Travelling should be one of the most rewarding adventures you will ever take in your life and look back to with fond memories as you get older. To make the most of your travelling experience we at Paddy Pallin have put our many years of travelling experience together and come up with top 10 travel hacks to make your next adventure more enjoyable.

1:  Choose the correct bag for your destination

Pack, Duffel or Wheelie bag? This is one of the most asked questions for when choosing your checked in luggage and while their in no easy answer it will generally come down to where your travelling too.

If you’re looking for pure mobility a travel pack like Osprey’s Waypoint, Farpoint and Wayfarer are great. You have the carrying comfort similar to a hiking pack harness, with the easy packing access of the front opening panel like a duffel and small attachable day pack for carry on or use around town.

Duffel’s like the Osprey Transporter, Patagonia Black Hole and The North Face Base Camp are the perfect compromise between a backpack and wheeled luggage. They tend to be made of super tough fabrics which is great if they are being strapped to a yak when trekking in Nepal, easy to access the contents through large D openings and the handles can be used as shoulder straps for carrying the pack for short periods around town or on public transport.


If you don’t want to look like a backpacker and want the convenience of wheeled luggage the Osprey Shuttle, Sojourn and Ozone are perfect. They have large inline skate style wheels which will roll over the cobblestones or dirt roads and a large opening to access the contents. The Shuttle is a true gear hauler perfect for carrying boots, climbing ropes and other bulky items. The Ozone is a little smaller and designed for urban travel with the bonus of a zip away harness for carrying the bag up stairs or other obstacles. The Sojourn series has been redesigned with a ventilated and adjustable suspension Anti Gravity styled harness that can be deployed to give you carry-comfort that matches Ospreys large, industry leading backpacking packs.

2:  Be organised when packing

Packing all your clothing into your bag in one big pile may save some time before you leave however it will cause a world of pain while your on your trip. Try packing your clothing into a number of different coloured organisers, compression sacks & packing cells so you can quickly grab what you need instead of needing to dig through your bag for a fresh pair of socks. Rolling clothing instead of folding will save space as well as putting socks inside shoes to fill the dead space.


3:  Make a copy of all your important documents

Scan or take a photo of all you’re important documents such as you’re passport, healthcare, drivers licence, bank cards etc. then email them to yourself. If you’re unlucky and lose any of them you will have a copy saved which can help when getting replacements or proving your who you say you are.

4:  Pack a change of clothes in you’re carry on

You never know when your checked in luggage wont make it to your destination, leaving you in that 33 hour old set of clothes in Central America. However packing a change of clothes with you means at least you will have something to wear while you wait for the rest of your luggage to arrive.


5:  Keep your electronics charged

As much as people either love or hate it taking electronics on a trip is now a way of life. To keep everything charged and running you will need a travel adaptor for the countries you’re going too. A small double adapter will allow you to charge multiple gadgets at once.

Taking a figure of 8 plug adapter will save the need for taking bulky cables for charging camera batteries, laptops etc. A potable charger from Power Traveller will also keep you on the grid if you’re away from power sources for a couple of days.

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Bonus Tip: Unlock your mobile and go for a foreign SIM card as they are cheap, effective and way better than going global roaming! Better still is to use the free WIFI that can now be found in all but the remotest of destinations and use skype to make phone calls.

6:  Pack your carry on liquids in a clear pouch

Domestic and International flight have required you to pack you’re liquids into a clear pouch for easy inspection at security for a number of years now. The Osprey Ultralight Zip Organiser has a handy removable see through pouch which allows small items to be seen so it is not necessary to use a zip lock bag that will tear open. Extra tip is to decant your favorite shampoo, conditioner & body wash into a small Nalgene bottles to save having to buy an overpriced “travel sized” version.

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7:  Take your own water bottle

With security taking any liquid over 100ml it means you wont be able to take your bottle of natural sparkling mineral water with you and to purchase a bottle of water at the departure lounge will set you back a small fortune. Easiest way to get around this is to take a water bottle like the Nalgene Wide Mouth or Camelbak Podium or Eddy which you can refill at a bubbler once your through customs and can be topped up during the flight.

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When travelling through Europe you can fill the bottle up at the many fountains that are found in the town squares. If you’re travelling in countries where water quality can be an issue you can decant bottled water purchased at a shop as your water bottle will be more sturdy or purify your own tap water (see below). Extra bonus of a sturdy water bottle like a Nalgene is for use when trekking in cold climates and the ability to pour boiled water into the bottle and use it as a hot water bottle if its cold.

8:  Purify your own water

If travelling in developing countries its far better for your wallet and the environment to purify your own water instead of purchasing multiple bottles of water a day. The Steripen Opti Water Purifier is light and small and uses a revolutionary optical eye to sense the water which ensures safe use and provides purification in even the coldest of waters. If you’re looking to save weight the Steripen Pure weighs less than 77 grams and is easily recharged using a micro USB port. The Camelbak All Clear is also a great all in one purifier/bottle option.

9:  Pack clothing that’s easy to care for

Light weight and breathable fabrics like merino and technical synthetics are great for travelling. They breath well reducing odour, thus needing less washing and when they do need to be washed they are quick to dry. Styles like the ExOfficio range of Undies and the Icebreaker Tech Tee are staples in my luggage. Extra tip is try to consolidate by packing muted colours like blacks, greys and blues that work together and multi task by having clothing that has a couple of functions like a shirt that can hike and also be worn to dinner.

10:  If you can’t afford travel insurance you can’t afford to travel

You should make sure your travel insurance covers all medical expenses for injury or illness, as well as theft of valuables, damage to baggage and cancellations or interruptions to flight plans. Accidents can happen to anyone, and medical costs overseas can reach hundreds of thousands of dollars and the Australian Government won’t pay for your medical treatment overseas or medical evacuation to Australia or a third country. If your planning on doing something more adventurous like paragliding in Interlakeen, roped activities or riding a motor cycle in Vietnam make sure the policy covers these activities.

Get your travel insurance as soon as you have locked in the dates as most policies will cover you if there are changes to the itinerary due to mishap or if the tour your booked on is cancelled and you need to re book flights.


Hope these tips give you some ideas for your next adventure and if your a seasoned traveller feel free to add more travel hacks in the comments below.

About The Author

Dave Casey

Dave has worked as an International Expedition Leader and in Outdoor Education for over 15 years. He has extensive travel and guiding experience in Australia, NZ, Asia, South/North America and Europe. In his spare time Dave is a keen bushwalker, mountain biker and climber while also dabbling in some mountaineering and sea kayaking. He is currently working at Paddys as the National Account Manager, to fund all of the above.

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