What Bag is Right For My Trip?
By George Meredith
Last updated: 2nd April 2016
Once you’ve planned your trip and sorted out your flights, the most important thing to think about is what bag you’re going to take. There’s nothing worse than regretting your choice of bag once you arrive and realising your stuck with it for the rest of your trip! Never fear though, we’re here to help with some expert baggage advice.
The sort of bag you need really depends on what sort of trip you are going on. We’ve compiled a handy guide with some example trips, so you can pick the bag that most suits you!
THE SHORT AND SWEET – Europe Express / Iceland Explorer
Short and sweet trips may include short breaks and bus tours around Europe. You won’t be away for too long, and most of the time you’ll be able to safely leave your belongings in hostel lockers or on private vehicles.
What to look for: A 50 – 60 litre rucksack is your best bet for a trip like this. All you need is a few clothes for your time away, some toiletries to stay fresh, and a camera to capture all the good times. Throw in a smaller day bag so you can just take the essentials while you’re out and about. You’re good to go!
What to avoid: Don’t take a suitcase. They may seem a handy way to get about when you’re at home, but you’ll soon regret it when you’re chasing through the streets on tour! Want to know why we think rucksacks rule? Check out our Backpack vs. Suitcase blog post!
Action-packed trips may include a lot of travelling around the country, adventure hikes, boat rides, train journeys, camping or overnight stays at indigenous villages, and lots of high-energy activities.
What to look for: You need a super comfy rucksack that’s no less than 65 litres. Make sure you have a padded hip belt and chest strap to fully support the weight on your back. External pockets for water are a must, or you could even consider a built-in pouch for a hands-free hydration system! Make sure you add in a waterproof cover so your stuff stays dry if the skies open!
What to avoid: Don’t get a toploader! A rucksack with a front-opening panel is much more useful if you’re on the move, as you can easily access the whole bag without unpacking everything.
If you’re going for the long haul, you’ll typically be staying in one country for an extended period of time and will be finding paid work abroad.
What to look for: As you’re staying in the country for an extended period of time you may want to take some extra gear, as well as a few home comforts such as a laptop or tablet. If you’re working as an Au Pair, you might get away with a suitcase as you won’t spend much time on the road, and you’ll be living in the comfort of a family home. For jobs packages in Australia and New Zealand however, you may spend more time on the road, exploring the country in your time off. For these trips you’ll want a large durable rucksack, 65 litres and above.
What to avoid: Don’t go too big! You don’t have to pack clothes for every day of your trip. They have washing machines out there!
Multi-trippers combine several programmes in several countries. The trip may include action-packed adventure activities, road trips, city sightseeing, and extended work programmes.
What to look for: For an adventure like this you’ll need a bag that can do it all. A rucksack is definitely the way to go, and you’ll want a minimum of 65 litres to carry all your stuff. Again, make sure you get a good durable rucksack that is fitted to your back, and lots of comfy padding to save your shoulders. You can get rucksacks that have wheels built in, which may come in handy when you’re in the airport transferring between countries. However, these bags do add extra weight so think carefully when choosing.
What to avoid: Cheap rucksacks. Your bag is going to take a battering as you travel by plane, train and bus. Make sure you splash out on a tough, durable rucksack that can take a few knocks!
Got any top backpack advice? Let us know!