5 Things You Didn’t Know You Needed While Backpacking Europe

Sure, you’re aware need a microfiber towel and a reusable grocery bag, I’m not here to list out the obvious. I have an entire post detailing what I packed in my luggage while I spent 3 months in Europe, but here are 5 not-so-obvious items you’ll want during your backpacking adventures across Europe.

A lighter

Even if you’re not a smoker, this still applies. A lighter, in this instance, is for much more than merely smoking cigs. Europeans smoke, like, all of them. You’ll frequently be hearing the question, “do you have a light?” Instead of saying “no,” you’ll say, “well of course I do,” then offer yours up and introduce yourself. Congrats, you’ve made a friend. It’s a simple way to initiate conversation for the more shy folk.

A cable to go along with your backpack locks

Assuming you already know to lock up your bags (theft is common in Europe), then you’ll want to throw in a cable that can be woven through your lock and your bag. If you’re bussing to a new destination, or there aren’t lockers in your hostel, a cable is a great way to ensure that your bag and belongings aren’t going anywhere.

Odor removing spray

Surprise, surprise. Let me be the first to tell you that you’re gonna stink. While fresh laundry is always ideal, you won’t necessarily have access to that luxury. The sniff test is your best friend, and when that becomes unbearable, douse your clothes in odor removing spray. I promise you, it’s a necessity. I used mine more than I used my mascara. Before traveling I’d never even heard of this product, but now I wouldn’t be caught without it.

Playing cards

Similar to the lighter, these are also a great ice breaker. Even if you’re on your own, solitaire could be enjoyed. More importantly, they serve as a friend making function. Think of all the drinking games you now have access to!

These 3 apps

Okay so maybe this is the 7 things you need, but these apps have saved my life time and time again. Maps.me, GlobeConvert, and TravelSpend. Once you have WiFi, Maps.me can download an entire map of the city you’re in. Once downloaded, you can access it even when your phone is on airplane mode. You don’t need to use any data to check where you are! I have no idea how I survived without maps.me for so long. GlobeConvert is a quick and easy money conversion app that helps keep you in check when you’re not as familiar with the currency. TravelSpend is your daily dose of reality and budgeting best friend. You can enter individually what you’re spending and it graphs it for you over time. It even details how much you spend per day and what on.

Let me know your obscure travel essentials in the comments below!

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