Packing the Daypack: My Must-Have Accessories

Colonial Williamsburg, Virginia, USA

First, my favorite daypack

I’m a backpacker, and I pack light; so when I travel abroad I put a lot of thought into packing my backpack. But what about my daypack, aka my personal item? Since I use it every day, it needs to fit all my essentials, look good, and be comfortable. My 8L Patagonia Atom Sling is my favorite daypack for these reasons.

The Atom Sling is worn on the front, which deters pickpockets and allows me to carry my full-size backpack on my back. And all the little pockets are super helpful for keeping my items organized and easily accessible.

Why not a tote or messenger bag? I have several, and I’ve traveled with them before, but the more often I’m on the move the more comfortable I feel with a daypack. The weight I’m carrying is also more balanced than with a cross-body or shoulder bag.

My fave travel accessories for the daypack

iPad: I typically bring a second device with me when I go overseas. All the photo-taking and map-viewing can run down your battery, so having the iPad means I’m never without a way to plug-in. (It’s also great for Kindle or watching downloaded episodes on trains and planes!) Luckily, I’ve never lost my phone, but my iPad would serve as a backup communication method just in case that ever occurred.

Portable charger: Speaking of battery, I bring a compact portable USB charger so that I never (purposely) fall off the grid. There are a ton of these out there (just check Amazon) but I like the ones that have cords included.

Sunglasses: Unless you’re going to the Arctic Circle in the middle of winter, sunglasses are a must when traveling. I love my Sunski polarized sunnies — $50 for polarized glasses is a steal in my opinion, plus, Sunski offers an excellent warranty. Bonus for the boys — most of their designs are unisex.

Reusable water bottle: For the love of the environment, get yourself a reusable water bottle! I like the Podium Chill by Camelbak because it’s lightweight, flexible, seal-able, and the 21oz size fits perfectly in my daypack. And yes, I typically drink the tap water unless explicitly told not to.

Selfie stick: Well, duh! I’m a solo traveler, after all.

All of the above fit in my daypack (watch the video below if you need proof), not to mention my passport, cash, chapstick, and headphones.

Other ninja knick-knacks to buy and pack

  • Multi-country power adapter
  • Combination lock for hostel lockers
  • Plastic wine corkscrew — although be careful through security… one of these was eventually confiscated during my trip to Colombia despite having traveled internationally with it at least 5 times!
  • Sink stopper and travel container of laundry detergent (or powder)
  • Packing cubes for clothing
  • Compact umbrella
  • Travel pillow for those long hauls

Anything else you can’t live without when you travel? Leave me a comment below!

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