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Daypack essentials for travel have to be carefully calculated. When traveling longterm, that daypack literally becomes a daily pack to carry. So which items do you actually need…


  1. Sarong/lava-lava
  2. Reuseable straws and cutlery
  3. Reuseable shopping bag
  4. Waterbottle
  5. Power pack, USB cord, phone
  6. Change of kids clothes (underwear, light shorts and t-shirt)
  7. Reuseable KeepCup
  8. Plasters, paracetamol tablets
  9. Hat and sunscreen
  10. Toilet paper
  1. SARONG – this baby is essential! Little did I know when I picked this up at the marketplace for a bargain in Tonga, that it would at time become a sheet, a skirt, blanket, shade-sail, scarf, makeshift tie bag, towel, wind-break, and picnic blanket. We travelled to majority Buddhist and Islamic countries in 2019, so as well as providing comfort on travel days, it can also be used to cover up where appropriate.
Reusable cutlery - daypack essentials for travel.

2. CUTLERY – We would definitely not travel in Asia without our own cutlery. Seeing the plastic straws, chopsticks, cutlery and plastic bags handed out with drinks and food was scary, and we felt horribly responsible as travellers ourselves that we were part of the consumerism that was adding to their insurmountable challenges of waste management.

We found this small bag in Laos at the Luang Prabang night market. It’s officially a chopstick bag. We carry one each in our day packs – it’s perfect for coconut-drinking-straws, morning-coffee-spoons, lunch-ready-chopsticks, and roadside-picnic-spreading-knives!

3. REUSEABLE SHOPPING BAG: This one is only from our local supermarket in New Zealand; it doesn’t have to be fancy, just reusable!

4. WATER BOTTLE – a drink bottle is an absolute must. On travel days we carry 2 adult bottles, and 2 kids water bottles. We boil water to drink where we can, and are constantly refilling each of our water bottles to try and decrease our need for using single-use plastic bottles. We have recently been sent the WaterWell Travel Bottle which filters drinking water, removing 99.9% of waterborne bacteria and parasites – we’ve tested this out in New Zealand but can’t wait to take it with us this time, and KNOW it will be an absolute game changer.

5. BATTERY PACK – this is such a great invention! Definitely one of the daypack essentials for travel we could not do without. My one is really light, and therefore not a hassle to carry. We don’t do heavy duty charging with it, but it has been a life saver when navigating with a dying iPhone battery!

Spare kids clothes and underwear - definitely one of the handy daypack essentials for travel at any time with kids!

6. CHANGE OF KIDS CLOTHES – trust me… This is also essential! Without going in to gory details, I always carried one very light pair of kids shorts and underwear (that could fit either child), and you are going to have to take my word for it… that it was worth it!

7. REUSABLE CUP: This is worth its weight in gold and can be used right from the first day you leave to enjoy a coffee at the airport, or accept a hot drink on the plane and prevent one more plastic cup going to landfill.

8. PLASTERS/BANDAIDS – self explanatory, but fairly mandatory when travelling with two rough-and-tumble little boys! (Paracetamol tablets for adults also essential!).

Sunblock - part of our daypack essentials for travel list.

9. HAT AND SUNSCREEN – in summertime anywhere, do NOT forget these!

Toilet paper - definitely part of the daypack essentials for travel in Asia!

10. TOILET PAPER – sounds obvious…. IT IS ESSENTIAL!

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