1 Make up removing toiletries
There is nothing better than coming back “home” (to the hostel) after a long night out in a strange city, just wiping your face once to get rid of all the make-up, and going to bed. Ditch the liquid stuff and go for the toiletries: they’re practical, weigh less, take up less space, and they won’t get confiscated at any airport during your trip!
2 Fashionable black flats
You can never go wrong with a good pair of cute black flats. They go with everything, you can wear them with or without tights, with pants, skirts or dresses, day or night! Plus, they are way more comfortable than taking heels: imagine getting caught at 5 am, after (quite) a few drinks in any old European city with oh-so-beautiful cobblestone streets… You will either take those heels off and walk home barefoot crying in pain, or you will have wished you brought flats!
3 Refreshing toiletries
No time to shower? No excuse for not smelling your best even after a 17 hour train ride. These little miracles will keep you to stay as clean and fresh as possible even in the most smelly situations. They also work wonders if that train runs out of toilet paper.
4 Basic Female Supplies
For a girl, there is nothing worse than being caught unprepared by your Aunt’s Flo’s “special monthly visit”. Bring at least supplies for the first day, so you can make sure to comfortably find a pharmacy at your next destination.
Yes, you read it. A bikini. Whether you are travelling during the summer or during the winter you never know when you’ll need it. I learned this a couple of weeks ago in Budapest when I missed out on one of the main attractions of the city, the thermal baths, just because I was unprepared. Besides, if worse comes to worse, you may use it as underwear when you run out of it.
6 Tights Instead of Pants
Fashion is on your side this season! Cute tights are totally in right now, and they are a female backpacker’s dream: when for space and weight reasons you usually have to limit yourself to a couple of pair of pants, now you can carry quite a few pairs of tights! You can buy them in all textures and colors, combine them with skirts and shorts, use them as a pyjama, layer them on if it’s cold, and have a different look almost every day. Also, you don’t have to bring as many socks, and if you run out of underwear it’s not such a huge deal.
7 The little back dress, travelling version
A little black dress is a must have in any girls’ wardrobe, and there is no excuse for not taking one even if you go backpacking. At night, people will not even notice you are living out of your backpack even if you hit the fanciest nightclubs, and during the day you can dress it down with some tights, flats and a sweater on top.
8 Over-sized sweater
Also a must have for this season, you can dress it up with a belt and tights, or use it as sleeping attire at night.
9 Neutral combinable colours
Imperative when travelling! It will enable to fit as many different “outfits” as possible in your backpack, and you can avoid getting bored of looking like you are wearing the same clothes all the time in the pictures you send back home. My favourites are black and grey, with a few touches or red or white accessories.
10 A manageable haircut
Ditch your high-maintenance haircut and pull an Audrey Hepburn in Roman Holiday: get a cute, easily manageable haircut that requires little care. You might love your fashionable hairstyle now, but after you have to keep up with it at hostel bathrooms and night trains for a few weeks, you will begin to hate it. And besides, it will never look as good while travelling, and all those hair products and accessories will weigh you down. Finally you will end up running out of hair products or throwing them away and opting to wear a hat the rest of your trip.