Packing Tips for Petite Travellers

Written by: Anne Eyre

Love backpacking, but hate the backpack? If you’re a littlun like me, whose back quivers at the mere thought of a lugging a heavy backpack through your gap year, fear not – there is another way.

Step One: Divide essentials from non-essentials, then stuff the latter into a small pulley-style suitcase. I’ve pulled a small suitcase around Africa, the Middle East, Southeast Asia; get one small enough, filled only with clothes, and even the littlest of littleuns will be able to lift it when flat roads aren’t around. If any gapper tells you you’re ‘not doing it right’, use your brand new handbag to swing at them.

packing tips for petite travellers

Step Two: The handbag! The lifesaver, the Mary Poppins, the Things Without Which You Might Die. It should contain:

1. Hand sanitiser

When travelling the beautiful wide world, you’ll encounter many not-so-beautiful toilets. A necessity; only a few quid from Boots and lasts months.

2. Tissues

Lots of tissues. For reason above.

3. Guidebook, with map and printouts

A happy traveller is an organised traveller. Don’t realise too late the world’s oldest kebab shop was only round the corner and you missed it – a little Googleing goes a long way.

4. Rain mac

The nerdy type, that you can stuff inside its own little bag. Unless you’re headed for the Sahara.

5. iPod

For when you feel far away from home, your favourite tunes never fail to cheer you up. Don’t forget the pod’s charger and adaptor plug.

packing tips for petite travellers

6. Inflatable cushion

Now this might sound like Deluxe Travel rather than backpacking. But why toss and turn on a plane/train/bus when you can snuggle with your travel pillow? Same principle as the rain mac; fits deflated inside its own bag. (My bag is starting to sound like a bag of bags – it’s not weird I swear.)

7. Medicines

Take pill packets out of boxes, and fit neatly together in a drawstring purse or spare sunglasses case. Just remember to mark which ones are which.

8. Travel diary

To remember that weirdo you met on the beach, and how you got ripped off buying a rasta’s homemade mixtape (don’t ask).

9. Camera

I opt for little and light rather than fancy and clunky. But never find yourself in a beautiful sunset over a stunning beach with baby turtles hatching, and only your will-fail-someday memory to capture it.

10. Passport

But if you didn’t think of that already, give up now.

There – easy. Gone are the days of back pain, having to lean slightly forward all the time, and realising your urgently-needed item is at the bottom of your backpack. Your handbag should still be fairly light, and tucked beneath your arm is much less of a target for pickpockets than a backpack.

With the feminist weapon enabling solo travel for little people, you’re now set for pain-free worldwide adventures.

Check out these top travel experiences


Felucca Explorer

from £295.00

9 days

Take in the highlights of ancient Egypt, from the legendary Pyramids of Giza to the tomb-strewn Valley of the Kings,...

Cuba – Road Trip and Spanish

from £1,699.00

21 days

Join a 3 week road trip across the highlights of Cuba to explore, dance and learn Spanish.

Andes and Amazon Quito to La Paz

from £1,750.00

37 days

Experience the Amazon rainforest at first-hand in a jungle lodge, follow the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu, stay overnight with...

Ultra Festival Hostel Package

from £569.00

5 - 5 days

Every night you party your socks off until sunrise and stare into an explosive fireworks display. Set up in a...

Southeast Asia’s Biggest Adventure – Do the Lot!

from £1,620.00

40 - 365 days

Do the Lot! The ultimate flexible hop-on, hop-off guided travel pass offering a fun and hassle-free way travel to Thailand,...

South Island Snow Safari

from £925.00

7 days

Welcome to NZ's ultimate guided ski and snowboard tour. We hit 6 different mountains over 7 days and our expert...

Savanna Dawn Nairobi to Victoria Falls

from £1,145.00

34 days

Get up close to the amazing wildlife in the Serengeti National park, chill out on the white sandy beaches of...

South Ireland Adventure

from £630.00

10 days

Wild Atlantic Way, Galway, Croagh Patrick, Ring of Kerry, Cliffs of Moher, Dingle Peninsula, Kilkenny, Inis Oirr, Glendalough

Backpacking Tour of China

from £1,015.00

16 - 25 days

Backpack to the most populated and vibrant cities in the world and explore untouched countryside. Travel with a group and...

Legendary New Zealand Tour

from £2,005.00

21 days

From Auckland, we make our way down the beautiful and volcanic North Island to the capital, Wellington, before catching a...

Check out these awesome tours!


London to Rome by Rail

from £4,095.00


Roam around Europe on this excellent adventure that’d make Bill and Ted proud. Swoon under the Eiffel Tower, hitch a...

Montenegro & Croatia Sailing

from £1,189.30

Croatia, Montenegro

Sail your way along the Dalmatian and Montenegro coast for long days of relaxing on a yacht deck, followed by...

Bishkek to Ashgabat Overland

from £2,819.00


Strategically positioned along the Silk Route, the cities of Samarkand, Bukhara and Khiva were famed trading centres for the caravans...

Andes, Iguassu & Beyond

from £2,499.00

Argentina, Brazil, Chile

This tour is designed for anyone looking for the most incredible natural and cultural highlights of southern South America. Spend...

The Big Kahuna

from £2,159.00

8 - 8 days

United States

You've seen it in the movies and fantasised about it since forever, so why put it off any longer? Hawaii...

Vic Falls to Kenya

from £2,324.00


Experience the incredible African wild as you explore from Victoria Falls on to Nairobi – with incredible sights as a...

Budapest to Bucharest

from £1,130.00


From the beautiful Baroque churches of Budapest to the haunted castles of Transylvania, this ten-day journey across Hungary and Romania...

Myanmar Golden Rock Short Break

from £470.00


Discover a country of mythical landscapes. From golden-gilded Buddha’s in Yangon to the gravity defying Kyaiktiyo Golden Rock, Burma will...

Oktoberfest Braumeister

from £315.00

Officially the world’s biggest party, Oktoberfest draws a crowd of seven million people every year to celebrate the three best...

Explore Peru, Argentina and Brazil

from £3,410.00


There are many sides to South America, from the energy of the cities, the beauty of the lansdcapes and the...

Find more travel kit advice

[contact-form-7 id="4" title="Contact form 1"]