This is another question I heard. Actually, one of my friends was asking my what she should bring to travel with me for a short week. At first she wanted to take a carry-on luggage before, with another traveler friends, we convinced her to leave that one home.
The plan was to go backpacking from Poland to Belgium, through Germany. No time to stay in one place, the next day, we had to catch the next transportation, try hitchhiking and so on to get to our next destination.
The best backpack you can find – of course you can buy it in a travel store for a lot of money, or you can buy it second hand – doesn’t have to be expensive at all. I found mine on Ebay years ago, after getting a refund from an airline company that damaged the old one a bit more that it used to be. At the end, I haven’t pay for any of my backpacks.
People on blogs and on Facebook would advice to take a size that would be around 50L. Mine is way bigger, as the previous one, and still, it is full with 3 pairs of pants, 4 shirts and 3 sweaters. I don’t know where the space goes. While filling your bag, you also have to think that your size might be different and then your clothing would take more or less space.
What you have to put it also depends on the destination and the period of the year. When you leave at the wintertime, north, you are happy to find some good spacy heavy sweaters in your bags, with some winter gears.
Also, don’t forget your health bag, with shampoo, towel, soap in stuff and don’t forget that you can find alternative to put in your carry on bag. Everything exists in solid too. You can always carry those travel jar as well, but what are you gonna do once they are empty? Either you know how to make your own soap to fill them up or buy regular once if you don’t want to think about it. Otherwise, you will find jars and regular ones in your bag and that is going to take a lot of space.
Two pairs of shoes are always the best to take with you as well. Put on your feet the hiking ones, they take more space, and the other one, in your bag. Even if you can fix them outside the bag, make sure everything fit IN so if you ever have to take a plane on the way, you’re never out of space.
Keep your carry-on bag not completely full so you can add souvenirs and things that matter really for you. There should be your computer if you have good reason to carry that with you, camera, and all your wires. If it is not necessary for you to take those, don’t, it is even better!
Then light yourself, breath and go for the next adventure J