Choosing a good backpack is one of the most important parts of planning your backpacking trip. Whichever one you choose, it’s going to hold all of your belongings for the next weeks, months, or if you’re really adventurous, years! You’re also going to be carrying it on your back for that long too. You need to make sure you choose a good one!
For you newbie travelers, one misconception that I had when I first set out on my 2 month backpacking trip around Europe was that I’d be carrying my backpack with me everywhere I went. I don’t know how or why I thought that, but I did. So, just to clarify, you’ll only be carrying your backpack with you when you travel from one city to the next one. As soon as you arrive at a hostel, you can drop your pack off (good riddance)! You won’t need to carry it around with you while you sightsee. Then when you leave the city, you’ll pack all your stuff up and take it with you.
Just keep in mind that in order to get from one hostel to the next hostel, you’ll probably be walking, taking the metro, a bus, or a combinations of them all before you get on the train or plane that will take you to the next city. Then once you get to the new city, you’ll more than likely have to walk, take the metro, a bus, or some combination again in order to get to your new hostel. On travel days, you can have your pack on your back for HOURS! Of course, you can set it down here and there, but ultimately you’re responsible for lugging the pack around.
Key Things to Keep in Mind When Purchasing a Travel Backpack for Europe!
- Size: I highly recommend a pack that’s no more than 46L (Liters) for females – As much as you’d like to take your whole closet with you, it’s not practical for backpacking around Europe. Whether you’re going for days, weeks, or months, you want to pack as light as possible, which means leaving things at home. Honestly, the lighter I pack, the more I enjoy my trip.
- Will You be Traveling around Europe via Planes? – Budget airlines in Europe, such as Ryanair or EasyJet, offer great deals on flights, and they can be a great alternative to days traveling by train. However, you will need to comply with their strict carry-on baggage allowances, if you want to avoid their crazy, expensive fees. Ryan air’s carry on size restrictions: (55cm x 40cm x 20cm or 21.7 x 15.7 x 7.9 in). EasyJet’s carry on size restrictions: (56 x 45 x 25cm or 22 x 17.7 x 9.8 in).
- How Often Will You Need to Access the Stuff in Your Pack? -You’ll be surprised by the number of times you’ll need to get into your pack. Whether you’re putting things in it, or taking things out, you’ll need to have convenient access to your pack. That’s why I’d recommend getting one that zips open like a suitcase, instead of one where you can only access it from the top. The latter makes it so much harder to find things, especially if they’re way down at the bottom of your pack! So stick with one that has a main compartment access.
Keeping those points in mind, I really believe that the Osprey Porter 46L Travel Pack is one of the best backpack’s for traveling Europe.
It’s the backpack I used while backpacking Europe for two months in the Summer of 2012. It’s honestly a really great pack. I was able to take it as carry on, on many Ryanair and EasyJet flights with no problems. I absolutely LOVE the main compartment zipper. It made it so easy to grab what I needed out of it, without having to dump everything out. I also had no problems fitting everything I needed into either. I still had some space left after I finished packing, and I even overpacked! Just like with all packs, you’ll feel some discomfort after carrying it on your back for hours, but that’s just part of backpacking. Overall, I can definitely recommend this pack for traveling around Europe!
You can get it from amazon for around $140 US, which is a pretty good price for the pack! Hope this helps some in regards to buying a travel backpack for Europe!
Any questions about the Osprey Porter 46L pack?