How We Travelled Around Europe With Just A 20l Backpack

As you can imagine 20l backpack isn’t that much for travelling and it isn’t but I am here to tell you how it all started and how you can do it too. 

The Backpack

The challenge started when we found our flights with the budget airline Wizz Air, the terms of baggage and hand luggage are different from the similar budget airlines. Having to pay extra for anything larger than a small cabin bag. This to me was ‘okay challenge accepted’, much to the despair of my girlfriend Helen, where she was planning on taking everything plus the kitchen sink. 

We went out and bought a small lightweight 20l backpack each that were originally going to be our day bags for exploring but soon turned into our full-time travel bags. We chose to buy the Karrimor Superlite 20l 64 Backpack Daysack Rucksack, it came with great reviews, it had all the space we needed and had the important laptop sleeve. 

We really fell in love with this backpack due to many useful features, we were travelling with 2 water bottles and even though they were leak proof we wanted them to be accessible, the backpack had on each side an elasticated bottle holder.

My favourite feature on the backpack was the waist straps. One side had a small pouch useful to hold money or headphones, the other side was an elasticated mesh pocket you could store headphones or tickets.

Helen’s favourite feature was the small zip pouch in the top of the backpack, perfect size to store important items such as phone, passports and money.

What We Packed

ElectronicsMy ClothesHelen's ClothesToiletriesWhat we Cut ( between us)
2 laptops
4  t-shirts2 x t-shirt2 towels1 bra
1 DJI Mavic Drone and Controller
3 Pairs shorts1 pair of Jeans2 toothbrushes2 pairs of underwear (replaced)
2 Go Pros and accessories
1 Pair of Jeans3 vest3 100ml bottles (shampoo, Dr Bonner and empty)1 dress
1 Universal Adapter
4 Pairs of underwear2 pair of shortsTweezers1 pair of leggings ( replaced for smaller item)
2 Mac chargers

2 pairs of socks1 skirtNail Clippers1 pair of shorts (replaced)
1 Dual plug adapter
1 Lightweight Waterproof Crag Hopper Coat1 checked shirtSmall Sewing Kit1 t-shirt
2 Canon G7X Mark ii Cameras
1 Checked shirt1 Lightweight Waterproof Crag Hopper CoatFoundation / foundation brush1 pair of Jeans
A small bag of cables for charging phones, Go Pros etc.
1 pair of Havaianas Flip Flops1 pair of Havaianas Flip Flops Eye liner
1 Pair of trainers 1 pair of trainers10 Daily Contact Lenses
Wireless Headphones
2 bra1 pair of leggingsFoldable Hairbrush
Apple Headphones with an adapter for iPhone 7 plus.
2 dressesFirst Aid Kit
2 x iPhone 7 Plus1 pair of socks2 Camelbak Water Bottles
Camera Charger5 pairs of underwear
Drone Charger3 bras

When we first started packing for this journey I was excited as I liked the challenge of travelling with as little as possible, Helen, on the other hand, was a little worried, to say the least. We laid everything we were going to bring on the bed and packed it if it didn’t all fit in, something had to be scrapped and this system worked well. We worked on outfits and what we would wear when and why we chose that item over anything else. 

As we have mainly been in warm weather we haven’t had the need for our coats or even jeans, which led to me getting rid of my jeans, they were too bulky and were worn. Though this was great for this trip due to the warmer weather, when we visit other parts of the world and the temperatures are colder this wouldn’t work. 

While moving around and packing up to move to our next location this bag has been great, if it didn’t fit in the bag it was clipped on and we really piled it on the back. The backpack has been really durable and strong, the bag is comfortable to wear for extended periods and very functional. 

There were other functional parts to the bag we didn’t require such as a pole loop, helmet loop and an H2O hole. 

Do I think I could travel with this backpack full time? Maybe, I am still torn as I love the functionality of the bag but if the climate were to change or this backpack was to be essentially my home in a bag I think I would require a little more space.

If you have this backpack or one similar and love it let me know in the comments below what you use and why you love it.


One Comment

  1. Francesca - From Pennies to Pounds August 11, 2017 at 9:56 am - Reply

    Sooo jealous of your digital nomad lifestyle! How long are you doing it for?

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