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A High Maintenance Girls Guide To Backpacking


If you’re a girl who loves clothes and makeup, you might feel like backpacking is not the right choice for you. The modern perception of backpackers is that they pack very little and light, wearing the same clothes for entire trips. Backpackers are thought to live extremely minimally, and being very low maintenance. However, this isn’t always the case in the modern world. In fact, many high maintenance people are now finding that they can travel the world through backpacking too. By being strategic and knowing what to bring and what to leave at home, you can find high maintenance backpackers can have just as good a trip as low maintenance ones!


There are many ways you can go on the backpacking trip of a lifetime without neglecting your self care routine. Through thoughtful planning and a selective process, you can still take key items with you without sacrificing space in your backpack. Investing in a couple of key items is also a great way to make sure you can have amazing self care, no matter where you are in the world. Here is a complete guide of how a high maintenance girl can go backpacking, without ditching the stuff she really needs!

Invest In A Fantastic Backpack

One of the best tips for high maintenance girls going backpacking has got to be to choose the best backpack you can. Your backpack will decide just how much stuff you can carry, and if you’re someone who likes to travel with a lot of clothes, you should definitely choose a 50 litre backpack at least. 50 litre backpacks are essential if you plan on travelling for a long time! Furthermore, choosing a backpack that has lots of compartments will be essential if you want to squeeze as much in as possible. (Top Tip: Use the ‘hood’ compartment of your backpack for your cosmetics bag, so you’ll be able to easily find it, and it won’t take up too much space.)

However, you should make sure that your backpack won’t be too heavy to carry, and make sure that you distribute the weight of the backpack evenly by using the hip clips. This will prevent you from hurting your back.

Get Travel Sizes

If you take a lot of cosmetics with you such as shampoo, conditioner, moisturiser and hairspray, invest in the travel sizes. Of course, if you’re going for weeks, you’ll probably need to pack full-size versions. However, if you’re going for a shorter backpacking excursion such as interrailing, travel sizes can save you a lot of space in your backpack. Many cosmetics stores and pharmacies offer travel versions of their products, but if you can’t find them near you, definitely search the web for travel size cosmetics. This is especially true for natural skin care products, as you don’t need a lot on a daily basis. 

Invest In A Mini Hair Straighteners

Are you a high maintenance girl who can’t possibly dream of having frizzy hair when you’re abroad? Then you need to invest in mini hair straighteners or compact curling irons. These are much smaller than the regular versions, but they’re fantastic for travelling. They allow you to have amazing model-like hair on the go, without taking up too much space in your backpack. However, make sure that you take travel adaptors with you in one of the compartments of your backpack, as you might get there and find there is nowhere to plug them in!

Buy The Essentials When You Get There 

Depending on where you’re going, you might be able to get all of the cosmetic products you love when you arrive at your destination – and sometimes, at a much cheaper price! Many major cities will have huge cosmetics stores and providers, so you can have a shopping spree when you get to your city! If you want to be sure of what you can buy before you depart, make sure to look up shops in the chosen city and look at their website. You’ll be surprised at how many of your favourite products will be available! This is a fantastic way to save space in your backpack, which is crucial for international flights. Also when you’re heading back, try not to get too many souvenirs from London or LA, try to keep it to one or two from your trip! All the memories will last in your mind. 

Prioritise Certain Cosmetics 

Being shrewd about what products you really need to bring will help you narrow down the things you can’t live without, and what you have to put in your backpack. For example, you might find that certain cosmetics such as mascara, eyeliner and concealer are must-haves that you can’t live without. However, you probably don’t need to bring a huge eyeshadow palette or 10 lipstick shades with you. Be strategic, and only pack the makeup items and cosmetics that you will actually wear everyday with you. Your photos will still look amazing, even if you’re not wearing intricate eyeshadow looks!

Invest In A Toiletry Travel Kit 

One of the best ways to keep your toiletries compact  is to invest in a toiletry travel kit. They will often look like a small, square bag with lots of compartments inside. This will make it much easier for you to find a place for all of your needed toiletries to go, such as your razor, body wash, sponge, and much more. Another key tip is to invest in a razor that has replaceable heads, instead of multiple disposable razors. This will help you conserve a lot of space. A toiletry travel kit can help you keep your toiletries all in one place!

Pack A Microfibre Towel

Many backpackers rely on there being towels at the hostel they’re at – however, if you don’t roll that way, you should invest in a microfibre towel. Microfibre towels have quick drying technology, meaning they won’t be wet when you put them back in your backpack. They’re also a lot thinner, so when you roll it up, it won’t take up as much space. They’re also essential for the beach, if you’re travelling to a hotter climate! Microfibre towels are compact, quick-drying, and versatile – they’re the best choice for the high maintenance backpacker. 

Use Packing Cubes 

Without a doubt, the best hack for high maintenance travellers is to use packing cubes to store all of your clothes. Packing cubes keep your clothes a lot more organised, so you don’t have to sift through mountains of clothes to find the item you need. They can also compress your clothes, allowing you to have more space. Many people also find that packing cubes keep their clothes neat and wrinkle-free, so you can look your best during your backpacking trip! Why not separate your clothes by category – short dresses, long trousers, t-shirts, etc. This will help you find the items you need much easier, so you don’t have to overturn your backpack to plan an amazing fit for the day!


Backpacking is for everyone, no matter how high or low maintenance you are. You can find ways to bring all of your favourite items on a backpacking excursion, as long as you follow these tips. If you’re a high maintenance girl who needs a guide on backpacking – definitely remember this extensive guide, and remember these tricks when you’re packing your backpack!