Tips to find the right backpack for a trip to Europe
Embarking on a backpacking journey across Europe? Before you chalk out the specifics of your trip, choose the one thing that is essential to your time on the road- a high-quality backpack! Trust us on this one. A low quality backpack can wreak all kinds of havoc on your neck and back and completely wreck your trip.
Moreover, one of the best things about having a backpack is that you can leave the airport in a jiffy. No need to queue up in front of a baggage carousel or stress out about your bag being lost or misplaced by the airline.
Here are a list of things to consider before you swipe your card for that all-important travel accessory.
Your backpack must meet airline requirements
The European continent offers a whole host of budget airlines that allow you to go from place to place without burning a hole in your pocket. However, almost all these low cost airlines have ‘extreme’ baggage restrictions in terms of size and weight. This means you’ll be forced to cough up more money if you don’t comply with their requirements. Who wants to start a trip with an unnecessary and completely avoidable expense, eh?
Baggage size: The standard cabin baggage (carry-on baggage for our American friends) dimensions for European Airlines are 55cm x 40cm x 20cm which is equal to 22 in x 16 in x 8 in.
Baggage weight: As you may already know, you cannot carry as much as you want even if you comply with the baggage size requirements. The weight allowance for cabin bags is usually a maximum of 10 kgs or 22lbs.
Our advice: To be able to comply with the weight allowance, your backpack weight should not be more than 5 lbs. If you take anything heavier, you may fail to take essentials that you need for your trip.
Front-loading backpacks are your buddies
Being a sensible backpacker means learning how to be efficient. Your first instinct might be to buy a backpack that can be loaded from the top (because we’re conditioned to think that those are the best backpacks). But, this is a mistake!
If you need to take something that is caught at the bottom of your backpack, you’ll have to unpack the entire bag. Annoying, right?
Front-loading backpacks help eliminate this inconvenience by opening from the front like a suitcase. You can grab your belongings quickly without having to unpack everything else. Front loaders are super useful
These travel backpacks are super useful whether you’re a messy slob or a hyper-organized clean freak.
Look for water-proof backpacks made of lightweight material
Weather in many parts of Europe can be incredibly unpredictable. Sudden rain showers are not uncommon. We don’t have to tell you what will happen to your valuables such as your passport and laptop if you’re caught in a downpour.
When it comes to travel backpacks, make sure the material is waterproof for complete weather protection. There are many high-quality backpacks available in the market that will ensure that your belongings stay dry come rain, hail or snow. In addition, lightweight materials tend to be easier on your shoulders.
If you choose to buy a water-resistant backpack instead of waterproof, make sure they include an extra rain protection cover.
Good backpacks have a water bottle compartment
Many travellers tend to buy bottled water because they don’t want to take chances with tap water. This is unnecessary in Europe. Just get a reusable water bottle and refill it at hotels, restaurants and airbnbs.
Disposable plastic bottles have serious environmental consequences. Research has shown that almost 200 billion bottles are thrown away every year and 80% of them end up in landfills. Reusable bottles are a good way to make your travels more sustainable.