends.

    Buy/ download any music, books or films you want to take.

    Make a note of important numbers and information, i.e. emergency numbers, stolen card number, embassy addresses.

    Learn some key words in the language of your destination.

    2-3 Days Before Departure: Finalising

    Start Packing.

    Get some foreign currency. It is always a good idea to arrive in a country with some local currency - not all airports or even countries have ATMs.

    Look at your transfer options, from the airport to your accommodation.

    Print, pack and email to yourself all documentation (visa, passport, tickets, insurance, proof of funds, etc.)

    Reconfirm flight and accommodation if necessary.

    Adjust your sleep routine as part of the avoiding jet lag steps.

    Run over your checklist.

    Departure Day: Checking

    Fully charge all your electronics (the night before if necessary).

    Plan to get to the airport in ample time and check traffic reports.

    Run over your checklist again.

    Get excited for the time of your life.

    You May Also Like To Read

    Keep updated by subscribing to our newsletter:

    Did you find this helpful?

    If you can't find the answer you are looking for Visit Our FAQ

    If you still have unanswered questions in regards to this article, or anything else on this site, please Contact Us

    Building and maintaining a website takes a lot of time, effort and money. If this website has helped or inspired you, a donation would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.

    Return to top of page

    If we have helped you, please help us by liking our Facebook page:

    X Close