Travel

The Best Travel Accessories That A Backpacker Needs!

As a backpacker, you will need a few travel accessories that will make your life so much easier and pleasant while on the road. Read our tips and advice on the Top 5 Travel Accessories that backpackers need!

5. Sleep Sheet
When staying in dorm rooms at hostels sometimes the bedding (linen, mattress and pillow) can be too disgusting to sleep on. What you need is a sleep sheet to keep you clean.

A sleep sheet is also known as a travel sheet, sleeping bag liner or silk liner. They can be made from silk or cotton and their main purpose is to keep you clean from dirty linen or keep you from making your sleeping bag dirty. Some may include a pillow case section for your pillow or a folded up jumper.

A sleep sheet is perfect for staying in dorm rooms, camping, or even to cover yourself when sleeping out in an airport or train station. Once you have used one, you will never go back.

4. Travel Towel
Who wants to use a towel that has been used by hundreds of other backpackers before you? Most hostels will make you hire towels when you arrive if you do not have your own travel towel.

Travel towels come in all different shapes and sizes, but remember the smaller the towel the tougher the backpacker you are! They are basically made from a quick dry material that will wick moisture away from your skin. Remember to let it dry before putting it back into your backpack, otherwise they will start to stink and or grow mould.

Travel towels are perfect for use at hostels, camping or even as towels for the beach.

3. Backpack Cover
A backpack rain cover is what all backpackers will wish they had when it starts to rain while you are lost trying to find your hostel. A backpack cover will protect your backpack and belongings from the elements. Some backpackers even use them to protect their backpacks when they are own public transport.

Most backpacks should come with their own backpack cover, or you can buy them from most outdoor shops. Make sure you get the right size to match the size of your backpack. If your backpack is made from canvas, you won’t need a cover, as your pack should be waterproof.

2. Travel Cutlery and Bowl
The easiest way to save money when you are backpacking is to self-cater. Sure, it is good to try the local cuisine and culture, but not every meal should be eaten at a restaurant.

You should use a bowl, preferably a collapsible bowl, and lightweight travel cutlery when you are on the road. They are perfect for having a picnic in a park or just to use something clean when eating in a hostel kitchen. Make sure you pack your cutlery into your checked-in luggage when catching a plane, otherwise you may lose it when you go through customs.

Ask at the hostel where the local supermarket or a local produce market is and make sure you buy food for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

1. International Travel Adapter
Last but not least is the travel adapter. It is the most important travel accessory for any backpacker or any traveller. Backpackers are taking more and more electronics with them when they go overseas, we have even seen backpackers with power-boards!

Make sure you buy the right adapter for the countries you will be travelling to, otherwise you will find yourself with a flat battery. You could always purchase a universal travel adapter, which has a number of connections on the one adapter.

There are many other travel accessories that will help you along the way, but these are the ones that the team at Trusty Travel Tips have found the most helpful!

Finding Online Travel Reviews For New Zealand

Kelly was determined to find the nicest little cheap place to stay that she could find on her trip to the South Island of New Zealand. She read some online travel reviews for New Zealand and found this cool wee place that looked perfect. Cheap as chips, and pretty too. She thought she’d done well, and used the same site to book nearly all her free nights away from the tour she’d also found online.

When she arrived at the motel late at night, her heart sank. There was a really good reason it was cheap. It might have been the middle of winter, but there was no heating, the beds were barely covered with a sheet and the thin walls rattled every time the neighbours so much as whispered (let alone the wind that tore up the valley at 2am that morning).

Kelly later discovered the review had been written by the owner of the motel, the pictures were really out of date, and there were many amazing (but still cheap) places nearby she could have stayed in instead.

It can feel a little daunting to know if the information you are reading is a true travel review, or merely an advertorial paid for with free accommodation or from a professional paid writer. Finding out the true story of any place, tour or event is best done when the information is coming from people just like you – travellers wanting the best experiences New Zealand has to offer.

Online travel reviews are the best ways to find out all the secret gems, and avoid the scary places like Kelly’s disaster. You can often find them by trawling through blogs, and people’s online travel diaries but doing this is completely hit and miss and can take hours. Finding a site that provides you with a mix of comments and reviews from hundreds of travellers who have placed online travel reviews after their New Zealand travels is the most ideal way of finding the secret spots (like the awesome cafe in Kingsland, Auckland or the scary Coromandel caves you can discover for free, or the gold digging brothers in Hokitika who’ll make you scones and tell you ghost stories with a cup of billy tea.)

So how do you find New Zealand online travel reviews you can trust? Here are some simple tips when looking for online recommendations:

1) Look for a site that is full of personal experiences
While one person suggesting a place is awesome, fifty people suggesting the same thing, with a few frank comments about any issues or problems is far better. Kelly certainly wished she could have warned other travellers about her motel disaster.

2) Look for one that lets real people comment
Some sites are really just travel agency sites, with lots of comments from people who have been given free trips to write about. This means the bias can be slanted a little more positively than may be due in a real response to the place

3) Look for one that caters for a wide range of people
Even if you are on a mega budget you might want the occasional night of luxury (ooh that hot shower feels great after a week tenting in the South Island.) If you’ve got a comfortable budget, the more luxury orientated sites might focus only on the high cost tours and places to stay, and so much of New Zealand’s gems can be found in places where the cost isn’t that high. Find the secret local places that other travellers have found by sharing a few quiets in the pub with the locals.

The best thing about a community driven online travel review site is you’ll get to comment on your New Zealand adventure as well. You’ll have Kelly and her mates telling you what they loved, and what they hated. And then after you’ve experienced what other people have suggested, you too have a chance to let other’s know what you thought.