Backpack Basics

As you are getting ready to head off on your adventure abroad it’s important to think about how you will be getting your things from place to place! There are so many different kinds of purses, bags, and backpacks that you can bring with you, so how can you choose the best one for you?

How to Choose

Think about what you will need a bag for. Will you be traveling every weekend or will you be staying put to do sightseeing at home? Will you be traveling for an extended period of time before, during, or after your program? How much stuff do you need with you? (The answer is always less than you think!)

The Ultimate Backpack

The Ultimate Backpack
These bags are amazing. They are stylish (well, for a large backpack), slightly less “I’m going on a 4 day hiking trip” than many large backpacks, and they do double-duty as a carry-on (check airline regulations before trying this, but they should be okay for most airlines) and a duffel bag.  Sometimes large backpacks can be awkward because they knock into things (or people) and they are generally a little more conspicuous than  a normal backpack. The ability to swing them down as a duffel may make them more uncomfortable to carry, but could make you more comfortable in a big city or large crowd. They are a great size for backpacking, too. Not too big, not too small. The darker colors are also great for blending into a crowd.


Big Backpacks

If you are planing on doing a good amount of traveling, look into purchasing a bigger backpacking pack. These bags are common for backpackers worldwide, so don’t feel like you will be the only one with one! These bags are good for a weekend, a week, or even a month of travel. You can fit a lot in these bags and for the most part they aren’t terribly uncomfortable to carry.

These bags come in a lot of different sizes, colors, and brands so do your research before buying one. You can go to Sunflower Outdoors downtown, Moosejaw in KC, or look online. (Ebags is a great place to start.)

If you do plan on traveling with one of these bags (or any other kind of bag actually) buy a luggage lock. It’s a small lock that you will put on your zippers to keep unwanted people out of your stuff. They are cheap and will save you in the long run!

 Backpacking Packs

Small Daypacks

When it comes to small day packs, keep it simple. You don’t want to scream tourist, so bring something you would be comfortable carrying at home. Neutral colors are a good choice because they will go with any outfit you have on.

Be conscious of the zippers and openings on the bag. You don’t want your bag to be easily accessible while you are wearing it, it attracts pickpockets and makes it oh so easy for them. So avoid bags that can be easily accessed without you noticing. Don’ t put valuables (money, phone, cameras, etc.) in front pockets if your bag does have them.

All of these daybacks are under $100 and are good for both men and women. Check them out on our Polyvore page.

Daypacks for Sightseeing

Have fun and happy packing!