Preparation is the key to a hassle-free and enjoyable trip. Especially with backpacking, it is essential to be ready for any situation that may arise. Listed below are some unusual backpacker essentials that you don’t seem to need during your trip, but you actually do!

1. Two Wallets
It’s very useful to carry two wallets when you travel: one contains your IDs and money, while the other acts like a decoy—with only a small amount of money and a few old cards to make it more convincing. Your “fake wallet” will come in handy in some places like Bali where the local police can just flag you down and ask for money if you’re traveling in a motorbike alone. In these instances, it’s advisable to haggle the “fine” with the police. Showing your second wallet with just a few bills would help in lowering it.

2. Bag Organizer
Bag organizers have revolutionized how we keep track of our stuff especially when traveling. Place your absolute essentials in the bag organizer: passport, money, and a power bank should be on top of your list. Having a bag organizer is convenient because you no longer need to transfer your things from one bag to the other.

3. An Extra Backpack
Bringing your huge backpack could get very inconvenient and tiring when going around your destination. Here’s a tip: Upon checking in at your accommodation, leave your main backpack and transfer your essentials into a smaller backpack that you can easily bring around. A foldable backpack or a drawstring bag would be perfect because it occupies only a small amount space.

4. Padlocks
With no real masterminds behind the “tanim-bala” scam identified, we have no idea when it will strike again. And with thieves on the prowl in almost any part of the world, we should always keep the contents of our luggage secure. Aside from having your backpack wrapped in plastic, add an extra layer of protection by securing its zippers together with padlocks to ensure that it won’t get opened.

5. Ziplock Plastic Bags
Aside from keeping sandwiches fresh, ziplock bags are also useful in waterproofing important documents, money, and your phone, especially if you will go camping or trekking. Even if you’re attending an event like a music festival and it starts to rain, you’ll have no problem if you have your valuables sealed in plastic.

6. Silica Gel
You know those small white packets inside your newly purchased pair of shoes? Keep them. These babies are very effective in drawing out moisture from anything around it. This will be especially useful when storing wet items in your backpack like an underwater camera or your used swimsuit or towel.

7. USB Flash Drive
Even if you already stored digital copies of your important documents in your phone, make sure to put them in a flash drive as well so you can still access them in case your phone breaks. In case it gets wet, just dry it out completely and your files would still be intact!

8. Aloe Vera Gel
When we travel, we can experience different weather changes that can dry our skin. Whether it’s a long haul flight, an afternoon at the beach, or a long walk in the city, you can keep your skin moisturized with some aloe vera gel. Bring just an allowable amount (not more than 100ml) in a transparent container in your carry-on so you can use it even while in transit.

9. Big Plastics Bags
Consider yourself an experienced traveler if you’ve had an item confiscated from your bag by airport security officers, whether it’s a small pair of scissors for your eyebrows or a bottle of water. While it is very inconvenient to take out your stuff one by one as you dig deep for the prohibited item in your backpack, that’s where several big plastic bags would be useful.

While packing, group your items together and put them in plastic bags according to categories: bottoms, tops, underwear, toiletries, footwear, etc. Pack them all nicely in your backpack and zip it up with your bag organizer on top. By doing this, taking out your items and putting them back together becomes so much easier.

This story originally appeared on

*Minor edits have been made by editors

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